We're getting some very sad news to pass along as veteran actor Charles Grodin has died. Known for his starring roles in movies like The Heartbreak Kid, Midnight Run, and Beethoven, Grodin died on Tuesday of bone marrow cancer at his home in Wilton, Connecticut. He was 86 years old.
Grodin was born on April 21, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After high school, he attended the University of Miami but dropped out to pursue a career in acting. He began by studying the craft at HB Studio in New York City, and it wasn't long before he started to find acting roles. He made his movie debut with an uncredited role in Disney's 1954 hit 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Just a few years later, he'd land the small but memorable role of Dr. Hill in Roman Polanski's acclaimed horror flick Rosemary's Baby.
Released in 1972, The Heartbreak Kid served as a breakout movie role for Grodin. His performance as Lenny Cantrow earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Grodin's co-starring role alongside Robert De Niro in Midnight Run also had him named as Best Actor at the Valladolid International Film Festival in 1988. The actor would also be given the American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor for his performance in Dave in 1993. There was talk nearly a decade ago of making a Midnight Run sequel with both Grodin and De Niro returning, but that eventually went nowhere.
In 1992, Grodin appeared in another one of his most famous roles as the father of the family, George Newton, in the comedy movie Beethoven. In the classic movie, Grodin's character is apprehensive about bringing in a St. Bernard to be the family pet, he comes to care for the animal just as much as the rest of the family. The actor reprised the role in the 1993 sequel Beethoven's 2nd.
Grodin also played the frustrated uncle of Martin Short's titular character in 1993's Clifford, with some of his other movie credits including So I Married an Axe Murderer,Heart and Souls, While We're Young, and The Comedian. For a time in the 2000s, Grodin placed his acting career on hold to focus on raising his children as a stay at home dad. His final theatrical credit came along in the 2017 drama An Imperfect Murder with Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin.
On the small screen, Grodin had a substantial role in the 60s soap opera The Young Marrieds among a plethora of other TV credits, which includes Madoff, Louie, The Defenders, The Virginian, Laverne & Shirley, American Playhouse, and Law & Order: SVU. He also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1977 with Paul Simon serving as the episode's musical guest, and later hosted the short-lived series The Charles Grodin Show in the mid 90s. Grodin also won the Primetime Emmy Award for his work on the Paul Simon Special in 1978.
Grodin's survivors include a daughter, Marion, and a son, Nicholas. Our thoughts go out to them and the rest of the late actor's family and friends at this difficult time. It's not easy to say farewell, but Grodin's work delivered over the course of several decades will help to ensure his memory will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.