Tuesday, May 28, 2024

RIP Charles Grodin, Great Comic Actor, Racounteur, Talk Show Host, Star of “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Midnight Run”


Charles Grodin has passed away, sadly. The 86 year old star was a great character actor, some time leading man, writer, raconteur, talk show host. He was also great pals with Regis Philbin and David Letterman off screen. They often hung out together and enjoyed each other’s company.

Chuck Grodin burst on the scene in 1972 as the off beat star of Neil Simon and Nora Ephron’s comedy classic, “The Heartbreak Kid.” He got a Golden Globe nomination for that role. Grodin has no other real awards, but he never went after them. He wasn’t that kind of guy.

Grodin’s turn with Dyan Cannon in Warren Beatty’s “Heaven Can Wait,” written by Buck Henry, from 1978, is award winning, however. The two of them should have won Oscars. They’re just hysterical.  Grodin co-starred with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in “Seems Like Old Times,” with Robert DeNiro in “Midnight Run,” and two big back to back hits with Beethoven the dog as the human star of the movies.

On Broadway, Grodin was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1975 for “Same Time, Next Year.” He appeared in six Broadway productions but “Same Time, Next Year” was his big hit with a three year run. Ellen Burstyn was his co-star in that play, winning the Tony and Drama Desk Award. The production really launched them both.

Other projects included several books, a talk show, radio show, and a variety of situations that showcased his humorous and erudite personality. He wasn’t a curmudgeon but he liked to play an oddball character on Letterman’s talk show. Dave loved it, and Grodin was a refreshing challenge to the notion of a Hollywood star. And he was a star.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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