Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Charles Grodin, deadpan comic actor known for ‘Midnight Run’ and ‘Beethoven,’ dies at 86


Charles Grodin, the actor who lent his droll wit and deadpan delivery to films such as “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Heaven Can Wait,” “Midnight Run” and “Beethoven,” died Tuesday. He was 86.

The actor’s son Nicholas told The Associated Press that his father died at his home in Wilton, Connecticut, from bone marrow cancer.

Grodin specialized in playing world-weary businessmen and uptight fathers, approaching each role with a deft combination of neurotic intensity and wry detachment. He was especially prolific in the 1980s, taking on memorable supporting parts in various comedies.

He was also a regular face on television, making frequent appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with David Letterman,” and a notable performer in Broadway productions such as “Same Time, Next Year.”

Grodin was born in Pittsburgh in 1935 and studied acting at HB Studio in New York City under the famed actress and instructor Uta Hagen.

Charles Grodin in “Beethoven.”Alamy

He made his Hollywood debut with an uncredited performance as a drummer boy in Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954). He was active in theater in the 1960s, appearing in “Absence of a Cello” (1964) and directing “Lovers and Strangers” (1968).

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