TV, film, and theater actor Charles Grodin died on May 18, 2021 at his home in Wilton, Connecticut at the age of 86.
The cause of death was bone marrow cancer.
His son Nicholas confirmed his passing was peaceful, and he was surrounded by his family.
Grodin was multi-faceted and more talented than he ever earned acclaim for, and his characters were embraced and loved by fans.
He was a pro at delivering deadpan one liners that made everyone laugh.
RIP Charles Grodin, an absolute genius pic.twitter.com/11YBdTYrdD
— Steve Agee (@steveagee) May 18, 2021
Here are three things to know about Charles Grodin.
1. He Was Best Known For His Acting Roles
His volume of work is legendary.
He entered the Broadway scene in the 1960s with a role in Tchin-Tchin and followed it up with other theater work during his career including Hooray! It’s a Glorious Day…and All That which he co-wrote and directed in the late 1960s.
Grodin’s big screen breakthrough came in the 1972 classic The Heartbreak Kid.
He never could be typecast given the variety of roles he chose to play.
That includes his work in the 1976 version of King Kong and in the 1981 movie The Great Muppet Caper.
My beloved Charles Grodin was a fabulous friend to moi onscreen and off. Debonair, handsome, talented, charming – and great taste! I’ll miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/V4o2CxKZnM
— Miss Piggy (@MissPiggy) May 18, 2021
He worked with esteemed actors and comedians including Albert Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Chevy Chase, and Robert DeNiro; DeNiro was his co-star in the 1988 hit Midnight Run.
R.I.P. Charles Grodin. A brilliant comedy actor. I had the wonderful experience of working with him in my first feature “Real Life” and he was amazing. Rest In Peace, Chuck.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) May 18, 2021
In 1992, he won over a new generation of fans with his portrayal of George Newton opposite Bonnie Hunt in Beethoven and in the 1993 sequel Beethoven’s 2nd.
He also worked in television guest starring on The Michael J. Fox Show in 2013.
Grodin was actively working through the mid 2010s and published his final book in 2013.
2. In the 2000s, He Quit Acting To Be A Stay-At-Home Dad
Grodin is survived by two children, Marion and Nicholas.
Marion was his child to first wife Julie Ferguson, and Nicholas was his child to second wife Elissa Durwood.
He took a break from acting to be a stay-at-home dad to his children which was not a typical decision men were making at the time.
His daughter Marion is a well-known comic.
Commenting on her 2013 memoir called Standing Up: A Memoir Of A Funny (Not Always) Life, Grodin said:
“I have not read this book, nor do I intend to read it, certainly not without some therapy or possibly medication. While I have happily received more public recognition than Marion, I cannot stand that she gets more laughs than I do, when we are around others. As a result I have chosen not to be in her presence for the last decade. Enough is enough!”
3. He Had His Own Political Talk Show on CNBC
His deadpan comedy, well-written scripts, and informed opinions made him a logical choice to host his own talk show on CNBC.
Fittingly called The Charles Grodin Show, it aired from 1995-1996.
He continued as a political commentator on 60 Minutes II and on CBS Radio Network’s Weekend Roundup.
Grodin was unique, quirky, smart, and talented; actors and personalities of his caliber are irreplaceable.
Rest In Peace Charles Grodin.