Charles Grodin: Comedy Legend and Beloved Actor has passed away

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Charles Grodin, death, The Great Muppet Caper, 2021

Charles Grodin, a legendary actor and comedian, has passed away at the age of 86. If his name does not immediately ring a bell, you have some homework to do. With a huge resume of performances, some standouts include Midnight Run with Robert DeNiro, Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, the 1976 version of King Kong, The Heartbreak Kid, The Great Muppet Caper, and Dave. Some of you may even recognize him from the Beethoven franchise or his cult classic opposite Martin Short, Clifford.

His death was reported by his son, Nicholas, who told The New York Times that his father dies of complications from bone marrow cancer.

In a career that spanned stage, screen, and even an infamous stint as a talk show host, Grodin won awards all over the spectrum. He got his big-screen debut playing an unwitting obstetrician named Dr. Hill in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. In 1972, Grodin made the leap to leading man by playing Lenny Cantrow in Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid. This would be the role that would put Grodin on the map as a curmudgeonly everyman actor with range to spare.

In fact, if you want to treat yourself to some of Grodin's deadpan comedic bits, you should check out his "straight man" interviews with David Letterman from back in the day:

After contributing to such films as John Guillermin's King Kong (1976), Warren Beatty and Buck Henry's Heaven Can Wait, and Joel Schumacher's The Incredible Shrinking Woman, just to name a few, Grodin appeared as the suave villain Nicky Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper. This is my favorite role of Grodin's as his chemistry with his Muppet co-stars is pure magic that will last for generations to come.

In 1988, Grodin landed one of his most memorable roles to date standing opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Brest's Midnight Run. The film served as yet another example of Grodin's comedic genius and was both a critical and commercial success.

In an effort to not spend all his energy on the silver screen, Grodin expanded his reach beyond acting roles to book writing, guesting, and, briefly, hosting his own CNBC talk show. He even delved into the political commentary racket as a commentator for 60 Minutes II. The reaction to Grodin's no-nonsense delivery was so well-received that it cemented him as a highlight on the late-night community.

Grodin is survived by his wife of 38 years, author Elissa Durwood Grodin, their son Nicholas, daughter-in-law Aubrey and granddaughter Geneva, and daughter Marion by a previous marriage.

If you'd care to pay your respects to the late actor, the family suggests making a donation to The Innocence Project, an organization founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, which exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

We'd like to extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Grodin's family, friends, and fans. He will be sorely missed. Rest well, good sir.

Source: The New York Times

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.