Charles Grodin, Star Of Beethoven And The Heartbreak Kid, Dies Aged 86

by : Julia Banim on : 19 May 2021 07:35
Charles Grodin, Star Of Midnight Run And The Heartbreak Kid, Dies Aged 86PA Images/Universal Pictures

Charles Grodin, who starred in movies such as Midnight Run and The Heartbreak Kid, has died at the age of 86.

Grodin passed away at his home in Wilton, Connecticut on Tuesday, May 18. His son, Nicholas, told The New York Times he had died from bone marrow cancer.


Grodin was known for his deadpan humour, which saw him play a number of grumpy characters. Most famously, he played George in Beethoven (1992), the short-tempered dad who finds his world turned upside down by an enormous, chaotic St. Bernard dog.

Grodin was born in Pittsburgh in 1935 to a wholesale dry goods seller father who died when the actor was just 18.


After studying at the University of Miami and the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Grodin moved to New York where he worked as a taxi driver and postal clerk to support his acting studies.

He appeared in the movie Catch-22 in 1970, but it was his role in The Heartbreak Kid (1972) that elevated him to fame, a film widely regarded to be one of the funniest in Hollywood history.

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Tributes have poured in for Grodin following the news of his death, with fellow actor Steve Martin describing him as ‘one of the funniest people I ever met’.

Comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted:

I loved Charles Grodin so much. He would bust my balls and give me so much sh*t in a way that left me no choice but to giggle with glee. Never mean spirited, just quick and brilliant.

Grodin leaves behind his wife, author Elissa Durwood Grodin, and their two children, Marion and Nicholas.


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

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