CHARLES GRODIN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Charles Grodin                                                                           
Born: 21 April 1935 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.                                             
Charles Grodin (born April 21, 1935) is an Emmy Award-winning American actor,                 
comedian, and former cable talk show host.                                                     
Grodin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Orthodox Jewish American parents               
Lena (née Moretsky), who worked as an assistant in the family's store and was a               
volunteer for disabled veterans, and Theodore Grodin, who sold wholesale                       
supplies. His maternal grandfather, Emanuel Moretsky, was a Russian Jewish                     
immigrant who came from a long line of Rabbis and moved to Pittsburgh at the                   
turn of the 20th century. He has an older brother, Jack.                                       
Grodin attended the University of Miami, but did not graduate. His first acting               
role was in a 1962 Broadway production of Tchin-Tchin. He made his film debut in               
an uncredited role for Disney's 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In 1965,               
he began working as an assistant to director Gene Saks.                                       
Grodin, a student of Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen, began appearing on several                   
television series during the 1960s, and played an obstetrician in the 1968                     
horror film, Rosemary's Baby. During the late 1960s, he also co-wrote and                     
directed Hooray! It's a Glorious Day...and All That, a Broadway play, and                     
directed Lovers and Other Strangers and Thieves, also on Broadway.                             
After having a supporting role in 1970's comedy, Catch-22, Grodin was cast in                 
the lead role of the film The Heartbreak Kid, which was released in 1972 and                   
gained Grodin recognition as a comedy actor. He subsequently appeared in several               
notable 1970s films, including the 1976 version of King Kong and the hit 1978                 
comedy, Heaven Can Wait. During this period, he frequently appeared on Broadway,               
and was also involved in producing several plays, including Thieves, which he                 
also directed.                                                                                 
In 1977, Grodin hosted an episode of the NBC sketch show, Saturday Night Live.                 
He and the writers decided beforehand to play the show as if he had missed dress               
rehearsals and was clumsily ad-libbing his way through his sketches. Much like                 
Andy Kaufman before him, his comic scenario was taken a bit too literally by the               
audience, and he was never asked to host again. His 1980s roles included Neil                 
Simon's Seems Like Old Times, opposite Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, and 1988's                 
well-reviewed comedy, Midnight Run, a buddy movie co-starring Robert De Niro.                 
Grodin's career took a turn in 1992, when he played the nervous family man in                 
the kids' comedy Beethoven, opposite Bonnie Hunt. The film was a surprise box-office           
hit, and he reprised the role in the 1993 sequel. His next film role was in 1994's             
It Runs in the Family (a.k.a. My Summer Story), which received only a limited                 
release and was a sequel to the film A Christmas Story. After a 13-year long                   
hiatus from film, Grodin returned to acting in the Zach Braff comedy The Ex.                   
Grodin was a commentator for 60 Minutes II starting in 2000, and hosted his own               
issues-oriented talk show, The Charles Grodin Show, on CNBC from 1995 to 1998.                 
In 2004, Grodin wrote The Right Kind of People, an off-Broadway play about Co-op               
boards in certain buildings in Manhattan. Grodin's commentaries continue to be                 
heard on New York City radio station WCBS and other affiliates of the CBS Radio               
Network, as well as on the CBS Radio Network's Weekend Roundup He is also a best-selling       
author; his works include It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here, Spilled Milk               
and Other Clichés and How I Get Through Life. His new book, If I Only Knew Then...Learning   
from Our Mistakes was released in November 2007 by Springboard Press. It is a                 
collection of essays from his famous friends (and friends of friends), with all               
author proceeds going to the Help USA charity.