Grodon, Charles Sidney

Grodon, Charles Sidney, 1935-2021, American film actor, writer, and director, b. Pittsburgh, Pa. Grodon briefly attended the Univ. of Miami and then began acting at the Pittsburgh Playhouse for 18 months before moving to New York. From 1956-59 he studied with noted acting teacher Uta Hagen. He found a few roles on stage and TV before making his Broadway debut in 1962 in Tchin-Tchin. He made his directing debut on Broadway in 1968 with Lovers and Other Strangers. He was passed up for the lead role in Mike Nichols ’s The Graduate, but landed the lead in Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid (1972), establishing him as a comedic film star. In 1975, he costarred with Ellen Burstyn in the Broadway hit Same Time, Next Year. He continued to appear in films, including Heaven Can Wait (1978) and perhaps his best-known role along with Robert DeNiro in the comic action film, Midnight Run (1988). He found mass popularity in the family friendly comedies Beethoven (1992; Beethoven 2nd, 1994) playing the distraught father of a family dealing with a new pet. He was a regular on TV talk shows, and in the mid-‘90s, became a cable news commentator. He returned as an actor in the early 2010s, appearing on the comedy series Louie starring Louis C.K. He also wrote plays and screenplays along with several books combining memoir and commentary on contemporary life.

See his It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here: My Journey Through Show Business (1989); We’re Ready for You, Mr. Grodin: Behind the Scenes at Talk Shows, Movies and Elsewhere (1994)

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Film and Television: Biographies