Charles Grodin, Beethoven and Midnight Run Star, Dies at 86

The entertainment world lost a comedy legend this week, as beloved actor Charles Grodin has passed away. Grodin was known best for his perfect comedic timing and deadpan delivery, which were both put to great use over the course of his long and illustrious career. According to Grodin's son, per the New York Times, the actor died of bone marrow cancer. He was 86 years old.

Quite a few younger movie fans know Grodin from his work in the Beethoven film series, where he played the patriarch of the Newton family in the first two movies. While those two films went on to become a staple in Grodin's filmography, his run in the '70s and '80s is what cemented him as a legend.

After already turning in several successful roles on the stage, Grodin went on to star in the 1972 comedy The Heartbreak Kid, from director Elaine May and writer Neil Simon. Grodin played a man who went on his honeymoon only to have second thoughts about his marriage and ultimately fall for another woman.

Four years later, Grodin appeared in King Kong alongside Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, but it wasn't until 1978 that the actor's next iconic role came to be. Grodin landed a supporting role in Warren Beatty's Heaven Can Wait, which has gone on to be one of his most acclaimed to-date.

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Perhaps the most popular of Grodin's films came in 1988. Grodin starred in Midnight Run Jonathan Mardukas, an accountant that is being chased by criminal organizations, bounty hunters, and the FBI after skipping out on bail. He teams up with Jack Walsh, played by Robert De Niro, to try and flee to stay safe. While De Niro was already one of the biggest names on the entire planet, the chemistry he shared with Grodin is what many attributed to the film's success.

The final role of Grodin's career came in the film An Imperfect Murder, which was released in 2017.