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Actor Charles Grodin, whose comedic work graced TV, movies and Broadway, has died of bone marrow cancer. He was 86.
Grodin’s son Nicholas confirmed the news to the Times, saying he passed away in his home in Wilton, Connecticut.
A master of deadpan, Grodin starred in movies such as “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Midnight Run” and “Beethoven,” as well as the Broadway show “Same Time, Next Year.” Throughout the ’90s, he was a familiar face on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Though he never won an Emmy for those performances, he did nab one for his writing work: In 1978, he won an Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Varlety or Music Special Emmy for his work on “The Paul Simon Special,” which aired on NBC.
Grodin landed on the acting scene in 1962 with the Broadway comedy “Tchin-Tchin,” followed by a role in “Absence of a Cello” in 1964 and his breakthrough appearance in “Same Time, Next Year,” opposite Ellen Burstyn. Then, it was onto Hollywood, where he became a household name for his roles in director Mike Nichols’ “Catch-22” in 1970, followed by Neil Simon’s “The Heartbreak Kid” opposite Cybill Shepherd in 1972 and 1978’s “Heaven Can Wait” with Warren Beatty.
In 1992, he played the father role in the family comedy “Beethoven” as well as the sequel a year later.
In 2010, Grodin — who also was a political commentator and former CNBC talk show host — sent a letter to a federal judge regarding the sentencing of former New York Senate leader Joseph Bruno, who was convicted on two fraud counts. He pushed for clemency for the politico, who himself reportedly was helpful in getting clemency for four inmates in the mid-1990s.
In 2013 the veteran actor spoke to The Post about one of his last high-profile acting roles, playing the father of the star of “The Michael J. Fox Show” on NBC.
“The most striking part is that I had never met Michael J. Fox until now,” Grodin told The Post. ” I was certainly aware of him and he’s really quite inspiring. These are very long days [shooting the show] — and I’m healthy it seems to me — and then I look at this guy and it’s amazing.
“The best moment was at the end of our 14-hour day,” he said. “As we said goodbye, I said to Michael, ‘The next time we’re in a scene together, give me a couple of takes without doing the Parkinson’s thing,’ and the fact that he laughed — I took a chance with that — is quite something.”
Stars including Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron and Billy Eichner quickly took to Twitter to pay homage to the performer and writer they considered a legend.
“God I loved him,” Eichner tweeted.
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