Charles Grodin: “Beethoven” and “The Heartbreak Kid” actor dies aged 86

American actor Charles Grodin, whose comic roles in films such as Midnight Run and Beethoven brought smiles to faces for decades, has died at 86.

Grodin died at his home in Wilton, Connecticut on Tuesday, the New York Times newspaper reported.

The actor’s son, Nicholas, told the newspaper his cause of death was bone marrow cancer.

Known for his dry wit, the BBC reports that Grodin was a familiar face in Hollywood comedies and prime-time talk shows in the US.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Grodin dropped his studies at the University of Miami to launch a career in acting.

It was a decision that paid off in the 1960s, when he started to land parts in plays on Broadway, including his debut in a production of Tchin-Tchin, which starred Anthony Quinn.

He soon moved to TV and film, building his profile with a small role in Rosemary’s Baby, a 1968 psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski. But the 1970s was the decade Grodin’s career really took off. A series of roles in films including Catch-22 in 1970 and The Heartbreak Kid in 1972 cemented his status as one of Hollywood’s go-to comedy actors.

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