Professional stage debut at age 11 in "The Dishwasher", a musical comedy (date approximate)
Played bit parts in local Yiddish theater productions as child
Served in US Army Air Force as radio operator and cryptographer; stationed in England, France and Germany
Upon Army discharge went to Reno, Nevada, to work for Railway Express; eventually moved back to NYC
Appeared in summer stock with Erie County Playhouse (Pennsylvania) in "Ten Nights in a Bar Room"
Was stock player with Orange County Playhouse (New York)
Hired as an understudy for the Broadway production of "Anne of the Thousand Days"; eventually made Broadway debut as the 85-year-old Bishop Fisher
Appeared in 18 plays on Broadway
TV debut in "Last Cruise", an episode of "Studio One" (CBS)
Played Iago in "Philco Television Playhouse" (NBC) presentation of "Othello"
Film acting debut as an evil saloon keeper in "The Kentuckian", directed by and co-starring Burt Lancaster
Appeared in first hit show, as co-star of Broadway production of "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?"
Played James Mason's family friend in the underrated "Bigger Than Life", a forceful, realistic tale exposing both the good and bad of the wonder drug cortisone; produced by Mason
Played a cynical newsman investigating Andy Griffith's character in "A Face in the Crowd"
Starred in short-lived syndicated TV series, "Tallahassee 7000"
Portrayed evil crime boss in Michael Curtiz's "King Creole", starring Elvis Presley
Sole film as director, "The Gangster Story"; also co-starred
Turned in another fine, villainous turn in Stanley Donen's "Charade", starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn
Originated role of Oscar Madison on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" opposite Art Carney as Felix Unger
Slowed down by a serious heart attack; would have a quadruple by-pass operation in 1977
First film with Jack Lemmon and first collaboration with writer-director Billy Wilder, "The Fortune Cookie"; won Best Supporting Actor Oscar
Reteamed with Carney in Gene Kelly's "A Guide for the Married Man"
Reprised "Odd Couple" role opposite Lemmon's Felix in film version directed by Gene Saks
Reteamed with Saks for "Cactus Flower", acting opposite Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in her first significant film role)
Played romantic lead in Kelly's film version of the musical "Hello, Dolly!"; Barbra Streisand played Dolly Levi
Starred as "Kotch", directed by Lemmon; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Actor
Portrayed "gold digger" with murder on his mind in Elaine May's "A New Leaf"
Second film version of a Neil Simon play, "Plaza Suite"
Acted opposite Carol Burnett in Martin Ritt's "Pete 'n' Tillie"
Made rare TV appearance in "Awake and Sing" (PBS)
Reunited with Wilder, Lemmon and Burnett for the uneven remake of "The Front Page"
Billed as Walter Matuschanskavasky for his cameo in "Earthquake", adding fuel to a flame he had fanned by jokingly telling a writer a few years before that it was his "real" name
First stage appearance in almost a decade (and to date last stage role), "Juno and the Paycock" in Los Angeles
First of three films directed by Herbert Ross and scripted by Simon from his plays, "The Sunshine Boys", co-starring George Burns; earned another Oscar nod as Best Actor
Made a fine, irascible coach of "The Bad News Bears", directed by Michael Ritchie
Reteamed with Ross, Simon and Elaine May on "California Suite"
"House Calls", his first film with Glenda Jackson, teamed him again with Carney who offered an hysterical turn as the addle-brained head of surgery at Matthau's hospital; also acted in Ritt's "Casey's Shadow"
Executive produced and starred in Walter Bernstein's remake of "Little Miss Marker"
Reteamed with Jackson on "Hopscotch"
Third and last collaboration with Wilder, "Buddy Buddy", co-starring Lemmon
Reunited with Ross and Simon for "I Ought to be in Pictures"; first film with Ann-Margret
Reteamed with Ritchie on "The Survivors", co-starring Robin Williams
Played peg-leg Captain Red in Roman Polanski's "Pirates"
Again collaborated with Ritchie on "The Couch Trip"; also played a priest who exorcises the devil out of a woman in Roberto Begnini's "The Little Devil" (never released in USA)
Returned to the small screen as star of "The Incident" (CBS), directed by Joseph Sargent; appeared in two sequels, "Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore" (1992) and "Incident in a Small Town" (1994), both helmed by Delbert Mann
Acted in "Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love" (CBS), directed by son Charles Matthau
Portrayed the original grumpy old man, Mr. Wilson, in feature version of "Dennis the Menace"
Co-starred with Jack Lemmon in "Grumpy Old Men", which reteamed him with Ann-Margret
Essayed Albert Einstein for Fred Schepisi's "I.Q.", which reteamed him with Gene Saks playing one of his cronies
Reprised role opposite Lemmon in sequel, "Grumpier Old Men", which again featured Ann-Margret; also co-starred Sophia Loren
Reteamed with son, acting in Charles' sophomore feature as director, "The Grass Harp", based on the novel by Truman Capote; in addition to Lemmon, Roddy McDowell, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and Joe Don Baker acted in film
Played angry, aging Jewish radical in Herb Gardner's film version of his play "I'm Not Rappaport"; co-starred Ossie Davis
Twelfth acting collaboration with Lemmon, "Out to Sea"
Reprised role of Oscar to Lemmon's Felix in the ill-advised "The Odd Couple II", scripted by Simon
Starred opposite Burnett in "The Marriage Fool" (CBS), directed by son Charles
Cast as the ailing father in Diane Keaton's "Hanging Up", scripted by Delia and Nora Ephron; when a case of pneumonia forced him to leave the production early, son Charles stepped in and played his father's character in a few flashback scenes