skip navigation
Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (6)



Also Known As: Died: July 1, 2000
Born: October 1, 1920 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ...
RATE AND COMMENT

MILESTONES

1931:
Professional stage debut at age 11 in "The Dishwasher", a musical comedy (date approximate)
:
Played bit parts in local Yiddish theater productions as child
1942:
Served in US Army Air Force as radio operator and cryptographer; stationed in England, France and Germany
1945:
Upon Army discharge went to Reno, Nevada, to work for Railway Express; eventually moved back to NYC
1946:
Appeared in summer stock with Erie County Playhouse (Pennsylvania) in "Ten Nights in a Bar Room"
1947:
Was stock player with Orange County Playhouse (New York)
1948:
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
1950:
TV debut in "Last Cruise", an episode of "Studio One" (CBS)
1953:
Played Iago in "Philco Television Playhouse" (NBC) presentation of "Othello"
1955:
Film acting debut as an evil saloon keeper in "The Kentuckian", directed by and co-starring Burt Lancaster
1955:
Appeared in first hit show, as co-star of Broadway production of "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?"
1956:
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
1957:
Played a cynical newsman investigating Andy Griffith's character in "A Face in the Crowd"
1957:
Starred in short-lived syndicated TV series, "Tallahassee 7000"
1958:
Portrayed evil crime boss in Michael Curtiz's "King Creole", starring Elvis Presley
1959:
Sole film as director, "The Gangster Story"; also co-starred
1963:
Turned in another fine, villainous turn in Stanley Donen's "Charade", starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn
1965:
Originated role of Oscar Madison on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" opposite Art Carney as Felix Unger
1965:
Slowed down by a serious heart attack; would have a quadruple by-pass operation in 1977
1966:
First film with Jack Lemmon and first collaboration with writer-director Billy Wilder, "The Fortune Cookie"; won Best Supporting Actor Oscar
1967:
Reteamed with Carney in Gene Kelly's "A Guide for the Married Man"
1968:
Reprised "Odd Couple" role opposite Lemmon's Felix in film version directed by Gene Saks
1969:
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)
1969:
Played romantic lead in Kelly's film version of the musical "Hello, Dolly!"; Barbra Streisand played Dolly Levi
1971:
Starred as "Kotch", directed by Lemmon; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Actor
1971:
Portrayed "gold digger" with murder on his mind in Elaine May's "A New Leaf"
1971:
Second film version of a Neil Simon play, "Plaza Suite"
1972:
Acted opposite Carol Burnett in Martin Ritt's "Pete 'n' Tillie"
1972:
Made rare TV appearance in "Awake and Sing" (PBS)
1974:
Reunited with Wilder, Lemmon and Burnett for the uneven remake of "The Front Page"
1974:
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
1974:
First stage appearance in almost a decade (and to date last stage role), "Juno and the Paycock" in Los Angeles
1975:
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
1976:
Made a fine, irascible coach of "The Bad News Bears", directed by Michael Ritchie
1978:
Reteamed with Ross, Simon and Elaine May on "California Suite"
1978:
"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"
1980:
Executive produced and starred in Walter Bernstein's remake of "Little Miss Marker"
1980:
Reteamed with Jackson on "Hopscotch"
1981:
Third and last collaboration with Wilder, "Buddy Buddy", co-starring Lemmon
1981:
Reunited with Ross and Simon for "I Ought to be in Pictures"; first film with Ann-Margret
1983:
Reteamed with Ritchie on "The Survivors", co-starring Robin Williams
1986:
Played peg-leg Captain Red in Roman Polanski's "Pirates"
1988:
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)
1990:
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
1991:
Acted in "Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love" (CBS), directed by son Charles Matthau
1993:
Portrayed the original grumpy old man, Mr. Wilson, in feature version of "Dennis the Menace"
1993:
Co-starred with Jack Lemmon in "Grumpy Old Men", which reteamed him with Ann-Margret
1994:
Essayed Albert Einstein for Fred Schepisi's "I.Q.", which reteamed him with Gene Saks playing one of his cronies
1995:
Reprised role opposite Lemmon in sequel, "Grumpier Old Men", which again featured Ann-Margret; also co-starred Sophia Loren
1995:
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
1996:
Played angry, aging Jewish radical in Herb Gardner's film version of his play "I'm Not Rappaport"; co-starred Ossie Davis
1997:
Twelfth acting collaboration with Lemmon, "Out to Sea"
1998:
Reprised role of Oscar to Lemmon's Felix in the ill-advised "The Odd Couple II", scripted by Simon
1998:
Starred opposite Burnett in "The Marriage Fool" (CBS), directed by son Charles
2000:
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

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute