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Walter Matthau (1920–2000)


Matthau was born Walter Matthow on October 1, 1920 in New York City, to a Lithuanian Jewish mother, Rose (Berolsky), who worked in a sweatshop, and a Russian Jewish father, Milton Matthow, a peddler and electrician. Matthau grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side. He started out selling soft drinks and playing bit parts at a Yiddish theater ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actor (104 credits)
 1998 The Marriage Fool (TV Movie)
Frank Walsh
 1996 I'm Not Rappaport
Nat Moyer
 1992 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Video)
Narrator (voice)
 1991 JFK
Senator Long
 1991 Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love (TV Movie)
Clifford Pepperman
 1990 The Incident (TV Movie)
Harmon Cobb
 1988 Il piccolo diavolo
Maurice
 1988 The Couch Trip
Donald Becker
 1985 Movers & Shakers
Joe Mulholland
 1982 I Ought to Be in Pictures
Herbert Tucker
 1981 First Monday in October
Dan Snow
 1978 The Stingiest Man in Town (TV Movie)
Ebenezer Scrooge (voice)
 1978 Casey's Shadow
Lloyd Bourdelle
 1978 House Calls
Dr. Charley Nichols
 1978 Actor (TV Movie)
Boris Thomashevsky
 1977 Insight (TV Series)
Adam
- The Side of Eden (1977) ... Adam
 1974 Earthquake
Drunk (as Walter Matuschanskayasky)
 1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Police Lt. Zachary Garber
 1972 Pete 'n' Tillie
Pete
 1972 Awake and Sing (TV Movie)
Moe Axelrod
 1971 Plaza Suite
Roy Hubley / Jesse Kiplinger / Sam Nash
 1968 Candy
Gen. R.A. Smight
 1968 The Secret Life of an American Wife
The Movie Star
 1967 A Guide for the Married Man
Paul Manning
 1964-1965 Profiles in Courage (TV Series)
Andrew Johnson / Gov. John Slaton
- Governor John M. Slaton (1964) ... Gov. John Slaton
 1964 Goodbye Charlie
Sir Leopold Sartori
 1964 Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
Franklin Gaer
- Man Is a Rock (1964) ... Franklin Gaer
 1964 The Rogues (TV Series)
Aram Rodesko
- The Personal Touch (1964) ... Aram Rodesko
 1962-1964 The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Series)
Narrator / Tony Maruzella / Harley Downing / ...
- Jeremy Rabbitt - The Secret Avenger (1964) ... Tony Maruzella
- The Takers (1963) ... Harley Downing
- A Dozen Deadly Roses (1963) ... Martin Pitt
- San Francisco Detective (1963) ... Narrator
- Prisoner at Large (1963) ... Narrator
 1964 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (TV Series)
Tom Gregory
- White Snow, Red Ice (1964) ... Tom Gregory
 1963 Island of Love
Tony Dallas
 1963 The Eleventh Hour (TV Series)
Charles Thatcher
- A Tumble from a High White House (1963) ... Charles Thatcher
 1960-1962 Naked City (TV Series)
Dr. Max Lewine / Peter Kanopolis
- Don't Knock It Till You've Tried It (1962) ... Dr. Max Lewine
- The Man Who Bit a Diamond in Half (1960) ... Peter Kanopolis
 1962 Who's Got the Action?
Tony Gagouts
 1962 Lonely Are the Brave
Sheriff Morey Johnson
 1956-1962 General Electric Theater (TV Series)
Tom Dutton
- Acres and Pains (1962) ... Tom Dutton
- Reflected Glory (1956)
 1961-1962 Target: The Corruptors (TV Series)
Michael Callahan / Martin 'Books' Kramer
- One for the Road (1962) ... Michael Callahan
- The Million Dollar Dump (1961) ... Martin 'Books' Kramer
 1958-1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV Series)
Phil / Harry Wade / Moran / ...
- Cop for a Day (1961) ... Phil
- A Very Moral Theft (1960) ... Harry Wade
- Dry Run (1959) ... Moran
- The Crooked Road (1958) ... Off. Pete Chandler
 1961 Route 66 (TV Series)
Sam Keep
- Eleven, the Hard Way (1961) ... Sam Keep
 1960 Strangers When We Meet
Felix Anders
 1960 Juno and the Paycock (TV Movie)
 1959 Gangster Story
Jack Martin
 1958 Onionhead
'Red' Wildoe
 1958 Ride a Crooked Trail
Judge Kyle
 1958 Voice in the Mirror
Dr. Leon Karnes
 1958 King Creole
Maxie Fields
 1952-1958 Kraft Theatre (TV Series)
Harry
- Code of the Corner (1958) ... Harry
 1957 Climax! (TV Series)
Charlie Mapes
- To Walk the Night (1957) ... Charlie Mapes
 1957 Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Al Dahlke
 1956-1957 The Alcoa Hour (TV Series)
George Barry / Bill Egan
- The Trouble with Women (1957) ... George Barry
- The Big Vote (1956) ... Bill Egan
 1954-1957 The United States Steel Hour (TV Series)
Gordon Wagner
- Victim (1957)
- Late Date (1954) ... Gordon Wagner
 1952-1957 Goodyear Playhouse (TV Series)
Julian / Major Hunter
- The Legacy (1957) ... Julian
- A Will to Live (1957)
- Flight Report (1954)
- Hollywood Tandem (1953)
 1957 A Face in the Crowd
Mel Miller
 1956 Bigger Than Life
Wally Gibbs
 1955 The Indian Fighter
Wes Todd
 1955 Justice (TV Series)
- Booby Trap (1955)
 1955 The Kentuckian
Stan Bodine
 1954-1955 Robert Montgomery Presents (TV Series)
The Bartender
- The Lost Weekend (1955) ... The Bartender
- Dr. Ed (1954)
 1952-1955 The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse (TV Series)
Stuart Benson / Iago
- Adapt or Die (1954) ... Stuart Benson
- Othello (1953) ... Iago
- The Cipher (1953)
 1952-1954 Armstrong Circle Theatre (TV Series)
Corliss Price
- Hit a Blue Note (1954)
- The Straight and Narrow (1953) ... Corliss Price
- The Darkroom (1952)
 1954 Ponds Theater (TV Series)
- Nothing Personal (1954)
 1954 Center Stage (TV Series)
- The Human Touch (1954)
 1954 The Motorola Television Hour (TV Series)
Dr. Spinelli
- Atomic Attack (1954) ... Dr. Spinelli
 1952-1954 Danger (TV Series)
- A Buck Is a Buck (1952)
 1950-1953 Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series)
Jacobs
- Dry Run (1953)
- The Last Cruise (1950) ... Jacobs
 1953 Campbell Summer Soundstage (TV Series)
 1953 Suspense (TV Series)
Lawrence Stevens
- F.O.B. Vienna (1953) ... Lawrence Stevens
 1952 Mister Peepers (TV Series)
Coach Burr
- Unaired Pilot ... Coach Burr (uncredited)
 1950-1952 Lux Video Theatre (TV Series)
Extra / Intermission Guest / Craig / ...
- Man at Bay (1952) ... Intermission Guest
- For Goodness Sake (1952) ... Extra (uncredited)
- Cafe Ami (1951) ... Craig
- The Speech (1951) ... Extra (uncredited)
- Manhattan Pastorale (1951) ... Inspector
 1951 Shadow of the Cloak (TV Series)
Show Show Soundtrack (6 credits)
Show Show Director (1 credit)
Show Show Producer (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (4 credits)
Show Show Self (97 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (25 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: The Burning Glass. Drama. See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Print Biography | 1 Portrayal | 1 Interview | 11 Articles | 3 Pictorials | See more »


Alternate Names:

Mr. Walter Matthau | Walter Matuschanskayasky

Height:

6' 2½" (1.89 m)
Edit

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[1984 remark on Barbra Streisand] The most extraordinary ... er ... uninteresting person I have ever met. I just found her to be a terrible bore ... She was doing something and asked the director if I wouldn't mind saying my lines in a certain way. I think I said something to her like, "I was acting before you were born, so please don't tell me how to act." And she said, in her own inimitable way... See more »

Trivia:

Once claimed that his wife's name was Carol Wellington-Smythe Marcus, just to give it a more "aristocratic" sound. See more »

Trademark:

Slouching posture See more »

Nickname:

Jake

Star Sign:

Libra

Message Boards

Recent Posts
All time Funniest Walter Matthau Lines.... pinkywafer
looking for movie recommendations LC03
Did I just see Walter Matthau in a bit part in 'Some Like It Hot'? mswatlanta
was The Sunshine Boys aimed at an older audience w-thomson
Nixon? nostalgic_nonconformist
Favorite Matthau Moment janetdesapio
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