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Walter Matthau (1920–2000)


Born Walter Matthow on October 1, 1920, to a pair of Russian Jewish immigrants in New York City, Matthau grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side. He started out selling soft drinks and playing bit parts at a Yiddish theater troupe at age 11. He was paid 50 cents for each of his occasional on-stage appearances. His father, a peddler from Kiev, ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Filmography

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 1997 Out to Sea
Charlie Gordon
 1996 I'm Not Rappaport
Nat Moyer
 1991 JFK
Senator Long
 1988 Il piccolo diavolo
Maurice
 1988 The Couch Trip
Donald Becker
 1985 Movers & Shakers
Joe Mulholland
 1983 The Survivors
Sonny Paluso
 1982 I Ought to Be in Pictures
Herbert Tucker
 1981 First Monday in October
Dan Snow
 1978 Casey's Shadow
Lloyd Bourdelle
 1978 House Calls
Dr. Charley Nichols
 1974 Earthquake
Drunk (as Walter Matuschanskayasky)
 1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Police Lt. Zachary Garber
 1972 Pete 'n' Tillie
Pete
 1971 Plaza Suite
Roy Hubley / Jesse Kiplinger / Sam Nash
 1971 A New Leaf
Henry Graham
 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 Goodbye Charlie
Sir Leopold Sartori
 1963 Island of Love
Tony Dallas
 1962 Who's Got the Action?
Tony Gagouts
 1962 Lonely Are the Brave
Sheriff Morey Johnson
 1960 Strangers When We Meet
Felix Anders
 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
 1957 Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Al Dahlke
 1957 A Face in the Crowd
Mel Miller
 1956 Bigger Than Life
Wally Gibbs
 1955 The Indian Fighter
Wes Todd
 1955 The Kentuckian
Stan Bodine
Show Show Actor: TV (43 credits)
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Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (2 credits)
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Show Show Thanks: Movie (3 credits)
Show Show Thanks: TV (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (88 credits)
Show Show Self: Movie (8 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (23 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Active on Broadway in the following productions: 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' 3" (1.91 m)
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Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I think doing comedy is more difficult ... than doing noncomedic or tragic or whatever you want to call it. "Because it's difficult to make all kinds of different audiences understand what you're doing, and moving you to laughter. See more »

Trivia:

After filming Grumpy Old Men (1993) in 1993 in freezing weather in Minnesota, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia. See more »

Trademark:

Craggy, hangdog face 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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