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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 garment sweatshop, and a Russian Jewish father, Milton Matthow, a peddler and electrician from Kiev. Matthau grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side. He started out selling soft drinks and playing bit parts at a ... See full bio »

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

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

Known For

Filmography

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Hide Hide Show Show Actor: Movie (60 credits)
 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
 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
 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
 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
 1956 Bigger Than Life
Wally Gibbs
 1955 The Indian Fighter
Wes Todd
 1955 The Kentuckian
Stan Bodine
Show Show Actor: TV (43 credits)
Show Show Actor: Video (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack: TV (4 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (2 credits)
Show Show Director: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Producer: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks: Movie (3 credits)
Show Show Thanks: TV (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (91 credits)
Show Show Self: Movie (8 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (25 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: The Wisteria Trees. Drama (revival). Written by Joshua Logan. Based on the "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov. Music Selected and Arranged by Max Marlin. Scenic Design by Herbert Gahagan. Costume Design by Lucinda Ballard. General Costume Director: Grace Houston. Lighting Design by Feder. Directed by John Stix. City Center: ... 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)
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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:

While making a TV series in Florida before his movie stardom, he lost $183,000 betting on spring-training baseball games. See more »

Trademark:

Deadpan voice 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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