|Date of Birth||1 October 1920, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA|
|Date of Death||1 July 2000, Santa Monica, California, USA (heart attack)|
|Birth Name||Walter Jake Matthow|
|Height||6' 2½" (1.89 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
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 Yiddish theater troupe at age 11. He was paid 50 cents for each of his occasional on-stage appearances. His father left home when he was three years old. He lived with his older brother, Henry, and their mother, on the Lower East Side of New York. After graduating from Seward Park High School during the Depression, he took government jobs as a forest ranger in Montana, a gym instructor for the Works Progress Administration, and a boxing coach for policemen. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio cryptographer in a heavy bomber unit in Europe and returned home a sergeant with six battle stars.
In 1948, his first Broadway role was when he was hired as an understudy for the role of an 83 year old English bishop in 'Anne of the Thousand Days' starring Rex Harrison. His fame came with The Fortune Cookie (1966) and The Odd Couple (1968). While making the former, he suffered a serious heart attack. This was due to heavy smoking and chronic gambling. Matthau immediately quit smoking and began a life-long regime of walking 2-5 miles per day.
Matthau's acting career continued to flourish for the next 30 years with him playing memorable lead and supporting characters in both dramatic and comic films, several of them alongside Jack Lemmon. Unbeknownst to his fans, Matthau continued to battle heart disease and was later diagnosed with two forms of cancer. In 1976, he had heart bypass surgery. In 1993, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia. In 1995, he had a benign colon tumor removed. In 1999, he was hospitalized again for pneumonia where he was diagnosed again with cancer. Walter Matthau died on July 1, 2000, at age 79.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sid Dithers <email@example.com>
|Carol Grace||(21 August 1959 - 1 July 2000) (his death) (1 child)|
|Grace Geraldine Johnson||(1948 - 1958) (divorced) (2 children)|
Trade Mark (6)
Personal Quotes (14)
|Gangster Story (1959)||$2,500|
|The Odd Couple (1968)||$300,000|
|Candy (1968)||$50,000 plus points|
|The Bad News Bears (1976)||$800,000|