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Walter Matthau

Born Oct 1, 1920

Walter Matthau was an American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and his frequent collaborations with Odd Couple star Jack Lemmon, as well as his role as Coach Buttermaker in the 1976 comedy The Bad News Bears. He won an Academy Award for his performance in the 1966 Billy Wilder film The Fortune Cookie.… Read More

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1920 Birth Matthau was born Walter John Matthow on October 1, 1920, in New York City's Lower East Side, His mother, Rose (née Berolsky), was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant who worked in a garment sweatshop, and his father, Milton Matthow, was a Russian Jewish peddler and electrician, from Kiev. … Read More


1948 27 Years Old Matthau was married twice; first to Grace Geraldine Johnson from 1948 to 1958, and then from 1959 until his death in 2000 to Carol Marcus. … Read More


1952 31 Years Old In 1952, Matthau appeared in the pilot of Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox. … Read More
1955 34 Years Old In 1955, he made his motion picture debut as a whip-wielding bad guy in The Kentuckian opposite Burt Lancaster.
1958 37 Years Old Matthau appeared as a villain in subsequent movies, such as 1958's King Creole (in which he is beaten up by Elvis Presley). … Read More
1960 39 Years Old Matthau also directed a low-budget 1960 movie called The Gangster Story.


1962 41 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1962, he was a sympathetic sheriff in Lonely are the Brave, which starred Kirk Douglas. … Read More
1964 43 Years Old Comedies were rare in Matthau's work at that time. He was cast in a number of stark dramas, such as 1964's Fail-Safe, in which he portrayed Pentagon adviser Dr. Groeteschele, who urges an all-out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in response to an accidental transmission of an attack signal to U.S. Air Force bombers, in the tense and timely cold-war thriller.
1965 44 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1965, however, a plum comedy role came Matthau's way when Neil Simon cast him in the hit play The Odd Couple, playing the slovenly sportswriter Oscar Madison, opposite Art Carney as Felix Ungar. … Read More
1966 45 Years Old 1 More Event
He achieved great film success in a 1966 comedy as a shyster lawyer called William H. "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich starring opposite Lemmon in The Fortune Cookie, the first of numerous collaborations with Billy Wilder, and a role that would earn him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. … Read More


1971 50 Years Old 1 More Event
Oscar nominations would come Matthau's way again for 1971's Kotch, directed by Lemmon, and 1975's The Sunshine Boys, another Simon vehicle transferred from the stage, this one about a pair of former vaudeville stars. … Read More
1976 55 Years Old 1 More Event
A change of pace about misfits on a Little League baseball team turned-out to be a solid hit in 1976, when Matthau starred as coach Morris Buttermaker in the comedy The Bad News Bears


1982 61 Years Old In 1982, Matthau portrayed Herbert Tucker in I Ought to Be in Pictures, with Ann-Margret and Dinah Manoff, the daughter of Matthau's Plaza Suite co-star, Lee Grant. … Read More
1991 70 Years Old Apart from their many comedies, the two appeared (though not together) in the 1991 Oliver Stone drama about the presidential assassination, JFK.
1992 71 Years Old In 1992, he played the narrator in Doctor Seuss Video Classics: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Matthau played the role of Mr. Wilson in the 1993 movie Dennis the Menace.
1995 74 Years Old In December 1995 he had a colon tumor removed; it tested benign.
1999 78 Years Old 1 More Event
He was also hospitalized in May 1999 for more than two months after another bout of pneumonia.
2000 79 Years Old 1 More Event
Hanging Up, a 2000 film directed by Diane Keaton, was Matthau's final appearance onscreen.
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Matthau.
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