Walter Matthau Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Walter Matthau

Birthday :

October 1, 1920

Died On :

July 1, 2000

Birth Place :

New York City, New York, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Walter Matthau was widely known as a television actor in the American field. He rose to fame for his impeccable stance in a theater. This made him earn several awards including the Golden Globe Award. From his tender age, Walter got interested in movies and shows. He passed through the test of times which made him tackle difficult battles that life provides. Walter’s personality was one of a kind. His deep voice and keen timing defined his character. He came to partner with Jack Lemmon where he appeared in more than eight films. Matthau’s state of health during the 70s allowed him to achieve the impossible. He continued to fathom till his demise.

Childhood And Early Life

On 1st October 1920 Walter Matthau was born in New York, the United States to an electrician, Milton Matthew, and Rose. Walter had an elder sibling called Henry. He joined Seward High School where he later went to work as a cashier in his local town. In the process, he acceded to the Tranquility Camp where he showcased his acting skills.



After high school, Walter Matthau served as gymnasium instructor under Works Progress Administration in Montana. He then joined the US Army in the course of World War II where he worked as a radio cryptographer in Britain. He was then ranked as a staff sergeant where he was honored with six battles stars. Afterward, Walter teamed up with New School for Social Research Dramatic Workshop. His started his acting career in 1946 when he appeared in Anne of the Thousand Days film.

From 1950 to 1958 Matthau appeared on plays liked The Liar, One Brought Day, The Burning Glass and a Face in The Crowd. He was honored for acting and directing in the Gagster story film in 1959.He continued to showcase his skill in theaters. During this time he played Once More, With Feeling, The Odd Couple and A Shot in the Dark lies. In the middle of 1960s, Walter appeared in a sitcom film called Goodbye Charlie as well as thriller called Mirage in 1965.
Walter Matthau’s deep voice made him take a role of a leading actor in movies like Cactus Flower, Plaza Suite, and I Ought to be In Picture among others. He followed it up with sitcom dramas such as The Bad Nest Bears, The Front Page, and The Sunshine Boys. He was also part of the Dennis the Menace and The Grass Harp films of the 1990s.During his term, he managed to appear in several documentaries such as The Life of Hank Greenberg and The Gentleman Tramp.


Walter’s Major Works And Recognitions

Walter Matthau was recognized for films like The Fortune Cookie in 1966, The Odd Couple in 1965, A Shot in the Dark in 1961 as well as Charley Varrick that he appeared in 1973.In I962 and 65 he received Tony Award for the Odd Couple and shot in the Dark film. He was also awarded an Academy Award in 1966 for The Fortune Cookie film. Others awards like BAFTA and Golden Globe Award followed.


Personal Life And Legacy

Walter Matthau married Grace Johnson in 1948.The Couple was blessed with two children: David and Jenny. They then parted ways in 1958.The following year he married Carol Marcus with whom they had a son called Walter Matthau who followed his father’s footsteps. Besides his acting career, Walter was known for his heavy drinking and smoking. He battled with heart problems where was forced to go through heart surgery. He recovered, but after a while, he suffered from pneumonia complications. Walter Matthau died on 1st July 2000 at 79 years of age.

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