Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau

Dan Castellaneta has said that his original voice for Homer Simpson was simply an impression of Matthau.

According to son Charlie, Walter's real name was Walter Matthow, but changed it to Walter Matuschanskayasky to sound more exotic.

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

Appeared in Ensign Pulver (1964), the sequel to Mister Roberts (1955), for which his friend Jack Lemmon won an Oscar.

Big break came when understudying the actor who played the Archbishop in "Anne Of The Thousand Days," starring Rex Harrison.



Brought to the St. John's Health Center after suffering a heart attack by ambulance and was pronounced dead shortly afterward at 1:42 a.m.

Buried at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park. Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Natalie Wood, Donna Reed, among other stars are buried at this cemetery.

Dealt with a gambling addiction his entire adult life.

During the filming of Hello, Dolly! (1969), he clashed with Barbra Streisand and disliked her so intensely that he refused to be around her except when required to do so by the script. He is famously quoted as telling Streisand that she "had no more talent than a butterfly's fart." Interestingly, he is clearly seen in the audience at the One Voice (1986) (TV) concert at her Malibu ranch, where invitation-only guests had the privilege of paying $5,000 per couple to help establish the Streisand Foundation, which supports numerous charitable organizations. Apparently, he did not hold grudges.

Father of David Matthau, and Charles Matthau.

Had one sibling, an older brother named Henry Matthow, (born July 14, 1918. Died May 21, 1995), in Long Beach, NY. His Mother, Rose Matthow, was born December 15, 1894, and died in Pacific Palisades, CA, in January 1979.

He and Jack Lemmon acted together in 9 movies: Buddy Buddy (1981), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Front Page (1974), The Grass Harp (1995), Grumpier Old Men (1995), Grumpy Old Men (1993), The Odd Couple II (1998), The Odd Couple (1968) and Out to Sea (1997). Lemmon also directed Matthau in Kotch (1971). Lemmon and Matthau also both appeared in JFK (1991), but had no scenes together.

He hated to be identified as a comedic actor.

He once claimed that his father was an Orthodox priest in the Czarist Russia, who was removed after he claimed that the Pope was infallible.

He once estimated his lifetime gambling losses at $5 million.

Once claimed that his wife's name was Carol Wellington-Smythe Marcus, just to give it a more "aristocratic" sound.

People were never sure if he was joking or saying things seriously, either on-screen or off-screen.

Played Albert Einstein in the film I.Q. (1994) even though he was a half-foot taller than the famous scientist.

Reports are that he made up "Matuschanskayasky" as a joke and that his real "real" name is Matthow. The existence of Michelle Matthow would seem to confirm this...

Screen-tested for the part of Richard Sherman in The Seven Year Itch (1955). After seeing his test, director Billy Wilder believed he had found his leading man. Unfortunately, executives at 20th Century Fox were unwilling to take a risk on an unknown newcomer. Because of this, the role went to Tom Ewell, who had originated the role on Broadway.

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