Walter Matthau

  • Birth Name: Walter John Matthow
  • Birth Place: New York, New York, United States
  • Died: July 1, 2000
  • Profession: Actor
Watchlist Added
Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on

Next on TV

Fast Facts

  • Began reading Shakespeare at age 7 and made his professional stage debut at 11 in the 1931 musical comedy The Dishwasher.
  • Made his film debut in Burt Lancaster's 1955 western The Kentuckian.
  • Served in the U.S. Army Air Corps (under Lt. Jimmy Stewart) from 1942-1945, receiving six battle stars and reaching the rank of staff sergeant.
  • Liked to provide false information to interviewers, a prank that resulted in many believing his birth name was Walter Matuschanskayasky (he even asked to be credited that way in the 1974 film Earthquake because he was unhappy with how his footage was edited).
  • Final film was Diane Keaton's 2000 comedy-drama Hanging Up, in which he played the ailing father of three feuding sisters. When he became ill during filming, he was admitted to the same hospital his character was said to be in.
  • Struggled throughout his life with an addiction to gambling, which he once estimated had cost him a total of $5 million.

Awards

  • 1963, Emmy — Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1975, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1976, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1972, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1973, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1969, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1966, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1965, Tony — Actor (Dramatic): Winner
  • 1959, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic): Nominee
  • 1971, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1962, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic): Winner
  • 1970, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1977, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1974, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Winner
  • 1967, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee

Relationships

  • David Matthau — Son
  • Grace Geraldine Johnson — Ex-wife
  • Henry — Brother
  • Lucy Saroyan — Stepdaughter
  • Richard Samples — Nephew
  • Aram Saroyan — Stepson
  • Charles Matthau — Son
  • Jenny Matthau — Daughter
  • Marvin Matthau — Brother
  • Milton Matthow — Father
  • Carol Grace Marcus — Wife
  • Rose Berolsky Matthow — Mother

College

  • Attended The New School for Social Research, New York, New York, United States