Charles Matthau | Biography

Charles Matthau

Director, Writer, Producer

Charlie Matthau is that rare director, writer, producer who knows exactly what he wants in all capacities: movies with humanity, heart and humor - qualities that have always defined great storytelling.

In 2017 he is executive producing the TV series Mexican High based on the novel by Lisa Monroy and is currently in production on Dylan Papermoon which is shooting in Germany. Matthau is executive producing for director Daniel Rene. He will be directing the feature film Bodyguard of Lies in 2018.

Charlie's last film Freaky Deaky (2012)" based upon Elmore Leonard's book and starring Christian Slater and Crispin Glover, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival where it was acquired by eOne, and released in 2013.

Charlie's passion for screen storytelling led him to develop and direct The Grass Harp (1995) based on Truman Capote's atmospheric tale of three Southern misfits who take up residence in a tree house. The film allowed Matthau the opportunity to direct a stellar cast that includes Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Mary Steenburgen, Nell Carter, and Edward Furlong. The film, distributed by Fine Line Features, premiered in October of 1996.

Critics have been glowing in their response to Matthau's work. Lawrence Van Gelder of the New York Times reports: A success: a sweet, wise, funny, poignant film from producer director Charles Matthau who has extracted performances that are expert, sharp and distinctive. Says Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times: A beguiling film in every way. 'The Grass Harp' succeeds so admirably it speaks volumes about Charles Matthau's own inimitable talents...a polished, touching insightful and exceedingly sensitive effort, says Wade Major of Entertainment Today.

Charlie made an auspicious feature directorial debut at age 24 with the offbeat comedy Doin' Time On Planet Earth (1988). The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films nominated him for the Best Director Award. The film was also selected as one of the 10 Best Films of 1990 by the Council of Film Organizations. The Academy of Family Films & Family Television, the national organization that presents annual awards of merit and recognition for family entertainment, voted Charlie: Best Director of the Year Award for his work on The Grass Harp.

In September of 1997, the Matthau family was honored by the American Film Institute with it's first ever Platinum Circle Award, a newly created annual honor paying tribute to an entire family of talented artists.

Charlie also directed Her Minor Thing (2005) a romantic comedy starring Estella Warren, Christian Kane, and Michael Weatherly. This feature film, written and produced by Jim Meyers, was released in early 2007 to favorable response, and is a brisk seller on DVD. Matthau also recently directed Baby-O which is a musical set in the Las Vegas jazz world. He directed his father Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett in The Marriage Fool (aka Love After Death), about a widower who falls in love with another woman despite the disapproval of his children. Televised in the fall of 1998 on the CBS Television Network, "The Marriage Fool" was ranked the #1 program of the week with a 14.0 Nielsen rating and a 23 share.

Charlie previously won praise for directing and producing the 1993 television movie Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love, starring Ellen Burstyn. The film tells the moving story of a woman who takes to the road to save her grandson from becoming a foster child. The Hollywood Reporter characterized it as "wise, affecting television that should not be missed."

A graduate of the film school at the University of Southern California, while a student Matthau wrote and directed The Duck Film, which became one of the more highly acclaimed USC shorts of the 1980's.