Walter Matthau | Relationships

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Adam Arkin

Arkin played Walter’s on-screen son-in-law in "Hanging Up" (2000), which turned out to be Matthau’s final film.

Al Hirschfeld

The legendary cartoonist drew several caricatures of Matthau.

Alan Alda

Alda co-stars with Matthau in Neil Simon's "California Suite"(1978), a Hollywood satire that features an all-star ensemble cast.

Amy Irving

Co-star Amy Irving portrayed Matthau’s daughter in the critically acclaimed film version of "I'm Not Rappaport"(1996), based on the Tony Award winning play.

Andy Griffith

Starred with Walter in "A Face In The Crowd"(1957) and "Onionhead"(1958).

Ann-Margret

Starred with Walter in the "Grumpy Old Men"series in 1993 and 1995, and in "I Ought To Be In Pictures"(1982).

Aram Saroyan

Saroyan is Carol's firstborn son from her marriage to William Saroyan.

Art Carney

Starred with Walter in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) and "House Calls"(1978). Carney originated the role of Felix in "The Odd Couple" on Broadway.

Ashley Matthau

Walter’s lovely daughter-in-law and wife of Charlie Matthau, whom unfortunately Walter never had the chance to meet.

Audie Murphy

Starred with Walter in "Ride a Crooked Trail"(1958).

Audrey Hepburn

Starred with Walter in "Charade"(1963).

Austin Pendleton

Broadway veteran Austin Pendleton plays a supporting role in "The Front Page"(1974) — the second collaboration in the trifecta of Billy Wilder directed films starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Pendleton also appeared with Matthau in the 1982 telecast “Live from Lincoln Center: A Tribute to Billy Wilder”.

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner starred in 1974 disaster film "Earthquake"in which Matthau had a cameo as “The Drunk”. When the studio tried to stretch the footage of Matthau’s brief appearance into a bigger role, Matthau changed his credit into a tongue twister. For the rest of his career, the press erroneously reported Matthau's birth name as “Walter Matuschanskyayasky”.

Barbara Rush

Appears with Matthau in "Bigger Than Life"(1956) and "Strangers When We Meet" (1960).

Barbra Streisand

Starred with Walter in "Hello Dolly"(1969).

Bill Cosby

Neil Simon’s "California Suite"(1978), set in the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, follows the storylines of various hotel guests played by an ensemble of stars including: Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Elaine May and Walter Matthau.

Bill Murray

Walter worked with Murray in 1975 when he hosted "Saturday Night Live".

Billy Wilder

Originally wanted Walter to play opposite Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven-Year Itch” (1955), but was talked out of it by the studio. Billy then finally cast Walter whom he called, “genius” in "The Fortune Cookie"(1966) for which Walter won an Academy Award.

Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart co-starred in "Little Miss Marker"(1980) based on a 1930’s Damon Runyon story featuring a miserly bookie, played by Walter Matthau.

Brian Dennehy

Stockbroker, turned actor, Brian Dennehy was still an unknown face when he appeared in "Little Miss Marker"(1980) starring Matthau as a 1930’s New York bookie.

Bruce Dern

Dern co-starred with Walter in "The Laughing Policeman"(1973).

Burgess Meredith

Veteran Hollywood actor, Meredith plays the role of a crusty old fisherman and Jack Lemmon’s dad in the popular "Grumpy Old Men" films (1993 and 1995).

Burl Ives

Starred with Walter in "Ensign Pulver"(1969) and "A Face In The Crowd"(1957).

Burt Lancaster

Starred with Walter in "The Kentuckian"(1955).

Candice Bergen

As a photojournalist (in her pre-acting days), Bergen covered the exclusive Oscar season party for "Charlie Chaplin", which was hosted by the Matthau’s and featured exclusively in Life Magazine.

Carl Reiner

Hollywood triple threat Carl Reiner — an award winning writer, director and actor—made a cameo appearance in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) starring Walter Matthau. In real life, Carl and his wife Estelle were friends with Carol and Walter Matthau.

Carol Burnett

Starred with Walter in "The Front Page"(1974) and "Pete 'N Tillie"(1972).

Carol Grace

Carol’s maiden name was Marcus, but she acted under the name Carol Grace. She was Walter’s wife of 41 years. The couple met in 1955, were married in 1959, and remained happily together until Walter’s death in 2000.

Carolyn Jones

Jones played opposite Walter and Elvis Presley in "King Creole"(1958).

Carroll O’Connor

A decade and a half before O’Connor became a household name playing “Archie Bunker” on the 70’s hit “All in the Family” he landed the role of “Truck Driver” in "Lonely Are The Brave"(1962) starring Kirk Douglas and Walter Matthau. In real life, O’Connor became Walter’s friend and neighbor.

Cary Grant

Starred with Walter in "Charade"(1963). Also, Grant and wife Dyan Cannon were family friends.

Cathy Lee Crosby

Cathy Lee Crosby appeared in "The Laughing Policeman"(1973) starring Walter Matthau as a San Francisco detective.

Charles Durning

Durning worked with Matthau on three films: "The Front Page"(1974),"I.Q."(1994) and "The Grass Harp"(1995).

Charles Grodin

Grodin wrote and co-stars in "Movers and Shakers"(1985).

Charlie Chaplin

His wife Oona was Carol Matthau’s best friend. Walter and Charlie subsequently became close. The Matthaus had a party to toast Chaplin when he returned to the U.S. to accept his honorary Oscar. The party was exclusively featured in Life Magazine.

Charlie Matthau

Walter’s only child with Carol, and lifelong best friend. Charlie Matthau was thrilled with the opportunity to direct his father in "The Grass Harp" and some television movies, without embarrassing him in the process.

Charlton Heston

Heston starred in the 1974 disaster movie "Earthquake" — in which Matthau made a brief cameo appearance as "The Drunk".

Chevy Chase

Chase makes a cameo appearance in "The Couch Trip"(1988), starring fellow SNL alum Dan Aykroyd and Walter Matthau.

Christine Baranski

Baranski and Jean Smart are the counter-point duo in "The Odd Couple 2"(1998) playing a pair of mismatched pals who encounter Oscar and Felix in a bar.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd plays the neighborhood villain in popular comic strip based film "Dennis The Menace" in which Matthau portrays the beleaguered Mr. Wilson.

Cloris Leachman

Leachman plays Walter's ex-wife in "Hanging Up", which turned out to be Matthau's last film.

Craig T. Nelson

Nelson appeared in the film adaptation of the award winning play "I'm Not Rappaport" starring Ossie David and Walter Matthau.

Damon Runyon

In 1980, Walter Matthau starred as the New York bookie "Sorrowful Jones" in the comedy film "Little Miss Marker" based on a 1930’s Damon Runyon story. Years before, however, while still a struggling unknown, Matthau appeared in a revival of Runyon's classic "Guys and Dolls." While playing the role of "Nathan Detroit" at New York's City Center, Matthau caught the eye of an unknown playwright who was writing a play titled "The Odd Couple". Neil Simon took one look at Walter and said, "Who IS that guy? That's Oscar!"

Dan Aykroyd

Starred with Walter in "The Couch Trip"(1988). He also appeared with him on the Oscar telecast when Matthau introduced O.J. Simpson, who then introduced Robert Blake. Aykroyd appeared in a memorable sketch as Nixon when Matthau hosted "Saturday Night Live".

Daryl Hannah

Starred with Walter in the "Grumpier Old Men" series in 1993 and 1995.

David Matthau

Walter’s son with Geraldine Johnson. He is now a successful radio broadcaster in New Jersey.

Dean Martin

Starred with Walter in "Who's Got The Action?"(1962).

Debbie Reynolds

Reynolds plays the reincarnated title character in "Goodbye, Charlie" in which Matthau lends his comic touch in the role of a Hollywood movie producer.

Delia Ephron

Real life sisters Nora and Delia Ephron co-wrote "Hanging Up"(2000), the story of three sisters coping with the illness of their curmudgeon dad, played by Walter Matthau.

Diane Keaton

Directed and starred with Walter in "Hanging Up"(2000), his last film. She also spoke, with humor and eloquence, at his memorial.

Dick O'Neill

Appeared in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"(1974), "The Front Page"(1974), "House Calls"(1978).

Dom Deluise

In 1964, Matthau and Deluise appeared in the "Sidney Lumet" directed film "Fail Safe".

Donna Dixon

In 1988, Matthau teamed up with SNL alum Dan Aykroyd in "The Couch Trip" which features Aykroyd's wife Donna Dixon in a supporting role.

Doris Roberts

Prior to playing the meddlesome mom "Marie", on the hit television show "Everybody Loves Raymond", Doris Roberts played small roles in three Matthau films; "A New Leaf"(1971), "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"(1974), and "The Grass Harp"(1995).

Dr. Seuss

Hollywood's favorite curmudgeon, Walter Matthau gave a classic reading of the Dr. Seuss holiday tale in the 1992 screen adaptation of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".

Dyan Cannon

Starred with Walter in "Out To Sea"(1997). Cannon was also married to Cary Grant, Walter’s co-star in Charade.

Ed Begley Jr.

Re-teamed with pal Jack Lemmon and director Billy Wilder, Matthau plays a hit man "Buddy Buddy"(1980) while a young Ed Begley Jr. appears as "Lieutenant #1".

Edward Dmytryk

When he directed Walter in "Mirage"(1965) he told him he would become the greatest character actor in the business. Walter responded, “Character actor? I’m going to be a leading man.” Indeed Walter became one of the first “anti-hero” leading men, a precursor to such actors as Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, etc.

Edward Furlong

Furlong appears in "The Grass Harp"(1995).

Elaine May

The multi-talented Elaine May, wrote, directed and co-starred with Matthau in "A New Leaf"(1971). She played Matthau's on-screen wife in Neil Simon's "California Suite"(1978). Matthau's real wife, Carol Grace, won critical acclaim for her riveting performance as Nellie in "Mikey and Nicky", written and directed by Elaine May.

Eli Wallach

Wallach and wife Anne Jackson were good friends of the Matthaus.

Elia Kazan

Cast Walter in "A Face In The Crowd"(1957). While Walter was grateful for the break, he despised Kazan’s involvement in the Hollywood “Red-Scare” Blacklist.

Elvis Presley

Starred with Walter in "King Creole"(1958).

F. Murray Abraham

Abraham plays a car mechanic trying to give directions to the lost and crabby old vaudeville star Willy Clark, who refuses to listen, in "The Sunshine Boys"(1975). Matthau was only fifty-five when he played the role of a crotchety eighty-year old feuding with his vaudeville partner, the ninety year old George Burns. Matthau was nominated for an Oscar and won the Golden Globe.

Felicia Farr

Co-starred with Matthau in "Onionhead"(1958). In 1971, she played Matthau's daughter in-law in "Kotch" (directed by her husband Jack Lemmon). Fifty- year old Matthau played an eighty-year-old grandpa and was nominated for an Oscar. Farr co-starred with Matthau in a filmed for television production of Clifford Ode'ts play "Awake and Sing!" (1972) and, in the following year "Charley Varrick"(1973).

Frank Whaley

Whaley plays an auto mechanic, and Tim Robbins' co-worker, in the comedy "I.Q."(1994) starring Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein.

Fred Astaire

A friend of Walter and Charlie’s from the Hollywood Park horseracing track.


Gene Kelly

Directed Walter in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) and "Hello, Dolly!"(1969).

Gene Saks

Directed Walter in two of his biggest hits: "The Odd Couple"(1968) and "Cactus Flower"(1969).

George Axelrod

Wrote the Broadway play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter" in which Walter met his future wife Carol Grace. Axelrod also wrote and directed ""The Secret Life of An American Wife"" in which Matthau plays a character known simply as "The Movie Star." The numerous "fantasy" sequences are a signature Axelrod touch. He used them to memorable effect in both "The Secret Life of an American Wife" and "The Seven Year Itch." Walter was director Billy Wilder's first choice to play the lead in "The Seven Year Itch" but the studio wouldn't approve Matthau who was still an unknown. However, Walter's audition for "The Seven Year Itch" survived in screen test footage.

George Burns

Starred with Walter in “The Lion Roars Again” (1975) and "The Sunshine Boys"(1975).

George Kennedy

Kennedy appeared in four films with Matthau. Most notably as Herman Scobie in the 1962 classic Charade and as Sgt Lew Slade in the 1974 disaster film "Earthquake". The other two roles were Willard in the film "Mirage" and Deputy Sheriff Gutierrez in "Lonely Are The Brave".

George Raft

Gangster screen legend Raft was a Hollywood Track friend, who occasionally gave young Charlie a ride to the track when his dad was unable to attend the races.

Gilda Radner

Walter Matthau guest hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 1978, when the show featured the classic cast of: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Larraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Jane Curtain and Bill Murray. Gilda also appeared with Matthau in "Movers and Shakers"(1985).

Glenda Jackson

This two-times Oscar winner starred with Walter in "Hopscotch"(1980) and "House Calls"(1978).

Goldie Hawn

Starred with Walter in her first film screen role. She won the Oscar as Best Actress in a supporting role for "Cactus Flower"(1969).

Gregory Peck

Starred with Walter in "Mirage"(1965).

Hal Linden

Linden plays a cruise ship dance host and the crew quarter roommate to dance legend Donald O'Connor in "Out To Sea"(1997) with Matthau and Jack Lemmon.

Hank Greenberg

Walter’s childhood idol, and Hall-Of-Fame hitter for the Detroit Tigers. Walter narrated the documentary "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg"(1998).

Hector Elizondo

Two decades before mentoring Julie Roberts through Beverly Hills in "Pretty Woman", Elizondo, as Mr. Gray, was trying to outwit Matthau as a New York detective in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three".

Henry Fonda

Starred with Walter in "Fail Safe"(1964).

Henry Matthow

Walter’s older brother who ran a colorful Army and Navy goods store in New York before passing away in the 1990’s.

Ingrid Bergman

Starred with Walter in "Cactus Flower"(1969).

Jack Benny

Comedy legend Jack Benny made a cameo appearance in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) starring Walter Matthau. Benny — who got his start in show business on the vaudeville circuit — was originally cast in the role of Matthau's vaudeville comedy partner in "The Sunshine Boys"(1975). However, just before filming started Jack Benny became too ill to play the part. His friend and fellow vaudevillian George Burns replaced Benny, who died that year.

Jack Lemmon

Award-winning actor and lifelong best friend, starred alongside Walter in "The Fortune Cookie"(1966), "The Odd Couple"(1968), "The Front Page"(1974), “The Gentleman Tramp” (1975), "Buddy Buddy"(1981), "JFK"(1991), “Chaplin” (1992), "Grumpy Old Men"(1993), "Grumpier Old Men"(1995), "The Grass Harp"(1995), "Out To Sea"(1997), "The Odd Couple 2"(1998). Jack and Walter also co-starred in the 1974 stage production of "Juno and the Paycock." In his first and only time stepping behind the camera, Lemmon directed Matthau in "Kotch"(1971), for which Walter won an Academy Award nomination.

Jack Nicholson

"Ensign Pulver"(1964) is most remarkable for the talents of several yet to be discovered actors: Jack Nicholson, Larry Hagman and Walter Matthau. Hagman was on the verge of "I Dream of Jeannie" fame (the following year) while Jack Nicholson would have to wait another decade before landing his breakthrough role in "Easy Rider." Matthau was also a year away from rocketing to success and fame in his breakout performance on Broadway as Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple" (stage, 1964; film 1968).

Jack Weston

Funny man Jack Weston co-starred with Matthau three times: "Mirage"(1965), "Cactus Flower"(1969) and was his hysterical best as a swindling accountant in the 1971 classic "A New Leaf".

Jackie Earle Haley

Starred with Walter in "The Bad News Bears"(1976).

James Coburn

Starred with Walter in Charade(1963), "Candy"(1968) and "California Suite"(1978).

James Mason

Mason appears with Matthau in "Bigger Than Life"(1956).

Jane Fonda

Neil Simon’s "California Suite"(1978), set at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, follows the storylines of various hotel guests played by an ensemble of stars including: Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Elaine May and Walter Matthau.

Jayne Mansfield

Mansfield made a cameo appearance in the Matthau comedy "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967). This was her last filmed screen appearance. Six months later, she died in a fatal car crash. Years earlier, however, Matthau and Mansfield met and worked under much happier and serendipitous circumstances. It was in 1955, while appearing on stage with Mansfield in "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter" that Matthau met and fell in love with Mansfield's understudy, Carol Grace. Walter and Carol were happily married for forty-one years.

Jenny Matthau

Walter’s daughter with Geraldine Johnson. She is now a well-regarded Manhattan cooking instructor.

Jerry Stiller

Quentin Tarantino was only eleven years old, but no doubt very impressionable, when Matthau starred in the tense crime drama "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"(1974) in which four criminals, trapped in a heist gone wrong, use the code names Mr. Blue, Mr. Gray, Mr. Brown and Mr. Green. Veteran Broadway actor and fellow New Yorker, Jerry Stiller appeared with Matthau, who plays a New York detective racing against the clock to save hostages.

Jill Clayburgh

Co-Starred with Walter in "First Monday in October"(1981).

Jimmy Stewart

Walter’s Colonel in the Army air corps during WWII.

Joe Don Baker

One might wonder if Tarantino is a fan of this 1970’s action classic starring Walter Matthau as an antihero; the studio posters proclaimed in blood red letters “KILL Charley Varrick”. Joe Don Baker co-stars with Matthau in "Charley Varrick"(1973) directed by the legendary film director Don Siegel of “Dirty Harry” fame. Baker worked with Matthau again, playing a southern sheriff, in "The Grass Harp"(1995).

Joey Bishop

Matthau was still an unknown working actor when he appeared with Andy Griffith and Joey Bishop in "Onionhead"(1958). They worked together again in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967).

John Belushi

In 1975, Walter appeared in several memorable sketches with the SNL cast when he hosted "Saturday Night Live". The “Bad News Bees” sketch--featuring John Belushi, Bill Murray, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd and Matthau’s young son Charlie--became a classic.

John Goodman

Early in his career, while still a struggling unknown actor, Goodman appeared as "Commando" in the comedy "The Survivors"(1983) starring Matthau and Robin Williams.

John Hughes

When writer-producer John Hughes adapted the comic-strip "Dennis The Menace" to the big screen, he set the story in the suburbs of his boyhood home Chicago. Hughes then cast everyone's favorite grump as Mr. Wilson—and Walter Matthau endeared himself to a whole new generation of little movie fans. Matthau was amused when one little boy seeking his autograph asked, "Was that your first film?"

John Huston

The legendary writer-director John Huston, made a cameo appearance in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) starring Walter Matthau.

Jonathan Silverman

When comedy duo Lemmon and Matthau reunited as Oscar and Felix in "The Odd Couple 2"(1998), Silverman played Matthau’s son Brucey Madison.

Julie Andrews

Played Walter’s love interest in "Little Miss Marker"(1980).

Kevin Costner

Shared a memorable scene with Walter in "JFK"(1991).

Kevin Pollak

Pollak plays Walter Matthau’s son Jacob in the popular Lemmon and Matthau comedies "Grumpy Old Men"(1993) and "Grumpier Old Men"(1995).

Kim Novak

Novak appears with Matthau in the 1960 film "Strangers When We Meet".

Kirk Douglas

Douglas made "The Indian Fighter"(1955), "Strangers When We Meet"(1960), and "Lonely Are The Brave"(1962), the latter being a favorite of both men.

Lana Turner

Starred with Walter in "Who's Got The Action?"(1962).

Larry Hagman

"Ensign Pulver"(1964) is most remarkable for the talents of several yet to be discovered actors: Jack Nicholson, Larry Hagman and Walter Matthau. Hagman was on the verge of "I Dream of Jeannie" fame in 1965, while Matthau would rocket to success and fame in his breakout performance on Broadway as Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple". In 1964, Hagman and Matthau also appeared together in the powerful drama "Fail Safe" *which (four decades later) was remade by producer/actor George Clooney.

Larry King

The talk-show host was a friend, poker buddy and great admirer of Walter the actor. He spoke at Walter's memorial service.

Lea Thompson

Thompson plays the mom of the mischievous boy who plagues Mr. Wilson in "Dennis The Menace"(1993). Her husband, Howard Deutch, directed Matthau in "Grumpier Old Men" and "The Odd Couple 2".

Lenny Hirshan

Lenny was Walter's long time agent and great friend to all the Matthaus.

Lisa Kudrow

Kudrow plays the youngest of Matthau's on-screen daughters in "Hanging Up"(2000). Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton played her sisters. Keaton also directed the film, which was Matthau's last.

Louis Armstrong

The legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong sang the famous title song and was featured as an orchestra leader in the 1969 film version of "Hello, Dolly!" starring Matthau and Barbra Streisand.

Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr. appeared in "The Laughing Policeman"(1973) starring Walter Matthau as a San Francisco detective.

Lucille Ball

Hollywood's Queen of Comedy, Lucille Ball, makes a cameo appearance in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) starring Walter Matthau.

Lucy Saroyan

Carol's daughter with her first husband, William Saroyan.

Marlon Brando

They admired each other’s acting ability and Marlon dated Carol before she met Walter. Starred with Walter in "Candy"(1968).

Martha Plimpton

Plimpton appeared in critically acclaimed film version of "I'm Not Rappaport"(1996) starring Ossie David and Walter Matthau.

Martin Balsam

Balsam plays "Mr. Green" in the 1974 crime drama "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three", which appears to have inspired Quentin Tarantino to pen an homage. Tarantino's debut film "Reservoir Dogs" also features criminals assigned code names based on colors.

Martin Ritt

Close friend of Walter’s from the racetrack, poker games and movie sets. Directed Walter in "Pete 'N Tillie"(1972) and "Casey's Shadow"(1978).

Mary Steenburgen

The 1995 screen adaptation of Truman Capote's lyric novella "The Grass Harp" features an impressive array of talent, including Matthau as Judge Cool, Piper Laurie as Dolly and Steenburgen as a traveling con-evangelist Sister Ida.

Maureen Stapleton

Lifelong friend of all the Matthaus. Stapleton co-starred with Matthau in the Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"(1974). In 1974, she performed on stage with both Walter and Jack Lemmon in a Los Angeles stage production of "Juno and the Paycock".

Meg Ryan

Matthau played Albert Einstein in "I.Q."(1994) with Meg Ryan in the role of his niece—a Princeton student—who falls in love with garage mechanic Tim Robbins.

Michael Caine

Neil Simon’s "California Suite"(1978), set at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, follows the storylines of various hotel guests played by an ensemble of stars including: Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Elaine May and Walter Matthau.

Mike Nichols

Directed Walter in the Broadway production of "The Odd Couple"(1968). When Walter complained that Mike was, “breaking his balls” Mike hollered out, “Props!”

Milton Berle

This “king of television” was a lifelong friend of Walter’s.

Milton Matthow

Walter’s absentee father. Walter only saw him a few times while growing up impoverished in New York’s Lower East Side. Milton died of tuberculosis in Walter’s early teenage years.

Ned Beatty

Beatty plays a prominent role in "Hopscotch"(1980).

Neil Simon

Walter said, "I talk like he writes, and he writes like I talk." Matthau appears in six Simon properties: "The Odd Couple"(1968), "Plaza Suite"(1971), "The Sunshine Boys"(1975), "California Suite"(1978), "I Ought To Be In Pictures"(1982), and "The Odd Couple 2"(1998).

Nell Carter

Carter contributed humor and humanity to the tapestry of talent and crisscrossing storylines in "The Grass Harp"(1995), featuring Matthau and Piper Laurie.

Nora Ephron

"Sleepless in Seattle" writer-director, Nora Ephron, and her real life sister Delia Ephron co-wrote "Hanging Up"(2000), the story of three sisters coping with the illness of their curmudgeon dad, played by Walter Matthau.

Oliver Stone

Directed Walter in "JFK"(1991).

Ossie Davis

Played a bait shop owner and fishing friend in the "Grumpier Old Men" series starring Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Davis again co-starred with Matthau in the critically acclaimed "I'm Not Rappaport"(1996). The lifelong friendship of Matthau and Davis began in the 1950s when both were still unknown character actors on Broadway.


Pat Boone

Boone appeared in the 1960's comedy "Goodbye, Charlie" with Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds and Walter Matthau.

Paul Newman

When the Matthau family moved from New York in the late 1960s, they rented their good friend Paul Newman's house on Alpine Drive in Beverly Hills.

Paula Prentiss

Co-starred with Matthau in "Buddy Buddy". She is married to Matthau's "House Calls" and "The Sunshine Boys" co-star Richard Benjamin. Paula and Richard were also close friends with Walter, Carol and Charlie.

Penny Marshall

Before she directed Hollywood movies or became a household name in "Laverne and Shirley", Penny Marshall played Oscar Madison's secretary on the television version of "The Odd Couple" in which Oscar was portrayed by Matthau's friend Jack Klugman. Marshall later worked with Matthau in the Hollywood satire "Movers and Shakers"(1985).

Phil Silvers

Joining the A-list of Hollywood stars making cameo appearances in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967) starring Walter Matthau, funny man Phil Silvers plays a realtor.

Piper Laurie

Starred with Walter in "The Grass Harp"(1995). It was Walter’s favorite. Piper felt that "The Grass Harp" contained her best performance.

Rex Harrison

The star of Walter’s first Broadway play, “Anne of a Thousand Days.” He later married actress Kay Kendall, Carol Matthau’s good friend.

Richard Benjamin

Benjamin played Walter’s nephew in the "The Sunshine Boys"(1975), which is Charlie Matthau’s favorite film of his father's work. Benjamin again co-starred with Matthau when they played doctors in "House Calls". Richard and his wife Paula Prentiss (who co-starred with Matthau in "Buddy Buddy") were close friends of Carol and Walter. Benjamin said Walter was a mentor and role model. In watching Walter raise Charlie with such extraordinary love, he learned valuable lessons about fatherhood and was inspired to follow Matthau's nurturing example with his own children.

Richard Burton

Burton appears in the rarely seen film, "Candy"(1968), along with a powerhouse casts including Marlon Brando, Ringo Starr, Sugar Ray, James Coburn, John Huston and Walter Matthau.

Richard Egan

Starred with Walter in "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue"(1957) and "Voice In The Mirror"(1958).

Richard Pryor

Neil Simon’s "California Suite"(1978), set at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, follows the storylines of various hotel guests played by an ensemble of stars including: Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Elaine May and Walter Matthau.

Richard Roundtree

Roundtree appeared in the ensemble film "Earthquake"(1974).

Richard Widmark

This film-noir legend was a close friend and neighbor of Walter and Carol as well as godfather to Matthau’s son Charlie.

Ringo Starr

Starred with Walter in "Candy"(1968).

Robert Morse

Starred with Walter in "A Guide For The Married Man"(1967).

Robert Shaw

Co-Starred with Walter in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"(1974).

Roberto Benigni

One of Walter’s favorite people. They starred together in "Il Piccolo Diavolo"(1988), which was a huge success in Italy, but was never released in the U.S.

Robin Williams

Starred with Walter in "The Survivors"(1983).

Roddy McDowall

McDowall appears in "The Grass Harp"(1995).

Roman Polanski

Directed Walter in "Pirates"(1986).

Ron Rifkin

Veteran New York stage actor, Ron Rifkin, appeared with Matthau in the Manhattan based story, "I'm Not Rappaport"(1996). In 1972, Matthau and Rifkin co-starred in the Clifford Odet play "Awake and Sing!" filmed for television. In 1975, Rifkin played the role of a television stage manager in "The Sunshine Boys". Both actors also appeared in the 1991 Oliver Stone film "JFK".

Rose Matthow

Walter’s mother. See any resemblance? Rose migrated from Kiev to New York’s Lower East Side where she gave birth to Walter in 1920. Working in sweatshops for dismal wages, while raising 2 boys alone, she lived to see Walter become a beloved international star.

Rue McClanahan

Rue co-starred with Matthau and Lemmon in "Out To Sea"(1997).

Ruth Gordon

Ruth and her love of many years Garson Kanin were good friends of Walter’s.

Sam Waterston

Co-Starred with Walter in "Hopscotch"(1980).

Sid Caesar

Caesar makes an appearance at the legendary watering hole "Romanoff's" in "A Guide For The Married Man" starring Walter Matthau. Written and directed by George Axelrod, the comedy featured cameo appearances by an impressive array of Hollywood stars.

Sidney Lumet

Directed Walter in "Fail Safe"(1964).

Sissy Spacek

Appeared with Walter in "The Grass Harp"(1995) and "JFK"(1991). Walter very much admired her both as a person and an actress.

Sophia Loren

Co-starred with Walter in "Grumpier Old Men"(1995).

Stanley Donen

Donen directed Matthau in the Charade(1962) starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The performances of James Coburn, George Kennedy and Walter Matthau infused the romantic caper with shades of shadowy intrigue.

Steve Martin

Co-starred with Walter in "Movers and Shakers".

Sugar Ray Robinson

Boxing champ Sugar Ray Robinson appeared as "Zero" in "Candy".

Susan Sarandon

Got her first major break co-starring with Walter in "The Front Page"(1974). Walter recognized her talent years before she became a star.

Tatum O’Neal

Starred with Walter in "The Bad News Bears"(1976). She held Walter in warm regard evidenced by comments written in her 2006 book "A Paper Life".

Tim Robbins

Co-Starred with Walter in "I.Q."(1994). His life-companion Susan Sarandon co-starred with Matthau in one of her first big screen roles "The Front Page"(1974).

Tommy Tune

Tommy Tune appeared in the classic musical "Hello, Dolly!"(1969) with Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau.

Tony Curtis

Walter’s buddy from acting class and co-star from "Little Miss Marker"(1980). Curtis also worked with Matthau in the 1964 comedy "Goodbye, Charlie".

Tony Randall

Tony Randall co-stars with Matthau in "Island of Love"(1963). Randall would later play Felix in the television version of "The Odd Couple".

Tony Roberts

Roberts appeared in the 1974 crime drama "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" as Deputy Mayor Warren LaSalle.

Tony Shalhoub

In the romantic comedy "I.Q.", co-starring Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins, Matthau plays Albert Einstein, who appreciates beautiful cars and fast motorcycles. Shalhoub plays an auto mechanic.

Truman Capote

Writer Truman Capote was a childhood friend of Matthau's wife Carol Grace. In their lean years, the two enjoyed walking in the early morning and sharing their dreams while sipping coffee in front of the display windows of Tiffany's jewelry story. Capote based the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" character "Holly Golightly" on his friend Carol. In 1995, Walter Matthau appeared in the film adaptation of Capote's novella "The Grass Harp" directed by son Charlie Matthau.

Tyne Daly

Daly and Matthau appeared in the Hollywood satire "Movers and Shakers"(1985).

Victoria Jackson

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Victoria Jackson made an appearance in the Dan Aykroyd and Walter Matthau comedy "The Couch Trip"(1988). In 2005, Matthau's son, director Charlie Matthau, cast Victoria in "Her Minor Thing". Jackson gave a hilarious performance as the travel agent "Norma".

Victoria Principal

Prior to her break-through roles on “Fantasy Island” and the long running hit “Dallas” Victoria Principal landed a small role in the 1974 disaster film "Earthquake"in which Matthau was famously credited as “Walter Matuschanskyayasky”.

Vincent Gardenia

Gardenia worked with Matthau four times. First, in 1961, on the Dupont television show in an episode titled "A Dozen Deadly Roses" and later that year on the television series "Tallahassee 7000" starring Walter Matthau as a Florida sheriff. In 1974, they worked together again in the Billy Wilder version of "The Front Page" co-starring Jack Lemmon and Matthau. They also appeared in the 1984 comedy "Movers and Shakers".

Vincente Minnelli

Minnelli directed Matthau in "Goodbye, Charlie"(1964) co-starring Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis.

William Schallert

Matthau and Schallert first met while doing "Lonely Are The Brave"(1962). They became life-long friends and eventually neighbors.

William Shatner

A decade before finding fame as "Captain Kirk" on Star Trek, Shatner appeared on Broadway with Walter Matthau in "A Shot in the Dark" for which Matthau won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Actor.

Willie Shoemaker

The legendary jockey was a favorite of Walter's and son Charlie and spent time with both.