Charles Grodin Dies at 86

When Charles Grodin played Mia Farrow’s creepy doctor in Rosemary’s Baby (1968), no one knew who he was. Four years later, when he starred in Elaine May’s classic comedy The Heartbreak Kid, everyone knew his name. Born in Pittsburgh, Grodin enrolled at the University of Miami, but left school to pursue his craft at New York’s famed HB Studios under the direction of Uta Hagen. Before he was 20, he had broken into films. His Broadway debut soon followed.

The actor was 86. The cause of death was bone marrow cancer.

The Heartbreak Kid is a dry comedy that follows the striving Lenny Cantrow (Grodin), as he abandons his sunburned, hapless wife—on their honeymoon in Miami Beach—for another woman (the coolly affectless Cybill Shepherd).

For increasingly sophisticated audiences of the early 70s—many of them fans of The Graduate (1967), Woody Allen, and author Philip Roth (whose 1959 novel Goodbye, Columbus touches on similar themes)—the film could not have been better timed, as Jewish sensibilities, characters and performers were infusing mainstream entertainment. The early-70s Miami Beach milieu proved the perfect backdrop to the culture-clash story of Cantrow and the WASP-y family he encounters by way of Shepherd’s character. (The wife who gets left behind was played, hilariously, by May’s daughter Jeannie Berlin.)

Having turned down the lead in the Mike Nichols-directed The Graduate, which made Dustin Hoffman a star, Grodin lit up The Heartbreak Kid, which was directed by Nichols’ legendary former performing partner, Elaine May. The film took Grodin’s career to another level. (Grodin had played a supporting role in Nichols’ 1970 adaptation of Joseph Heller’s seminal antiwar novel Catch-22.)

Grodin’s other popular films include Heaven Can Wait, Beethoven, Seems Like Old Times and Midnight Run. More recently, the actor had roles in While We’re Young, directed by Noah Baumbach, and Louis C.K.’s FX show, Louie.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.