Charles Grodin

  1. Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate, 1967.  

  2. Martin Balsam, Catch 22, 1969.    George C Scott was not  interested (“I played him in Dr Strangelove”). Stacy Keach was fired after thee days – “too young and light.”  And so, New York director Mike Nichols suggested that Grodin (already serving as Captain Andy Aardvark) should take over Colonel Cathcart.  As suggested by his rank, Cathcart was an older guy – and none of the older guy make-up tests  worked on the younger guy.  “They tried to age him up, did some  screen tests,” recalled co-star Bob Newhart.  “Then, they said: Swell, let’s try him with a moustache.  So they flew a moustache – just a moustache –  down from Hollywood on a private plane. You pIctured the pilot and moustache was  sitting in the other seat.”   Grodin stayed put as Aardvark (so Richard Chamberlain lucked out) and Balsam, therefore, had  the dubious honour of being the first actor to be  seen sitting on a toilet in a US  movie. (He was also in the first  US movie to actually show a toilet: Psycho, 1960).

  3. Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws, 1975.     “I was too busy trying to help a friend’s play that was in trouble out of town.   It’s been 19 years and I just stopped thinking about it last Tuesday!”    Steven Spielberg’s triumph had Grodin thinking success was guaranteed for King Kong, 1976, and learning a lesson that Hollywood was slow in taking on board.   A ten ton gorilla in front of the camera is no substitute for a Spielberg behind it.

  4. Donald Sutherland, Start The Revoution Without Me, 1969.   Two sets of twin princes and paupers – well, aristocrats and  peasants – exchange identities during French Revolution.Gene Wilder, as Claude/Philippe, wanted Grodin for Charles/Pierre. He was already wooed by Broadway – to direct Lovers and Other Strangers.
  5. Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws1974.

  6. Bob Hoskins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1987.    
    Surprisingly, the murder mystery where the chief suspect is a cartoon character was based on the never made Cloverleaf, Robert Towne’s third Jake Gittes script.  For Chinatown, read Toontown. So who should be Gittes, er, shamus Eddie Valiant? Well, why not Gittes, himself – aka Jack Nicholson? No, producer Steven Spielberg could see no further than Harrison Ford. Too expensive! OK, Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone? Director Robert Zemeckis als considered Charles Grodin, Aussie comic Don Lane, Eddie Murphy (soon a toon in the Shrek movies), Joe Pantoliano – and auditioned voice artist Peter Renaday. And they could never contact the hideaway Bill Murray… When he read that in a paper, Murray screamed out loud- he would have loved being Valiant. Not that much fun, reported Hoskins. “I had to hallucinate to do it,” he told Danish TV. After working with green screens for six months, 16 hours a day, he lost control.     “I had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me.”

  7. Richard Gere, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  8. Gerrit Graham, Child’s Play 2, 1990.         His once scintillating career had come to this? Grodin In the mix (with Jeffrey Jones, Tim Matheson) for the husband of Grace Zabriskie in the killer-doll sequel.
  9. John Heard, Home Alone, 1990.    For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered – including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other potential Pops were Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jeff Daniels, Tony Danza, John Goodman, Charles Grodin, Tom Hanks, Robert Hays, Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Bill Murray, Ed O’Neill, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Skerritt, Robin Williams… and the inevitable unknowns: Broadway’s Mark Linn-Baker, Canadian musicians-comics  Alan Thicke (“the affordable William Shatner”) and Dave Thomas.


 Birth year: 1935Death year: 2021Other name: Casting Calls:  9