7. Charles Grodin
Born Charles Sidney Grodin on April 21, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he would graduate as valedictorian from Peabody High School, where he was elected class president all four years. He briefly attended the University of Miami but soon left to pursue acting. He studied acting at HB Studio in New York City under the influential acting teacher Uta Hagen.
Grodin’s film debut was an uncredited bit part in Disney’s 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but he would gain more recognition when he made his Broadway debut on October 25, 1962, in a production of Tchin-Tchin, opposite Anthony Quinn. By the end of the 1990s, Grodin had made a name for himself as a comedic actor with roles in films such as 1988’s Midnight Run and the 1992 kids’ comedy Beethoven. Grodin died from bone marrow cancer at his home in Wilton, Connecticut, on May 18, 2021. He was 86.