David Groh

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David Groh
Valerie Harper David Groh Rhoda wedding 1974.JPG
Valerie Harper (left) and Groh as Joe in Rhoda
David Lawrence Groh

(1939-05-21)May 21, 1939
DiedFebruary 12, 2008(2008-02-12) (aged 68)
Occupation Film, television actor
Years active1969–2008
Spouse(s)Denise Arsenault (1984 – ?; annulled)
Karla Pergande (1988 – ?; divorced; 1 child)
Kristin Andersen Groh (? – 2008; his death)

David Lawrence Groh [1] (May 21, 1939 – February 12, 2008) [2] was an American actor best known for his portrayal of Joe Gerard in the 1970s television series Rhoda , opposite Valerie Harper.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Joe Gerard fictional character on the TV series Rhoda

Joe Gerard, played by actor David Groh, is a fictional character on the television sitcom Rhoda, a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.


Early life and career

Groh was born in Brooklyn, the son of Mildred and Benjamin Groh. [3] He had a sister, Marilyn. [4] He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, then enrolled at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated with a degree in English literature. [4]

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Brooklyn Technical High School Specialized high school in New York City

Brooklyn Technical High School, commonly referred to as Brooklyn Tech and administratively designated as High School 430, is an elite New York City public high school that specializes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is one of three original specialized high schools operated by the New York City Department of Education, the other two being Stuyvesant High School and Bronx High School of Science. Brooklyn Tech is considered one of the most prestigious and selective public high schools in the United States.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

He performed with the American Shakespeare Theatre, then went to Great Britain to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art on a Fulbright scholarship, and served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1964. [4] On his return to New York City, he studied at The Actors Studio. [5] He made his television debut in silent walk-on parts in two episodes of the Gothic daytime soap opera Dark Shadows on ABC in 1968, but did not garner fame until Rhoda .

American Shakespeare Theatre

The American Shakespeare Theatre was a theater company based in Stratford, Connecticut, United States. It was formed in the early 1950s by Lawrence Langner, Lincoln Kirstein, John Percy Burrell, and philanthropist Joseph Verner Reed. The American Shakespeare Festival Theatre was constructed and the program opened on July 12, 1955, with Julius Caesar. The theater building burned to the ground on January 13, 2019.

Great Britain island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.

The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright–Hays Program, is one of several United States Cultural Exchange Programs whose goal is to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. It is one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world. Via the program, competitively-selected American citizens including students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists may receive scholarships or grants to study, conduct research, teach, or exercise their talents abroad; and citizens of other countries may qualify to do the same in the United States of America. The program was founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and is considered to be one of the most widely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world. The program provides 8,000 grants annually.


Groh co-starred in the sitcom Rhoda in which he played Joe Gerard, a New York City building demolition company owner who met and married Rhoda Morgenstern, the best friend of Mary Richards from CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show . The show premiered September 9, 1974 and Joe and Rhoda married in the seventh episode. The network gave the marriage much advance publicity, and the episode proved a ratings blockbuster, having drawn some 50 million viewers [6] to become one of television's most-watched single episodes.

<i>Rhoda</i> American television sitcom

Rhoda is an American television sitcom starring Valerie Harper that originally aired on CBS for five seasons from September 9, 1974 to December 9, 1978. The first spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Harper reprised her role as Rhoda Morgenstern, a spunky and flamboyantly fashioned young woman seen as unconventional by the standards of her Jewish family from New York. Rhoda begins as the character decides to return to New York City from Minneapolis, where she soon meets and marries Joe Gerard. Julie Kavner co-starred as Rhoda's sister Brenda, alongside Nancy Walker as their mother Ida Morgenstern respectively. The series was the recipient of two Golden Globe Awards and two Primetime Emmy Awards. Rhoda was filmed Friday evenings in front of a live studio audience at CBS Studio Center, Stage 14 in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Mary Richards Fictional character from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Richards, portrayed by Mary Tyler Moore, is the main character of the television sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

In season three, the couple separated and later divorced. Groh was dropped to recurring status during season three, and he made only a few guest appearances the following season, before being written out of the show entirely. According to Valerie Harper, Groh was written out of the show when the producers decided that Rhoda worked better with its star as a single woman. "We all felt very bad about David not continuing," she said. The two remained lifelong friends. [7] However, this change was not embraced by the show's audience and ratings began to decline sharply. Rhoda was eventually canceled in the fall of 1978. Groh starred in his own series, the short-lived Another Day , and went on to make his Broadway theatre debut in Neil Simon's Chapter Two .

<i>Another Day</i> (TV series) American sit-com

Another Day is an American sitcom starring David Groh and Joan Hackett that aired for four episodes on CBS from April 8 to April 29, 1978.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

Neil Simon American playwright, writer, academic

Marvin Neil Simon was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer.

From 1983 to 1985, Groh played D.L. Brock in the ABC soap opera General Hospital , leaving the show to appear in the off Broadway play Be Happy for Me (1986). The New York Times drama critic Frank Rich found Groh "completely convincing as the brash gold-chain-and-bikini-clad Lothario". [4] Other New York City theater credits include Road Show (1987), and The Twilight of the Golds (1993).

<i>General Hospital</i> American daytime television medical drama

General Hospital is an American daytime television medical drama. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the second longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light. Concurrently, it is the world's third longest-running scripted drama series in production after British serials The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the world's second-longest-running televised soap opera still in production. General Hospital premiered on the ABC television network on April 1, 1963. General Hospital is the longest-running serial produced in Hollywood, and the longest-running entertainment program in ABC television history. It holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, with 13 wins.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S..

Frank Rich American essayist and columnist

Frank Hart Rich Jr. is an American essayist and liberal progressive op-ed columnist, who held various positions within The New York Times from 1980 to 2011. He has also produced television series and documentaries for HBO.

On television, Groh appeared in guest roles on such series as Buck Rogers in the 25th Century , L.A. Law , Baywatch , Law & Order , Murder, She Wrote , Melrose Place , The X-Files , and JAG . His film career includes appearances in Two-Minute Warning (1976), Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976), Victory at Entebbe (1976), A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978), The Dream Merchants (1980), The Return of Superfly (1990), Get Shorty (1995), and several independent films.

Personal life

Groh was a serious collector of antique furniture and folk art, [6] much of which he kept in a second home in Connecticut. He mainly resided, however, in Santa Monica, California, where he lived with his third wife, Kristin, and his son Spencer [4] (by his second wife).


Groh died on February 12, 2008 of kidney cancer in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 68. [2]

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  1. Full name as per New York Times obit
  2. 1 2 Noland, Claire."David Groh, 68; Husband on 'Rhoda'". Los Angeles Times . 14 February 2008.
  3. "David Groh Biography (1941-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2015-08-31.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Martin, The New York Times
  5. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN   0-02-542650-8.
  6. 1 2 Hall, Ken. The Celebrity Collector: "David Groh, Most Memorably From 'Rhoda', Collects Early American Items" Archived 2007-08-26 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Archived February 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine