Character actor Charles Durning passed away yesterday of natural causes. He was 89.
Before he began his acting career, Durning served with distinction during WWII. He was amongst the first wave of American soldiers to storm Omaha Beach on D-Day. Durning also fought in the Battle of the Bulge in which he was one of only three American soldiers to survive the Malmedy massacre. Durning earned three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for his service.
After a distinguished career on the New York stage, Durning earned his breakthrough role as a corrupt police lieutenant in The Sting starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. On a personal note, I saw The Sting at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge just last month.
Over the past four decade, Durning became a familiar face to both movie audiences in Dog Day Afternoon, North Dallas Forty, The Muppet Movie, Tootsie and received two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be or Not To Be. He also was seen in TV series such as Evening Shade, Everybody Loves Raymond and Rescue Me.
I leave you with Durning doing a little sidestep.
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