Overcoming childhood poverty, battlefield trauma and self-doubt Charles Durning become one of the entertainment businesses most acclaimed character actors in film, television and on stage. Durning died on Monday at his Manhattan home at the age of 89.
His daughter, Michele Durning, confirmed that Durning had passed away. Many people might not have known the actor by name, but thanks to his pugnacious features and imposing size he was familiar to those who loved American movies, television and the theater.
The Sting, the hit movie in 1973 starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, featured Durning playing a crooked cop. Durning also played the part of a NFL coach in North Dallas Forty that starred Nick Nolte. He played alongside Robert De Niro in the 1981 movie True Confessions.
Durning however, did not earn leading roles because of what Hollywood producers and directors called his ordinary looks. However, he did not fall into type casted roles as he could play both combative and gruff roles or gentle and funny roles.
In Tootsie, the 1982 hit comedy, Durning played the role of an unsuspecting father who falls in love with Dustin Hoffman’s character, a man masquerading as a woman. Also starring in the movie was Jessica Lange who played Durning’s daughter.
During his acting career, Durning received two Oscar and nine Emmy nominations. He appeared in countless television series’ on a regular basis as well as just guest appearances.
Durning, besides being survived by daughter Michelle, is also survived by Jeanine, his daughter and Douglas a son.