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  Topic: Charles Durning, Oscar-
nominated king of the character
actors, dies at 89 in NYC
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Charles Durning, Oscar-
nominated king of the character
actors, dies at 89 in NYC

Associated Press, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:JoniTx, 12/25/2012 3:05:39 AM

LOS ANGELES — Charles Durning, the two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors for his skill in playing everything from a Nazi colonel to the pope, died Monday at his home in New York City. He was 89. Durning’s longtime agent and friend Judith Moss told The Associated Press that he died Monday of natural causes in his home in the borough of Manhattan. Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role


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Reply 1 - Posted by: rowbear, 12/25/2012 3:11:49 AM     (No. 9082704)

Rest in peace, Mr. Durning. You were a true professional and left a body of work you can be proud of.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: killerbee, 12/25/2012 3:13:49 AM     (No. 9082705)

RIP. Great actor. Lovely man.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Bearman43, 12/25/2012 3:21:23 AM     (No. 9082710)

Charles Durning was a great actor. His role as Governor in "O Brother where Art thou," was brilliant. However, I think his best role was as a soldier on Omaha Beach June 6, 1944.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Linder, 12/25/2012 4:04:25 AM     (No. 9082721)

#4...perfect tribute.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Jay Howard Smith, 12/25/2012 4:16:15 AM     (No. 9082724)

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Jay Howard Smith, 12/25/2012 4:17:16 AM     (No. 9082725)

A Silver Star and three Purple Heart recipient during World War II. Day is done Mr Durning, RIP.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Smaj, 12/25/2012 4:38:46 AM     (No. 9082732)

Rest In Peace Mister Durning. You were a brave soldier and a great actor. Your buddies are waiting for you at Fiddler´s Green.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: bob913, 12/25/2012 4:41:49 AM     (No. 9082733)

Jack Klugman also passed away.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: ocjim, 12/25/2012 5:22:12 AM     (No. 9082752)

Fine actor, and I never knew his politics. RIP, Mr. Durning.
(Sadly, like so many very elderly, he spent decades on this planet before Barack Obama was even born.)

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Reply 10 - Posted by: NYbob, 12/25/2012 6:11:32 AM     (No. 9082766)

Ironic that this man´s life is much more interesting, amazing and heroic than almost any role he played. I am pretty sure most of today´s actors simply could not imagine the life this man had.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: geminale, 12/25/2012 6:17:01 AM     (No. 9082770)

Charles will be missed. He was a great actor, and a brave American soldier.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Fiesta del sol, 12/25/2012 6:33:15 AM     (No. 9082784)

What a great American. He is going to be buried in Arlington cemetery. Thank you, Mr. Durning, for your service to our country. God Bless you.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Pluperfect, 12/25/2012 6:46:17 AM     (No. 9082789)

Also remembered with Maureen Stapleton in "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom".

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Reply 14 - Posted by: tedinmich, 12/25/2012 7:25:35 AM     (No. 9082811)

I´m not a movie goer, so I best remember Mr. Durning as the priest on Everybody Love Raymond.

Ted in Michigan

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Reply 15 - Posted by: WayneDavis, 12/25/2012 7:44:30 AM     (No. 9082816)

RIP Mr. Durning.

My favorite role of his was when he played a WWII vet Medal of Honor winner. Every time I see that episode I get tears. I have never seen a finer performance by him, and he has long been one of my favorite actors.

"Atten-hut! Present arms!"

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Patchy Groundfog, 12/25/2012 7:52:50 AM     (No. 9082823)

He was fantastic in two very different cop roles in The Sting and Dog Day Afternoon.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: LouD, 12/25/2012 7:54:23 AM     (No. 9082824)

Agree with all of the above. R.I.P, soldier brave.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Goose, 12/25/2012 8:17:45 AM     (No. 9082845)

His best performance as an actor was his reading of a poem, I think it was "Oh, Carentan," about Omaha Beach. It wasn´t acting, though. He had actually lived it.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Echohawk, 12/25/2012 8:19:04 AM     (No. 9082847)

My favorite role of his was Governor Medalias "Pass the biscuits" Pappy O´Daniel. He was great in The Sting as well.
I didn´t know he was a D-Day survivor. Wow.
I´ll have to check out more of his movies.
He was a fantastic character actor.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Chuzzles, 12/25/2012 8:31:49 AM     (No. 9082863)

That was also one of my favorite episodes of NCIS #16. Especially when Gibbs ´schooled´ those MP´s without saying a word. He just pulled back Durning´s jacket and let the medal speak for itself. I did not realize that Charles Durning was an actual war hero though. Makes this episode even more special.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Grateful, 12/25/2012 9:18:03 AM     (No. 9082902)

My favorite Charles Durning movie is ´Twilights Last Gleaming´ with Burt Lancaster. In my opinion Charles should have received an award for his role as president. A great actor, wonderful man and American hero.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: AnnG, 12/25/2012 9:21:08 AM     (No. 9082906)

I enjoyed the specials on PBS from the Capitol on Veterans Day. He would narrate stories on many brave soldiers with such passion it was hard not tear up. I know I did.
May he RIP.....

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Reply 23 - Posted by: jimK1, 12/25/2012 10:01:57 AM     (No. 9082944)

RIP Mr. Durning. The NCIS show is my favorite, you were superb as you were in the Final Countdown and of course the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Thank you for your war service and your acting, you will be missed.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: pearlyjo, 12/25/2012 10:03:04 AM     (No. 9082945)

Amen #23, I was going to mention the same.
RIP Mr. Durning. Thanks for years of entertainment too.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Susannah, 12/25/2012 10:06:55 AM     (No. 9082950)

His talent was exceeded only by his courage. RIP, Mr. Durning. You were hilarious in "To Be or Not to Be."

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Reply 26 - Posted by: Ret.TxLeo, 12/25/2012 10:13:32 AM     (No. 9082955)

My favorite role of his was also the NCIS episode. I love his other works..but this role spoke of the respect that should be given to our veterans...he showed the side that many of us never saw in our Grandfather´s who served honorably and fought hard for this country. You could tell as he was going through the story line..that it was real for him and his portrayal of a haunted man was perfection. May you rest in peace Sir, for you have served your country well...

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Reply 27 - Posted by: harleynyc, 12/25/2012 10:52:02 AM     (No. 9082983)

Side-steppin in Heaven.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: f64, 12/25/2012 10:52:56 AM     (No. 9082984)

Durning didn´t talk about his militay service, but Burt Reynolds discussed Durnings service on an episode of "Dinner for Five".

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Durning):

´Reynolds revealed that Durning was in a group of gliders who overshot their landing zone and that he had to fight alone all the way back to the beach. Reynolds also stated that his own father was there fighting about 15 yards away and that Durning was probably the most decorated veteran (then) still alive from World War II. (Snip) Durning was wounded by a German “S” Mine [a.k.a "Bouncing Betty"] on June 15, 1944 at Les Mare des Mares, France. He was transported to the 24th Evacuation Hospital. By June 17 he was back in England at the 217th General Hospital. Although severely wounded by shrapnel in the left and right thighs, the right hand, the frontal region of the head, and the anterior left chest wall, Durning recovered quickly and was determined to be fit for duty on December 6, 1944. He arrived back at the front in time to take part in the Battle of the Bulge, the German counter-offensive through the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and Luxembourg in December 1944. After being wounded again, this time in the chest, Durning was repatriated to the United States. He remained in Army hospitals to receive treatment for wounds until being discharged with the rank of Private First Class on January 30, 1946.´

A real hero - Rest in Peace.

P.S. - Take note - J. Fraud Kerry

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Reply 29 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 12/25/2012 11:36:21 AM     (No. 9083030)


A real hero and actor in the days of instant ´stars´ and political mavens.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: bob913, 12/25/2012 5:06:39 PM     (No. 9083330)

From IMDB: Was one of a few survivors to the infamous massacre of American POWs by German SS troops at Malmedy, Belgium, during World War II.

The surrendering engineering battalion, captured behind enemy lines when the main American forces retreated, were gathered together and brought to a large field. As the German guards backed away from the prisoners, machine guns that were hidden in trucks opened fire on them.

Approximately 88 US soldiers died, a good number of them by a single shot at close range through the head, indicating that those who survived the initial volley were subsequently executed.

Only about 20 of the group of approximately 100 managed to escape the massacre and make their way to American lines.

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Reply 31 - Posted by: bob913, 12/25/2012 5:10:33 PM     (No. 9083336)

I can´t count how many of my friends are in the cemetery at Normandy, the heroes are still there, the real heroes.

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Reply 32 - Posted by: antiquegolf, 12/26/2012 8:58:34 AM     (No. 9083931)

Sorry I missed this thread. Mr. Durning was a marvelous human being. RIP.

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