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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.´
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.
Former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will host a new outdoors show on The Sportsman Network, set to begin airing in 2014. The weekly show, entitled Amazing America, will showcase Palin’s “red, white, and blue” lifestyle. Palin is no stranger is television, having starred in her own reality show in 2011, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, which lasted only nine episodes. (Hey, remember this?) Palin won’t be the only right-wing figure on the network, as Ted Nugent hosts his own hunting show, Wanted Ted or Alive. Currently promoting her Christmas book, Good Tidings and Great Joy, Palin recently became
President Obama will make remarks on Nelson Mandela´s legacy during a memorial service Tuesday for the late South African freedom fighter, officials said Monday. "We do expect President Obama to speak as part of the program," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. The president and first lady Michelle Obama departed Monday for Johannesburg, where a Mandela memorial service will be held in a soccer stadium. Obama, who will also spend time with the Mandela family, is not scheduled to hold any bilateral meetings with foreign leaders while in South Africa, Rhodes said. Rhodes also said the
The world will pay its respects to deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela this week. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. At least 70 heads of state will be there, including four U.S. presidents. And with such short notice, it´s proving to be a major security challenge. South Africa has hosted huge events before -- the World Cup in 2010, and dignitaries from all over the world descended on this country for the inauguration of President Mandela in 1994 -- but the country has never seen anything like this. Scores of world leaders
WASHINGTON- A CIA program in which operatives posed as business people to gather intelligence was a costly failure and is being canceled, past and present officials say. The program, on which at least $3 billion was spent, began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Tribune Newspapers reported Monday. At its height, hundreds of agents working outside the protection of diplomatic immunity under "non-official cover" used fake identities and front companies to recruit sources in hostile countries, especially Iran. (Snip) The most well-known of the agents was Valerie Plame. Posted in Brussels, she posed as an energy analyst for a
Former VP Dick Cheney declared this morning that he doesn´t believe that President Obama thinks the United States is "an exceptional nation." On Fox and Friends, Cheney was asked what the main difference is between the Bush and Obama administrations when it comes to foreign policy. Cheney said that our adversaries no longer fear the United States, and our allies don´t trust the Obama administration to follow through. "We´re withdrawing from the Middle East, cutting the Defense Department budget to the bone, doing enormous damage there. ... The bottom line is nobody cares much in the Middle East what the U.S.
Emerging from behind airplanes and space capsules, the United States Air Force Band surprised visitors at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with a flash mob performance involving 120 musicians. The four-minute show was started Friday when Technical Sgt. Edward Prevost, a cellist, began playing after sitting down in a chair in the museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The full band soon joined in, playing an arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Joy to the World, while vocalists emerged from the museum’s second-floor balcony.
During the December 8th episode of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Republican strategist Mary Matalin countered arguments for a higher minimum wage by arguing that Obama´s economic policies are responsible for the very poverty it´s designed to fight. This was in response to Professor Michael Eric Dyson´s claim that "income inequality" and day-to-day arrangements for "the working poor" present problems that demand immediate attention. Dyson said we cannot even measure the number of the jobs created under Obama or make broader economic plans until "we deal with people who are at the bottom." Matalin quickly returned fire, emphasizing that the
The question all week long was this: Who are you going to believe, an illegal alien or the president of the United States of America? Obviously, if it’s a president who once went by an alias, Barry Soetoro, you go with Uncle Omar, 100 percent, no questions asked. And so it was that the White House finally admitted to another, uh, misstatement — despite previous denials, Barack/Barry did sleep on his beloved Uncle Omar’s couch in Cambridge when he first moved here to attend Harvard Law School (speaking of which, we’re still waiting to see the president’s grades and his LSAT scores). But the
How do you get your arms around the catastrophe known as Obamacare? Is it even possible? At this point, I’m not sure it is. The list of individual disasters which threaten to ruin one-sixth of the U.S. economy and what has been, up until now, the best healthcare system in the world is exhaustive, and exhausting. The examples I will identify here barely scratch the surface. First but by no means foremost, we have the supposedly new and improved HealthCare.gov. Except it’s not, even the visible part. Stories still abound of people still failing to get in or to get through the enrollment
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers. Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group´s numbers of injuries and deaths. Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20% and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21% to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page on Saturday posted a message honoring the dead from Pearl Harbor—accompanied by a picture of Obama descending the stairs next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The picture barely fits the name of the Arizona Memorial so it can frame Obama in the foreground. The post´s statement reads: Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served. President Obama The Obama Administration´s current shipbuilding plan shrinks the size of
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack,
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called "architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News´ Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama´s promise "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was absolutely true--with one important caveat: if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it." Wallace grilled Dr. Emanuel, challenging his false claims that California´s enrollment was keeping pace with the percentage of the young population necessary to keep the system afloat, and pointing out that the president´s promise on doctors would collapse once people lost their insurance or their
The U.S. isn´t called "America the Beautiful" for nothing. Each year, millions of tourists come from home and abroad to see the country´s majestic landscape and iconic sites, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty. But there are also cool, quirky attractions, like Vermont´s Ben & Jerry´s Factory and Tennessee´s Graceland, the former home of Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley. From California to New York and everywhere in between, the country is chock-full of incredible attractions that keep luring in visitors. Here are the best tourist attractions in every state.