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.
The State Department has announced that the following embassies and consulates will be closed this Sunday over security concerns: U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -U.S. Embassy Algiers, Algeria -U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan -U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq - U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt - U.S. Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia - U.S. Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti - U.S. Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh - U.S. Embassy Doha, Qatar -U.S. Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates - U.S. Consulate Erbil, Iraq - U.S. Consulate
CHINCOTEAGUE—The U.S. Coast Guard rescued an Air National Guard pilot Friday morning near Chincoteague after two F-16 jets were involved in a mid-air collision. The Coast Guard was alerted about the incident at about 11:50 p.m. Thursday after receiving an ejection seat notification from the jet, according to a U.S. Coast Guard 5th District news release. The Navy´s Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach were able to confirm that two 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard were involved in a collision.
A majority of Americans back so-called “stand your ground” laws, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, though their views differ sharply by race. Voters support “stand your ground,” which allows individuals to act in self-defense during a conflict without attempting to retreat, by 53 percent to 40 percent. But the results break down over racial divides: White voters back “stand your ground” by 57 percent to 37 percent while black voters are opposed 57 percent to 37 percent. “Stand your ground” laws have been in the spotlight in recent weeks in the wake of last month´s acquittal
WASHINGTON —A judge signed an order today that will give former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. time to pay a $750,000 forfeiture arising out of his criminal case. In the order, the judge agreed to a request from lawyers in the case to postpone until Oct. 25 a decision on whether the government may seize Jackson’s interest in two homes and an individual retirement account should he fail to pay up. Jackson, and his wife, Sandi, a former Chicago alderman, will be sentenced on Aug. 14 by the judge who issued today’s order -- Amy Berman Jackson, who is not
A memo which was circulated within local government in Washington state, before being leaked to local TV station KOMO News, advised state workers that they should refrain from using such phrases in official business. According to the memo, the word ‘citizen’ is offensive to those Seattlelites who are residents in the city, but not US citizens. The phrase ‘brown bag’ is offensive for its having been used as a verb during racial segregation in the United States. When deciding whether or not a black person was light-skinned enough to enter a private residence, servants would ‘brown bag’ them:
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
PHILADELPHIA— The Philadelphia Eagles excused Riley Cooper from all team activities on Friday after the wide receiver was caught on video making a racial slur. Cooper said the last few days have been incredibly difficult and he will step away to seek counseling. "My actions were inexcusable," he said. "The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better." Cooper apologized profusely Wednesday after a video of him using the N-word at
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is accusing the Obama administration of a massive cover-up in the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack, saying it was “dispersing” witnesses around the country and changing their names in an effort to hide the truth about what happened. In an inteview Thursday with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, Gowdy said the administration is "changing names, creating aliases" of U.S. agents who were in Benghazi on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks. “Stop and think what things are most calculated to get at the truth? Talk to people with first-hand knowledge.
Members of Congress and their aides will essentially be exempt from Obamacare, as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will issue a ruling that says the federal government can subsidize the health insurance premiums of members of Congress and their aides even though the law does not say so. According to Politico, OPM was "under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill" to issue the ruling giving lawmakers and staffers special treatment because Washington feared a so-called "brain drain," as staffers unable to afford the healthcare plans available on the government exchanges threatened to go into the private sector.
HARRISBURG- The fate of Pennsylvania´s 16-month-old voter identification law is in the hands of a Commonwealth Court judge after closing arguments in the landmark voting-rights case Thursday. The state argued that it had done its part to ensure that all registered voters had access to mandatory ID, while petitioners countered that those efforts were not enough. Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, said the law placed a "fundamental burden" on a right "enshrined in the Constitution." "It is time to put an end to this and enjoin this law," Clarke told Judge Bernard McGinley.
A new petition on the White House website asks the administration to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The request was posted on petitions.whitehouse.gov on July 7 and quickly garnered more than the 100,000 signature requirement for the Obama administration to officially consider the request. "Declare Muslim Brotherhood organization as a terrorist group," was written within days of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who drew much of his support from the group, being removed from power by the military in early July. The petition states, “Muslim Brotherhood has a long history of violent killings & terrorizing opponents.
According to reports, the police officer who pulled over George Zimmerman last weekend outside Dallas may be in trouble. FOX4 in Dallas reported on Thursday that the Forney police officer, who has not been identified, allegedly used his personal iPhone to take a picture of Zimmerman´s driver´s license. Forney officials told FOX4 that the officer will be questioned. He could be disciplined if he violated police policy. And according to website TMZ, dash cam footage caught the alleged picture-taking. FOX4 also reported that the officer wasn´t on duty Thursday. Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was cleared of all charges
Colin Powell has admitted to exchanging ´very personal´ emails with a Romanian diplomat but denies having an affair with the much younger woman after a hacker threatened to release their intimate messages. The 76-year-old retired general told the Smoking Gun that he met Corina Cretu, 45, roughly 10 years ago when she was working as an assistant to the president of Romania. She is now a member of the European Parliament. ´After I left the Department of State in January 2005 we stayed in touch via email,´ he told TSG.
Mark Levin, who hosts one of America´s top radio talk shows and is considered by supporters to be the people´s pundit on the Constitution, is rallying his 8.5 million-strong audience to demand an historic convention of state governments to halt the "oppressive power" of the federal government. The author of two New York Times bestsellers on the threats to the Constitution, Levin hopes his latest, "The Liberty Amendments," out mid-August, will spark the state lawmakers to tap a rarely used Constitutional provision to institute measures that would brake President Obama´s use of executive orders, bar thousand-page laws and
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy
The former commander of special operations in Northern Africa told a closed-door briefing today that he was largely detached from events the night of the Benghazi attack as he was traveling at the time. The testimony of Col. George H. Bristol, USMC, Former Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command Africa, had been eagerly anticipated by members of Congress. Originally, lawmakers had been told by the Defense Department that he had retired — the actual date is Aug. 1, an “administrative error” according to the Pentagon — and that they didn’t have
FORNEY, Texas - George Zimmerman, the former Florida neighborhood watch leader cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, was pulled over for speeding in North Texas on Sunday, CBS DFW reports. According to the station, Zimmerman was armed when officers pulled him over on Highway 80 in Forney, east of Dallas. (Snip) The officer reportedly did not recognize Zimmerman, who was driving a Honda pickup. Zimmerman told the officer he was armed and was then told to put the weapon in his glove compartment, according to the station.
Arizona Sen. John McCain was the Republican Party´s 2008 presidential nominee and he still wants the keys to the Oval Office. But he is beginning to sound more like a fan of likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "She´s a rock star," he said in a newly released interview. "She has, maybe not glamour, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world," he added in a reference to her work as secretary of State. McCain, reportedly trying to win back his reputation as a GOP maverick, was asked by the New Republic
Serial sexter Anthony Weiner’s wife partly blamed herself last year when her horndog husband confessed to her that he was at it again. Friends and family told People magazine that Huma Abedin was kicking herself at the time for bailing out of couples counseling and focusing more on their newborn baby boy. But, thanks to a new round of joint therapy that continues even now, the couple was able to put the relapse behind them. “They really became a unit, and she feels much closer to Anthony now,” a relative told the magazine. That’s a long way from how Abedin
In preparation for the release of Oscar-bait film The Butler, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and director Lee Daniels (Precious) sat down with Parade magazine. The film chronicles a butler (Whitaker) who works in the White House through seven administrations. Winfrey plays the butler’s wife. In the interview, Winfrey explained her sadness that so few Americans know about the history of the civil rights movement: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat.” She then said of the historic use of the n-word, “I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last
The United States will temporarily shut down its embassies and consulates around the world Sunday, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt, as a precautionary measure, the State Department said Thursday. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed -- only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Sunday is a normal workday in many Arab and Middle Eastern countries. Embassies in Europe and Latin America would be shuttered that day anyway.
If we learned anything about Barack Obama in his first term it is that when he starts repeating the same idea over and over, what´s on his mind is something else. The first term´s over-and-over subject was "the wealthiest 1%." Past some point, people wondered why he kept beating these half-dead horses. After the election, we knew. It was to propagandize the targeted voting base that would provide his 4% popular-vote margin of victory—very young voters and minorities. They believed. He won. The second-term over-and-over, elevated in his summer speech tour, is the shafting of the middle class. But
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
[Video] Ouch. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turned down an offer by Sen. Rand Paul to join him for a beer and bury the hatchet in their ongoing -- and very public -- feud. "I´m running for re-election in New Jersey. I don´t really have time for that at the moment," Christie said in an interview on a local radio station. The New Jersey governor said if he finds himself in Washington, "I´ll certainly look him up." But he added: "I don´t suspect I´ll be there anytime soon. I´ve got work to do here."