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'The Sting', 'O Brother' actor Charles Durning dies, aged 89

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Charles Durning has died, aged 89.

The Oscar-nominated character actor passed away from natural causes at his home in New York City on December 24, his agent and friend Judith Moss said.

Charles Durning holds his life achievement award at the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles

© Chris Pizzello/AP/Press Association Images



Known as the 'king of the character actors', Durning appeared in a wide variety of roles in a career that spanned seven decades.

He was perhaps best known for his Academy Award-nominated roles as a corrupt governor in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and a bumbling Nazi officer in To Be Or Not To Be in 1983.

Durning also starred as the would-be suitor of Dustin Hoffman's cross-dressing character in Tootsie and as Pappy O'Daniel in the Coen Brothers' 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

He appeared in over 100 films, many TV shows and several Broadway plays, and was awarded a Golden Globe in 1991 for his role in the TV film The Kennedys of Massachusetts and a Tony Award in 1990 as Big Daddy in the revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

Speaking while receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008, he said: "I never turned down anything and never argued with any producer or director."

Durning was a World War II veteran, being the only member of his unit to survive the Normandy landings. He was also bayoneted by a German soldier, whom he had to kill with a rock.

He was later captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a prisoner massacre. He was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his service in the war.

Actor Charles Durning poses during ceremonies honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday July 31, 2008

© Reed Saxon/AP/Press Association Images



The actor also starred in the likes of The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon, The Muppet Movie, Dick Tracy and One Fine Day.

In more recent years he has appeared in several TV shows including Rescue Me, Monk and Everybody Loves Raymond, while also providing the voice of Francis Griffin in Family Guy.

Charles Durning is survived by his children Michele, Douglas and Jeannine.

Watch a clip of Charles Durning in O Brother, Where Art Thou? below:

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