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Charles Durning

Charles Durning



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TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

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Also Known As: Charles Durnham Died: December 24, 2012
Born: February 28, 1923 Cause of Death: Natural Causes
Birth Place: Highland Falls, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor dancer dance instructor bartender night watchman construction worker cab driver elevator operator burlesque house usher Western Union delivery boy


A veteran character actor who was a widely recognizable face in film and on television for over five decades, Charles Durning earned his place as a dependable presence often playing pugnacious tough guys and authority figures. After working as a nightclub dancer and instructor, the WWII veteran broke into acting in the 1960s on the New York stage, which lead to him being discovered by director George Roy Hill and cast as a corrupt cop who harasses Robert Redford in "The Sting" (1973). Two years later, he earned considerable praise for playing a Brooklyn cop who negotiates with Al Pacino's bank robber in the classic crime thriller "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975). From there, he stole scenes in "North Dallas Forty" (1979) and "The Muppet Movie" (1979), while in the following decade he earned Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actor for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982) and "To Be or Not to Be" (1983). After wooing a cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman in the hit comedy "Tootsie" (1982), Durning was a regular on the popular sitcom "Evening Shade" (CBS, 1990-94), while landing notable supporting turns in films like "The Hudsucker Proxy" (1994). Always busy well into his senior years, Durning delivered one quality performance after another and was especially good as Denis Leary's womanizing father on "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004-2011). Though never an above the title name, Durning's durable presence in all genres of television and film made him a one-of-a-kind performer beloved by all.

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