Charles Durning Passes Away At 89
Charles Durning, who worked in Hollywood for nearly six full decades working on over 200 titles, has passed away at the age of 89. The character actor's death was confirmed by his daughter, having died last night in his Manhattan home. As prolific as they come, Durning split his career between the stage, the small screen and big screen. He earned acclaim for his take on Big Daddy in an early 90s staging of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, had recurring roles on series like Everybody Loves Raymond, Evening Shade and Rescue Me, and starred in classic movies like Tootsie and The Sting.
The actors first credited role was in the Walter Cronkite-hosted history show from the 1950s called You Are There. He played Colonel John Jameson in an episode about the treason of the traitor Benedict Arnold. Most recently he was working on a horror film called Scavenger Killers, which co-stars Eric Roberts, Robert Loggia and Dustin Diamond. The movie is expected to be released some time in 2013. The New York Times notes that over the course of his career he won a number of awards and found himself nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in back to back years at the Academy Awards. In 1983 he was up for his part in Colin Higgins' The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and then in 1984 he earned another nod for Alan Johnson's To Be or Not To Be.
Being the Coen brothers fan that I am, I will always remember During for his work in both The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Though he only has a small role in the earlier film, playing the window-smashing Waring Hudsucker, his part as constituent Pappy O'Daniel is my favorite part of the Coens' Odyssey riff. Our condolences go out to Durning's family and he will be missed in the cinema world.
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