Actor Charles Durning passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 89. Though he seldom headlined a film, he should be immediately recognizable to any movie fan as a very prolific and accomplished supporting actor. Durning, whose film credits span six decades, had over 100 film credits to his name, in addition to numerous television appearances. His first credited role was as Dooley in Harvey Middleman, Fireman, but he is more likely to remembered for the many times he’s held a supporting a role in a major critically acclaimed picture. His credits included The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon, The Muppet Movie, Tootsie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and more.
Durning kept acting until his death, with his latest films being the independent films Rogue Assassin and Amazing Racer. At the time of his death, he had a role in an upcoming horror film, Scavenger Killers, currently filming. There is currently no word on whether his role was completed.
Even in lesser films such as the B-movie Solarbabies, Durning was often a highlight of the movie. He was an accomplished actor on both stage and screen, and his presence lent a certain weight to films, often strengthening the performances of other actors. He will be missed by film goers, particularly here at Morgan on Media.
Decorated WWII veteran, too. Fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was one of a few survivors in the infamous massacre of American POWs by German SS troops at Malmedy, Belgium, during the battle. One of the great character actors. So many films I’ve enjoyed through the years were made that much more by his presence in them. He will be very much missed. Fine tribute, Morgan.
One of the underappreciated greats, I think. Thanks, Michael.
Durning was great. He was a definite bright spot whenever he’d pop up in films, and definitely made a huge contribution to the classics he was in, such as The Sting and Dog Day.
Also did some uncredited voice over work in Scarface! Always stood out like a sore thumb to me, knowing who he was… I’d see the actor moving his mouth, but then hear Durning, and I was like… wait a minute, thats… not Charles Durning! LOL
I’ll have to look forward to that when I finally see Scarface… 😀
Well said about his prolific work over the years. I have seen him in only one movie: Dog Day Afternoon. He was superb in his role.
He really was; that was one of many in which he really shone. You should definitely check out some of the other films he’s been in as well.
“Oh, I like to dance a little side step. Now you see me and now you don’t. I come and go…” 🙂
Had to look that quote up. I haven’t seen The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas yet, though obviously with both Charles Durning and Burt Reynolds in it, it’s one I’m going to check out eventually. 😀
Definately a must see. Just for his song and dance! 🙂
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Good highlight here on Durning; he held his own in many solid films. I recall the Sting, Mass Appeal, Tootsie, North Dallas Forty, the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and the TV show Evening Shade. A fine character actor for sure. Nice post.
Yeah, he was good in Evening Shade, I remember that as well.