Charles Durning Dead At 89
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Dec 25, 2012 - 4:38:40 PM
NEW YORK CITY—Two-time Oscar nominated actor, Charles Durning, died of natural causes on Monday, December 24 at his home in New York City. He was 89.
Durning was born in Highland Falls, New York as the fourth child out of ten siblings. He lost five sisters as children due to scarlet fever and smallpox. His first experience of acting was as an usher at a burlesque theater and ended up taking the place of one of the comedians who was too drunk to perform.
Charles Durning and Dustin Hoffman in the film "Tootsie."
At age 21, Durning was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II for which he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart Medals.
Beginning in 1962, Durning appeared in 35 plays as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. He made his film debut in 1965 in the movie "Fireman" as Harvey Middleman. His breakthrough film performance was in 1973 in "The Sting" where Durning played the corrupt policeman, Lieutenant Snyder.
Durning has had more than 100 film and television credits including "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," "When a Stranger Calls," "Dog Day Afternoon" "The Final Countdown" and "The Hindenburg."
He received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" in 1982 and "To Be or Not To Be" in 1983.
Over the course of his career, Durning has earned nine Emmy Award nominations. He won a Tony Award as Big Daddy in the 1989 revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." In 1990, he won a Golden Globe Award for the television miniseries "The Kennedys in Massachusetts."
In 2008, Durning was honored with the Life Time Achievement Award at the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Ceremony and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He married his first wife Carole Doughtry in 1959 and together had three children, Jeanie, Michele and Douglas. The couple divorced in 1972 and in 1974 he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Amelio, to whom he would later separate from in 2010.
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