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Tootsie Actor Charles Durning Dies

Charles Durning Dies

Originally posted 12/25/2012 07:30AM

Charles Durning, the versatile character actor whose friendly face and full form was recognizable to movie audiences since the mid-'70s, died of natural causes at his Manhattan home Dec. 24, his agent confirmed. He was 89.

Among his roles: The corrupt cop in The Sting, the show-stopping Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Jessica Lange's father and Dustin Hoffman's love-smitten suitor in Tootsie, a buffoon of a German officer in To Be Or Not to Be (another Oscar nod) and Warren Beatty's law-enforcement boss in Dick Tracy.

His range of real-life roles was even broader. Durning, a genuine World War II hero with the Purple Hearts to prove it, worked in a button factory, taught ballroom dancing, sung on radio, trained as a stockbroker and painted bridges.

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Oscar-Winning Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies

Marvin Hamlisch Dies

Originally posted 08/07/2012 09:40AM

Marvin Hamlisch, the prolific composer for film and stage, died in Los Angeles after a brief illness, a family spokesman told the Associated Press. He was 68.

No further details were immediately available.

Hamlisch became a household name in 1974, when at that April's Oscar ceremony he took home the gold for scoring both The Sting and The Way We Were. The following year he struck gold on Broadway with the landmark musical A Chorus Line.

In all, the celebrated workaholic won three Academy Awards, four Emmys and a Tony.

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