10:37 AM EDT 03/19/2015
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.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Devastated Wife of Engineer on Missing El Faro Is Pregnant with Twins: 'He's Never Coming Home'
PEOPLE's Call to Action on Gun Violence: Here's How to Contact All 535 Members of Congress
Florida Couple Charged with Child Neglect After 9-Week-Old Baby Goes Missing
'You're in Good Hands Baby Girl': Sheriff's Deputy Hailed as Hero for Comforting Crying Baby at the Scene of Alabama Car Wreck
Exclusive Photo! Sandra Bullock's Happy Life with Boyfriend Bryan Randall
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!