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.
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