Contact Us

Charles Durning, Two-Time Oscar Nominee, Dead at 89

Charles Durning
David Klein/Getty Images

Charles Durning, one of the great character actors of the modern era, has passed away at the age of 89 from natural causes. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, his work should as he’s been a reliable supporting player in cinema and television for decades.

A World War II veteran, it took Durning a while to find his footing in Hollywood. Though he started in television, he was noticed by Brian De Palma, who cast him in 1970’s ‘Hi Mom’ and in 1973’s ‘Sisters’ and a number of pictures thereafter. But by 1973 he appeared in the Best Picture winner ‘The Sting,’ which guaranteed him work. And work he did, appearing over the next couple years in films like ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’ again for De Palma in ‘The Fury’ and in ‘The Muppet Movie’ as Doc Hopper, the man who wants Kermit’s face (and possibly his legs as well).

He gave great performances in films that weren’t always the best, from ‘Brenda Starr’ to ‘Sharky’s Machine,’ from ‘Solarbabies’ to ‘Tootsie,’ from ‘Dick Tracy’ to his work with the Coen brothers in ‘The Hudsucker Proxy’ and ‘O Brother Where Art Thou.’ He could play straight and had a talent for police officers. but he was also excellent playing his comedic side, and often worked miracles in minutes.

The timing of his death is unfortunate as Durning has played Santa Claus five times over the course of his career.

Best of KLAW 101

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KLUB KLAW quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KLUB KLAW contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.