Tony Winner Charles Durning Dies at 89

By: Dec. 25, 2012

Two-time Oscar nominee and longtime character actor Charles Durning died yesterday of natural causes in his New York City home at the age of 89.

Durning got his start on the New York stage and continued to return once or twice a decade. Among his most acclaimed performances were the role of Mayor George Sitkowski in the original production of Jason Miller's That Championship Season in 1973.

His Tony Award winning performance as Big Daddy in the 1989 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Matthew Harrison Brady to George C. Scott's Henry Drummond in the Tony Randall produced revival of Inherit the Wind in 1997, and Charley in the 1980 revival of Death of a Salesman also starring Dustin Hoffman and Kate Reid.

On film, he's most known for his roles as 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 suitor in Tootsie and a German officer in Mel Brooks' To Be Or Not to Be (another Oscar nomination).

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