Charles Durning Overview:

Character actor, Charles Durning, was born on Feb 28, 1923 in Highland Falls, NY. Durning died at the age of 89 on Dec 24, 2012 in Manhattan, NY .


Charles Durning developed into one of the few star character players of the 1970s. The son of an Army officer, and himself a Korean War veteran who won the silver star, Durning tried an amazing variety of jobs -- boxer, button-factory operator, bouncer, liftman, ballroom-dancing instructor, construction worker, cabbie and waiter -- before settling on acting. An experienced Shakespearian by the time he came to the screen, he gradually rose in prominence from the early 1970s, at first in abrasive and often unpleasant parts, but later in a variety of roles, some of which showed off his talent for comedy.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Durning was nominated for two Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1982Best Supporting ActorThe Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)The GovernorNominated
1983Best Supporting ActorTo Be or Not to Be (1983)Col. ErhardtNominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

: War Hero (2)

By Will McKinley on Nov 11, 2013 From Cinematically Insane

was unforgettable as Jessica Lange?s rough-hewn father in Sydney Pollack?s TOOTSIE (1982), falling for Dustin Hoffman?s faux female leading lady in a performance both hilarious and heartfelt. He received Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominations as the governor in Colin Higgins... Read full article

In Memory 2012: (February 28, 1923 – December 24, 2012).

By Dawn Sample on Dec 26, 2012 From Noir and Chick Flicks

(February 28, 1923 – December 24, 2012). Was a character actor with performances in over 100 films died on Christmas Eve, according to his family. Durning's best known roles: police officers in the Oscar-winning The Sting (1973) and crime drama Dog Day Afternoon (1975), along w... Read full article

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1982

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Charles Durning on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Charles Durning Facts
Was considered for the role of General Worden in The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Has played Santa Claus five times to date, in It Nearly Wasn't Christmas (1989) (TV), Mrs. Santa Claus (1996) (TV), Elmo Saves Christmas (1996) (V), Mr. St. Nick (2002) (TV), and A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) (TV).

Was one of a few survivors to the infamous massacre of American POWs by German SS troops at Malmedy, Belgium, during World War II. The surrendering engineering battalion, captured behind enemy lines when the main American forces retreated, were gathered together and brought to a large field. As the German guards backed away from the prisoners, machine guns that were hidden in trucks opened fire on them. Approximately 88 US soldiers died, a good number of them by a single shot at close range through the head, indicating that those who survived the initial volley were subsequently executed. Only about 20 of the group of approximately 100 managed to escape the massacre and make their way to American lines. The incident was re-created in Battle of the Bulge (1965) starring Henry Fonda.

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