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Charles Durning: 5 Facts About the Consummate Character Actor
Posted By Patrick Kiger On December 26, 2012 @ 9:47 am In Legacy | Comments Disabled
You might remember Charles Durning  as the crooked Lt. Snyder in the classic 1973 film The Sting, or as the World War II Medal of Honor winner who confesses to killing his best friend in a 2004 episode of the hit TV series NCIS. Or you might recall him as the U.S. President that a renegade Air Force General (portrayed by Burt Lancaster) tries to force to release a scandalous secret document in the 1977 movie thriller Twilight’s Last Gleaming. Or as Jack Amsterdam, the corrupt Catholic layman who becomes entangled in the grisly murder of an actress/call girl in the 1981 detective film True Confessions. Or as Doc Harper, the villain who kidnaps Miss Piggy in 1979′s The Muppet Movie. Or for his recurring roles in the TV shows Everybody Loves Raymond and Rescue Me.
We could cite a lot more possibilities, but you get the idea. Charles Durning, who died on Dec. 24 at age 89  in New York City, played a whole lot of roles in his half-century-long career — all told, 207 of them, according the Internet Movie Database. While he was never a star, he was highly sought after by directors. USA Today hailed him as nothing less than “the king of character actors ,” because of his skill in playing distinctive, memorable roles that helped to make a drama or a comedy special.
Here are five intriguing facts about the gifted performer, whose own life was as interesting as the characters he portrayed.
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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/12/26/charles-durning-5-facts-about-the-consummate-character-actor/
URLs in this post:
 Charles Durning: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001164/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
 died on Dec. 24 at age 89: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/movies/charles-durning-prolific-character-actor-dies-at-89.html?hp
 the king of character actors: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2012/12/25/charles-durning-dies-actor/1790203/
 National Order of the Legion of Honor medal: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2008/04/france_honors_charles_dur.php
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0GVUXh4tQQ
 1978 newspaper profile: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19780527&id=AgxIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=tYAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3489,6821370
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHkT3RJJBCA
 New York Times critic Clive Barnes: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F20811FC3F5F117B93C1A9178ED85F468785F9
 Shecky Greene: http://sheckygreene.com/story.htm
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