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Charles Durning Dies At 89

Tue, December 25, 2012 10:56am EDT by Andy Swift 2 Comments

The Academy Award-nominated actor, who many will remember for starring in ‘Tootsie,’ died Dec. 24 in New York.

2012 has claimed the lives of countless Hollywood icons, and now we have more to add to that tragic list: Charles Durning — who received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1982’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and 1983’s To Be Or Not To Be — died Dec. 24 at the age of 89.

Charles Durning’s Career History:

The aforementioned titles were only a few highlights of Charles’ 50-year acting career. Since landing his first role in 1953, Charles appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows. 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon and 1979’s The Muppet Movie were also among his crowning achievements on the big screen. (That’s right, the man shared the screen with Kermit the Frog.)

Charles also had an incredible career on television with appearances on dozens of shows, including All In The FamilyEverybody Loves RaymondNCIS and even Family Guy.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Charles was also a decorated Broadway actor, who received a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Big Daddy in the 1990 production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

Towards the end of his life, Charles’ career slowed down, but he manage to nab one more nomination before taking his final curtain call. For his role on FX’s Rescue Me, Charles received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Charles’ Personal Life:

Before he began his career in Hollywood, Charles served in the military. He was drafted into the U.S. Army at 21 and fought bravely in World War II. He was wounded twice, once by a German S-mine, and again in the chest. He was awarded the Silver Star, as well as three Purple Heart medals.

Charles and his first wife, Carol, divorced in 1972 — they had three children together — and in 1974, he married his high-school sweetheart, Mary Ann Amelio. According to the Associated Press, Charles will have a private funeral and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetary.

USA Today

— Andy Swift

More stars we lost in 2012:

  1. Dick Clark Dead At 82
  2. Whitney Houston Dead At 48
  3. ‘Odd Couple’ Star Jack Klugman Dies At 90

Watch Charles’ performance from Whorehouse, then drop a comment with your memories of the Hollywood icon: