Washington: Charles Durning, a decorated World War II veteran and multifaceted actor who was twice nominated for the Oscar, died of natural causes at his home in New York City, his agent told People magazine Tuesday. He was 89.
Appearing in more than 100 films and scores of television shows, Durning established a reputation as a first-class character actor with a knack for comedy.
Durning, who saw action in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, received a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his World War II service.
His professional acting career started when producer Joseph Papp hired him for the New York Shakespeare Festival.
The Highland Falls, New York native got his first big film role in 1973, playing a crooked policeman pursuing Paul Newman and Robert Redford in ‘The Sting’.
He portrayed the suitor of a cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman in ‘Tootsie’ before picking up an Oscar nomination in 1983 as a corrupt governor in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’.
Durning`s second Oscar nod came the following year, for his depiction of a Nazi officer in the Mel Brooks comedy ‘To Be or Not to Be’.
His other film appearances include ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, ‘Dick Tracy’, ‘The Muppet Movie’ and ‘Home for the Holidays’.