Charles Durning, the character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” died Monday of natural causes in New York City. He was 89.
Over his prolific career that spanned 50 years in film, television and Broadway, Durning appeared in such memorable movies as “Tootsie,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Hudsucker Proxy” and “Dick Tracy.”
“I was born a character actor,” Durning told USA Today. “"I was born looking older -- and I've been aging since I was a teenager."
Durning’s work led to two Oscar nominations. He was recognized for his role as a corrupt governor in “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas” (1982), starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton, and as an incompetent Nazi officer in Mel Brooks' 1983 remake of “To Be or Not to Be.”
Durning was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. He said he was always grateful for any acting offers.
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“I never turned down anything and never argued with any producer or director," he told the Associated Press at the time.
"If I'm not in a part, I drive my wife crazy," he said in a 1997 interview. "I'll go downstairs to get the mail, and when I come back I'll say, 'Any calls for me?''
Durning always said he would keep going until the end. "They're going to carry me out, if I go," he told the AP in 2008.