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December 25, 2012


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"Not to be glib, but it's been a lousy day for great character actors who worked with Lumet"

To be glib, Martha Plimpton, Bob Balaban, Ned Beatty, and Jack Kehoe should all stay in bed surrounded by soft pillows for the next 48 hours to be on the safe side...

Joel Gordon

Isn't "great character actor who worked with Lumet" kind of redundant? Didn't they all work with him?

David Ehrenstein

I love him best here --



The man did know how to make an exit...


Dan Coyle

Durning made saying "Tough titty toenails!!!" sound cool.

Aden Jordan

Charles Durning will be missed. I saw 'True Confessions' for the first time this year, and was very taken aback by what a badass Durning is in his small but important role as a corrupt community leader. He was also very funny as the big Big Lebowski.


That's two commenters now who've mistaken David Huddleston for Durning. Do all hefty men look alike or something?

Durning should've been Oscar-nominated for DOG DAY AFTERNOON (John Cazale, too, but only Chris Sarandon made the cut). TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING and TOOTSIE, too. A bit surprising that his sole nominations were for THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS and TO BE OR NOT TO BE.


"That's two commenters now who've mistaken David Huddleston for Durning. Do all hefty men look alike or something?"

Of course not. But Durning was GREAT as Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski.

Josh Z

Even though I know better, I often find myself picturing Durning as the Big Lebowski as well. Something about that role seems like it was written for him.

Of course, Durning actually worked with the Coens in The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Aden Jordan

Thank you for pointing out the mistake. I should have checked IMDB or Thomson first!


I enjoyed performances in two of Durning's lesser-known films, "Lake Boat" and "Home for the Holidays". The former film isn't really worthy of him, and the second is nicely enriched by his performance.


As they are childhood faves, I always remember Durning best from THE STING and THE MUPPET MOVIE. Of course, he was capable of more varied performances than those two (Durning's performance grounds TOOTSIE), but comic villains are very tricky to pull off, and in those films, he did it without letting the seams show at all.

And I happen to really like LAKEBOAT, as well as Durning's work in it.

Shawn Stone

Loved him in De Palma's SISTERS--as the movie gets crazier and crazier, he's a lifeline to "reality." And his character is kinda manic-bonkers, too.

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