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Tony-Winning Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Star Charles Durning Dead at 89

Tony-Winning Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Star Charles Durning Dead at 89
Charles Durning
Tony winner Charles Durning is dead at age 89.

Tony winner Charles Durning died at the age of 89 on December 24 of natural causes in Manhattan, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Born on February 28, 1923 in Highland Falls, New York, Durning made his Broadway debut as an understudy in 1964's Poor Bitos. During his career he appeard in the original Broadway production of That Championship Season as well as Drat! The Cat!, Boom Boom Room, Indians, The Happy Time, Knock Knock and The Gin Game, as well as the 1996 Inherit the Wind revival. In 1990 he earned a Tony Award for playing Big Poppa in a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His last Broadway appearance came in The 2000 revival of The Best Man as former president Arthur Hockstader.

On screen, Durning earned an Oscar nomination for the 1982 film adapation of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He also received an additional Oscar nod for Mel Brooks' To Be Or Not To Be. His many other films included The Sting, O Brother Where Art Thou, State and Main, The Hudsucker Proxy, Tootsie and Mrs. Santa Clause. In recent years he appeared on TV's Rescue Me and voiced the father of Lois on TV's animated hit Family Guy.

During his time in the army, Durning fought in D-Day at Normandy in World War II and received three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star.

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