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Tootsie actor dead

New York, Dec. 25 (Reuters): Charles Durning, a World War II hero who became one of Hollywood’s top character actors in films like The Sting, Tootsie and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, has died, a New York City funeral home said today. He was 89.

Durning, who was nominated for nine Emmys for his television work as well as two Academy Awards, died of natural causes at his New York City home yesterday, his agent told People magazine. Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan confirmed Durning’s death to Reuters.

Durning also was an accomplished stage actor and once said he preferred doing plays because of the immediacy they offered. He gained his first substantial acting experience through the New York Shakespeare Festival starting in the early 1960s and won a Tony Award for playing Big Daddy in a 1990 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Durning’s first national exposure came playing a crooked policeman who gets conned by Robert Redford in the 1973 movie The Sting.

 
 
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