Actor Charles Durning, who starred in the 1980s film Tootsie, has died at the age of 89.
Charles Durning died of natural causes at his home in New York City on Christmas Eve, his long time agent Judith Moss said.
He was nominated for an Oscar for his role as a corrupt governor in the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, which co-starred Burt Reynolds.
A year later, Charles Durning received another nomination for Mel Brooks’s To Be Or Not To Be.
The World War Two veteran began his career on stage in the 1960s with the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Charles Durning’s first national exposure was in 1973 when he played a crooked cop who gets conned by Robert Redford in The Sting.
He went on to appear in more than one hundred movies and critics marveled at his ability to play diverse roles, dubbing him “the king of character actors”.
“I never turned down anything and never argued with any producer or director,” Charles Durning said in 2008.
Charles Durning’s roles ranged from playing the would-be suitor of Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie to Chief Brandon in Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy and Santa Claus in four different movies.
During the war, Charles Durning was the only member of his Army unit to survive the D-Day invasion at Normandy.
He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners.
In later years, Charles Durning refused to discuss his time in the military.
“Too many bad memories,” he told an interviewer in 1997.
“I don’t want you to see me crying.”
“Not only was Charlie a World War II hero but he was also a hero to his family,” his stepdaughter, Anita Gregory said in a statement.
“Charlie loved Christmas and if he could have chosen a time to pass, he would have chosen this day.”
Charles Durning is survived by his children, Michele, Douglas and Jeannine. He will be buried in a private family service at Arlington National Cemetery.