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New York – In a movie world of cops, mugs, southern governors, priests and Irish pals who had your back, there was none better than Charles Durning, a man that defined character in the term “character actor.” Durning died December 24th in New York City. He was 89 years old.
He had significant roles in classic films like “The Sting,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Tootsie” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” plus made a mulitude of guest appearances in TV series, mini-series and dramas. But what is less known about Durning is his heroic service in World War II, for which he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6th, 1944.
Photo credit: Warner Home Video
Charles Durning was born in Highland Falls, New York, into a large Irish family. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The movie world has lost yet another actor with ties to the horror genre. News broke on late Christmas Eve that Charles Durning had passed away at the age of 89.
The actor is best known for his turns in films such as The Sting, The Muppet Movie, Tootsie and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (not to mention his vocal turns on Family Guy), but horror fans might know him for his contributions to the genre...
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Klugman was familiar for his roles in television before taking on a significant part in Sidney Lumet’s suspenseful classic 12 Angry Men. He then returned to TV, finding even more fame in the small-screen transfer of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple. Starring opposite Tony Randall, the series ran from 1970-75. A year after the end of The Odd Couple, Klugman then found his most iconic role as crime scene investigator Quincy, M.E., which ran for eight seasons during 1976-84.
Charles Durning first found fame as the slimy Lieutenant Snyder in Oscar-winning crime-caper The Sting. Supporting roles in high-profile and iconic efforts Dog Day Afternoon, The Muppet Movie and Tootsie followed, as did Oscar nominations for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas »
- Craig Hunter
Charles Durning, best-known for playing memorable characters in a host of movies and TV shows, has died at the age of 89. The actor was nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes (of which he won one). He also won a Tony Award for his theater work.
Durning's most memorable performance was as the corrupt governor in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." The role earned the actor his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1982. Durning repeated the nomination in the following year, when he played a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be." Charles Durning's Golden Globe nominations came in 1975 (nominated for playing a police lieutenant in "Dog Day Afternoon") and in 1991 when he won for the role of John Fitzgerald in the TV movie, "The Kennedys of Massachusetts." The actor's lone Tony Award was won in 1990 when he »
His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year career as a consummate Oscar-nominated character actor, playing everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in Tootsie.
Durning, who died Monday at age 89 in New York, got his start as an usher at a burlesque theater in Buffalo, N.Y. When one of the comedians showed up too drunk to go on, »
- Associated Press
The Academy Award-nominated actor, who many will remember for starring in ‘Tootsie,’ died Dec. 24 in New York.
2012 has claimed the lives of countless Hollywood icons, and now we have more to add to that tragic list: Charles Durning — who received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1982′s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and 1983′s To Be Or Not To Be — died Dec. 24 at the age of 89.
Charles Durning’s Career History:
The aforementioned titles were only a few highlights of Charles’ 50-year acting career. Since landing his first role in 1953, Charles appeared in more than 200 movies and TV shows. 1975′s Dog Day Afternoon and 1979′s The Muppet Movie were also among his crowning achievements on the big screen. (That’s right, the man shared the screen with Kermit the Frog.)
Charles also had an incredible career on television with appearances on dozens of shows, including All In The Family, »
- Andy Swift
Celebrated character actor Charles Durning, whose myriad TV credits included Rescue Me, Evening Shade, Now and Again and Everybody Loves Raymond, died Monday of natural causes in New York City, according to The Associated Press. He was 89.
Durning scored his first of two Oscar nominations for his role as a comically crooked governor in 1982′s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. His second nod came the following year for his role as a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks’ To Be or Not to Be. His other notable film roles included Tootsie, The Muppet Movie and The Sting.
He is survived by his children, »
- Michael Ausiello
After “The Muppets” stuck fairly faithfully to the tone and style of the original Muppet big screen outing, 1979’s “The Muppet Movie,” it appears that its sequel will follow the “The Great Muppet Caper” in very much the same way. As the title suggests, the movie was indeed a great caper. Set in London, the film followed Kermit and Fozzie (playing twin brothers no less!) as a pair of reporters sent to interview the rich victim of a jewel thief. The new film is set to go in front of cameras in London later this winter, although we suspect the story could potentially stray into different parts of Europe, and we know that two of the key human characters will be a Russian femme fatale and an Interpol agent. We had expected Christoph Waltz to play the latter, but there’s now another actor being lined up for the role. »
- Joe Cunningham
I’m not going to lie, I’m in heaven right now, so to speak. It’s not everyday that word breaks that two people you greatly admire are collaborating on something together and this collab is one for the books.
Guillermo Del Toro (director of Cronos, The Devil’S Backbone, Hellboy, the list goes on and on), is set to team up with both Gustavo Santaolalla (composer of Babel, 21 Grams, etc) and the great Paul Williams ( who not only wrote music for Jim Henson/James Fawley’s The Muppet Movie but was also one of the stars/songwriters of by far one of my all time favorite films, Brian DePalma’s The Phantom Of The Paradise) on a music adaption of Del Toro’s fantasy-horror film Pan’S Labyrinth and a book he wrote continuing it called Pan’S Labyrinth: With Dancing. Pan’S Labyrinth was one of »
If you ever thought that a trippy fantasy set against the backdrop of Fascist Spain in 1944 would make for a great night of musical theater, well today is your lucky day -- Guillermo Del Toro's beloved and critically acclaimed film "Pan's Labyrinth" is headed to the stage. It would seem that development on "Pacific Rim 2" officially starting and the announcement of his "gothic romance with ghosts" "Crimson Peak" this week isn't enough news to drop on his fans for the helmer, who has apparently been shepherding "Pan's Labryinth: With Dancing" for four years now. And his patience has payed off, with great talent tuning up the thing. Two-time Oscar nominated composer Gustavo Santaolalla ("Babel," "Brokeback Mountain") is writing the music, with the awesome Paul Williams ("Phantom Of The Paradise," "The Muppet Movie") penning the lyrics. Sweet. (They are also working with Del »
- Kevin Jagernauth
We’ve watched the marching bands and giants balloon characters parade by on TV, we’ve watched college football, we’ve had our fill of turkey and all the trimmings… now, what better than to cuddle up with our loved ones and watch some good, wholesome family favorites on Thanksgiving Day? After all, we need our rest so we can rise and shine before the sun comes up on Black Friday to catch all the sales. So, in honor of the holiday and as a way to give you a jump on your holiday viewing schedule, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite family-friendly movies to watch on Thanksgiving Day.
Wizard Of Oz
For many years this 1939 masterpiece was truly event television. Before home video and cable TV, the only way to see this (outside of revival movie theatres and colleges), was once a year (usually on »
- Movie Geeks
As much as you may want to fight it—Ok, as much as I may want to fight it—the Christmas season continues to start earlier and earlier each year. This year, it’s safe to say that Disney assumes Christmas begins right after Halloween ends, as evidenced by their newest catalog release on Blu-ray, the 1992 family film The Muppet Christmas Carol. This Muppetized adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens story has its 20th anniversary this year, so it’s perfectly fitting for the film to finally get a high-definition transfer. On that count alone, this disc is worth picking up.
Though The Muppet Christmas Carol isn’t the best Muppet movie—plenty of people have affection for the 2011 revival, but for me, nothing will top The Muppet Movie, the one that started it all—it’s a likable, fun, and surprisingly faithful retelling of Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine, »
- Josh Spiegel
If you think you’ve seen James unleash the Beek on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, the upcoming season will make you howl as it proves you wrong.
James Van Der Beek‘s character’s self-absorption reaches a new saturation point in Season 2′s very first episode – airing Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c – when the former Dawson’s Creek star attempts to reunite his old WB castmates.
“We came up with a really fun, unexpected way to tell this story in terms »
- Kimberly Roots
It's time to start the music, it's time to light the lights … it's time to watch back-to-back Muppets until the inside of my brain turns into blue felt.
I've always been a Muppet at heart so when I heard the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square was holding an all-day Muppet marathon, I got there quicker than the Great Gonzo shot from a cannon. Seven films were in the lineup (the TV movies were omitted) and the atmosphere in the room was buzzing. I have to admit I was jealous of the couple in Gonzo and Kermit hoodies (complete with a blue hooked nose on the hood, and green neck ruffle respectively). There were Fozzies in every cup holder, and Muppet-themed straws in every drink.
Watching so many Muppet films in quick »
Scala Beyond, Nationwide
Fill the land with cinemas! Independent exhibitors get organised and sweep the nation in this refreshing initiative, uniting all corners of fringe film, from cult institutions (like the Scala itself, in its glory days) to pop-up cinemas and marginal movie clubs. More than 100 of them are involved in this six-week initiative, resulting in a bill of staggering, multiplex-averse variety: Manchester has a Turkish rip-off of Star Wars while Edinburgh has a screening of Eyes Without A Face in an anatomy theatre. Sheffield has Butch Cassidy in a bike shop while London's Roxy, the epicentre of the event, has a live score of John Carpenter's sci-fi classic Dark Star among others.
Various venues, Sat to 29 Aug
Like ravenous zombies to an all-you-can-eat brain barbecue, horror aficionados are irresistibly drawn to this annual film feast, where the great and the bad turn up in person to present their latest unsavoury offerings. »
- Steve Rose
Three weeks ago I wrote a post about the dawn of the golden era of Polish movie posters that centered on the early work of the great Waldemar Swierzy. The incredibly prolific Swierzy, who has continued to work until the present, has changed his style quite considerably over a half century and 2,500 posters, and I am not as much of a fan of his later work as I am of the lovely, deceptively simple, cartoon-like posters he produced in the 50s and 60s. His later work became much busier, more garishly multi-colored, and often dominated by what I like to call the Swierzy squiggle (most prominent in his series of American Jazz portraits, but also in some posters I really dislike such as his designs for Greystoke and Cries and Whispers.)
Swierzy’s 1973 poster for Midnight Cowboy, above, is one of the most expensive Polish posters ever sold at auction »
It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…
I was nearly three minutes into watching these videos before I realised I was sat, staring at my computer with a big, daft smile on my face. These vintage screen tests, taken from The Muppet Movie (1979), feature Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson), Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy (both played by Frank Oz), chatting about their puppety lives on set, totally improvised by their creators. They’re just bloody lovely.
Jim Henson’s creation was a complete phenomenon, which has continued to enchant audiences of all ages long after his sad passing in 1990. These clips are just a little bit of hidden magic, that remind us all why, over thirty years later, we’re still in love with The Muppets.
Source: First Showing
- Kate Valentine
All cineastes will tell you that often the most magical and interesting movie moments happen when the cameras aren't "officially" rolling. Screen tests and other rough footage often show a more honest and raw portrait of actors and directors, giving viewers a feel for the atmosphere on set. All that extends to these 1979 screen tests shot by director Jim Fawley, starring legendary puppets (and their beloved creators) Kermit The Frog (Jim Henson), Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz), and Miss Piggy (also Oz). Here, the iconic characters improvise their dialogue during some downtime on the set of The Muppet Movie. The puppets have a casual chat — against some great backdrops, too — but also share a few "existential" moments that remind us these felt-covered...
- Alison Nastasi
It's already magical enough to see The Muppets come to life on the big screen. Jim Henson's creations, when in the hands of geniuses like himself and cohort Frank Oz, don't even feel like Muppets. They feel like sentient beings, who just happen to exist in the human world. This shines in the long line of films featuring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and more, but this kind of charm is even more present off screen. Such evidence comes in the form of some screen tests with director Jim Frawley which feature Henson and Oz hilariously improvising in character on the set of The Muppet Movie. Watch! Here's the videos from The Muppet Movie with Jim Henson and Frank Oz via io9: It's amazing to see these two talents so engrained in their characters to have existential conversations about their lives as puppets, without any script to help them. »
- Ethan Anderton
Singer/songwriter Paul Williams, as Stephen Kessler’s brilliant (and occasionally heartbreaking) new documentary “Paul Williams: Still Alive” teaches us, is indeed, still very much alive. The versatile entertainer has had a profound impact on popular culture, writing songs for The Carpenters (“We’ve Only Just Begun,” as the documentary points out, originated from a television jingle), Helen Reddy, and Elvis Presley. Williams made nearly constant appearances on 1970s television, not only as a performer and guest on countless talk shows but also in episodic dramas like “Hawaii Five-o” and “The Love Boat.” He wrote “Rainbow Connection” for “The Muppet Movie,” won an Oscar for “Evergreen” from the Streisand/Kristofferson “A Star Is Born,” and wrote the songs, score, and co-starred in Brian De Palma’s cult classic “Phantom of the Paradise.” We sat down with Williams and Kessler to discuss making the film, how it became a buddy movie between the two of them, »
- Drew Taylor
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