Charles Durning

Charles Durning

89 (passed away Dec. 24th, 2012)
Feb. 28th, 1923
Born in
Highland Falls, New York, USA
5' 8

Charles Durning's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Stephen King's Desperation TV Show
Stephen King's Desperation
Evening Shade TV Show
Evening Shade
First Monday TV Show
First Monday
Captains and the Kings TV Show
Captains and the Kings
Eye to Eye TV Show
Eye to Eye
Orleans TV Show
The Cop and the Kid TV Show
The Cop and the Kid

Main Movie Roles

2009 - The Golden Boys
2008 - A Bunch of Amateurs
2008 - iMurders
2008 - Good Dick
2007 - Kinky Killers
2006 - Local Color
2005 - The L.A. Riot Spectacular
2005 - Dirty Deeds
2000 - O Brother, Where Art Thou?
1996 - The Grass Harp
1996 - One Fine Day
1996 - Spy Hard
1995 - Home for the Holidays
1994 - The Hudsucker Proxy
1994 - I.Q.
1991 - V.I. Warshawski
1990 - Dick Tracy
1988 - Cop
1986 - Solarbabies
1986 - Tough Guys
1986 - Where the River Runs Black
1985 - Stick
1985 - The Man with One Red Shoe
1983 - To Be or Not to Be
1983 - Two of a Kind
1983 - Scarface
1982 - Tootsie
1982 - The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
1981 - Sharky's Machine
1981 - True Confessions
1980 - The Final Countdown
1979 - North Dallas Forty
1979 - When a Stranger Calls
1979 - Tilt
1979 - The Muppet Movie
1978 - The Fury
1975 - The Hindenburg
1975 - Dog Day Afternoon
1975 - Breakheart Pass
1974 - The Front Page
1973 - The Sting
1970 - Hi, Mom!

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Michael Gavin
Father Hubley
Francis Griffin (Voiced)
Assistant to the Boss
Judge Steven Romick
Eugene Brown
Stephen Donnell
A.J. Sheridan
Harry Deegan
[Complete List]


Ex-pro boxer, WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor are all inclusions on the resume of this perpetually busy US actor who didn't get in front of the cameras until around the time of his fortieth birthday ! The stockily built Charles Durning is one of Hollywood's most dependable and sought after supporting actors who first got his start in guest appearances in early 1960's TV shows. He scored minor roles over the next decade until he really got noticed by film fans as the sneering, corrupt cop "Lt. Snyder" hassling street grifter 'Robert Redford' in the multi award winning mega-hit The Sting (1973). Durning was equally entertaining in the Billy Wilder production of The Front Page (1974), he supported screen tough guy Charles Bronson in the suspenseful western Breakheart Pass (1975) and featured as "Spermwhale Whalen" in the story of unorthodox police behavior in The Choirboys (1977).

The versatile Durning is equally adept at comedic roles and demonstrated his skills as "Doc Hopper" in The Muppet Movie (1979), a feisty football coach in North Dallas Forty (1979), a highly strung police officer berating maverick cop Burt Reynolds (I) in Sharky's Machine (1981), and a light footed, dancing Governor (alongside Burt Reynolds once more) in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). Durning continued a regular on screen association with Burt Reynolds (I) appearing in several more feature films together and as "Dr. Harlan Elldridge" in the highly popular TV series "Evening Shade" (1990). On par with his multitude of feature film roles, Durning has always been in high demand on television and has guest starred in "Everybody Loves Raymond" (1996), "Monk" (2002) and "Rescue Me" (2004). Plus, he has appeared in the role of "Santa Claus" in five different telemovies!

  • His first job in the entertainment field was as an usher at a burlesque house. His career officially started as a singer with a band at the age of 16, before going into acting. His first professional play was in Buffalo before he went off to war.
  • Has played Santa Claus five times to date, in _It Nearly Wasn't Christmas (1989) (TV)_ (qv), _Mrs. Santa Claus (1996) (TV)_ (qv), _Elmo Saves Christmas (1996) (V)_ (qv), _Mr. St. Nick (2002) (TV)_ (qv), and _A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) (TV)_ (qv).
  • Was kicked out of the American Academy of Dramatic Art drama school because they thought he had no talent. Another famous thespian to be booted from the school was 'Jason Robards' (qv).
  • His wife, Mary Ann, was his childhood sweetheart.
  • Won Broadway's 1990 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for portraying Big Daddy in a revival of 'Tennessee Williams' (qv)' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
  • Served with the 1st Infantry Division in World War II. He landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 during the Normandy invasion. He was awarded several decorations, including the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and three Purple Hearts.
  • Was trained in classical dance and was for a time in his early career, a dance instructor.
  • Was considered for the role of General Worden in _The Dirty Dozen (1967)_ (qv).

Related sites for this celeb
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