Celebrities

Character Actor Charles Durning Dead at 89

Known for many supporting roles

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Charles Durning, who overcame poverty, battlefield trauma and nagging self-doubt to become an acclaimed character actor, whether on stage as Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or in film as the lonely widower smitten with a cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie," died Monday in New York. He was 89. He died of natural causes, The Associated Press reported, citing Judith Moss, his agent and friend.

Charles Durning may not have been a household name, but with his pugnacious features and imposing bulk he was a familiar presence in American movies, television and theater, even if often overshadowed by the headliners.