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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remembering Charles Durning & Jack Klugman

Actors Charles Durning and Jack Klugman both passed away on December 24 at age 89 and 90, respectively.

Durning appeared in many films, including Sisters (1973), The Sting (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Starting Over (1979), When a Stranger Calls (1979) and the 1993 TV sequel, When a Stranger Calls Back, The Muppet Movie (1979), Tootsie (1982), Dick Tracy (1990), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Home for the Holidays (1995), Mrs. Santa Claus (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and State and Main (2000). He was nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the movies, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and To Be or Not to Be (1983). Durning also played Police Chief Gil McGowan on the daytime soap opera, Another World, in 1972, and he received Emmy nominations for his performances in the 1975 TV movie, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, and on the 1990-94 CBS sitcom, Evening Shade. His Broadway credits included Drat! The Cat! (1965), The Happy Time (1968), That Championship Season (1972), Inherit the Wind (1996), The Gin Game (1997) opposite Julie Harris (which I thoroughly enjoyed), Gore Vidal's The Best Man (2000), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1990), for which he won a Tony Award for his performance as Kathleen Turner's father-in-law, Big Daddy.

Klugman appeared in many films, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), I Could Go On Singing (1963) as Judy Garland's manager, Act One (1963) and Goodbye, Columbus (1969) as Ali MacGraw's father. He also played Herbie opposite Ethel Merman in the 1959 Broadway musical, Gypsy - for which he was nominated for a Tony Award - and he was Walter Matthau's replacement as Oscar Madison in the 1965 Broadway play, The Odd Couple. Klugman later reprised this role in the 1970-75 ABC sitcom of The Odd Couple (as well as a 1993 TV movie) and received two Emmy Awards for his performance. He also starred in the 1976-83 NBC series, Quincy, M.E.

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