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Durning, `king of character actors,' dies in NY

 The two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors has died in New York. Charles Durning was 89.

SAG Award Lifetime Achievement winner Charles Durning in the Press Room during the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, Sunday, January 27, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors has died in New York. Charles Durning was 89.

Durning's agent and friend, Judith Moss, says he died Monday of natural causes at his New York City home.

He portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to put-upon everymen to Big Daddy in a Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." It won him a Tony award in 1990.

He was nominated for an Oscar for his over-the-top performance as a corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Just a year later, he got another nomination for Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be."

His breakout role was as a mayor in the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play "That Championship Season" in 1972.


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