(NYTIMES) — 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 on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.
His daughter Michele Durning confirmed the death.
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.
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Alongside Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s con men, Mr. Durning was a crooked cop in the 1973 movie “The Sting”; starring with Nick Nolte, he was a dedicated assistant football coach in “North Dallas Forty” (1979); in the shadow of Robert De Niro, he was a hypocritical power broker in “True Confessions” (1981).