Charles Durning


Charles Durning was an American actor who appeared in over 200 films, television shows, and theater productions. However, before he became a renowned actor, he was a decorated World War II veteran who fought in some of the most significant battles of the war. In this blog post, we will explore the heroic war record and film legacy of Charles Durning, from his Silver Star citation to his portrayal of iconic characters on the big screen.

Charles Durning’s Early Life and Military Service

Charles Durning

Charles Durning was born on February 28, 1923, in Highland Falls, New York. He grew up in poverty and worked odd jobs to support his family. In 1944, at the age of 21, Durning enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Europe to fight in World War II.

Charles Durning’s War Record

Durning fought in the Battle of the Bulge, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the war. He was wounded in action three times and was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery in combat. Durning also participated in the liberation of the Malmedy massacre site, where over 80 American prisoners of war were killed by German troops.

Charles Durning’s Acting Career

After the war, Charles Durning pursued a career in acting. He started off as a stage actor and eventually made his way to Hollywood. Durning appeared in numerous films, television shows, and theater productions throughout his career.

Charles Durning’s Most Memorable Movie Roles

Durning is best known for his roles in films such as “The Sting,” “Tootsie,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” He received Academy Award nominations for his performances in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “To Be or Not to Be.” Durning also played iconic characters such as Doc Hopper in “The Muppet Movie” and the governor in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”


Charles Durning was a true American hero who served his country with bravery and distinction. His legacy as a decorated war veteran and talented actor will continue to inspire future generations. We will always remember Charles Durning for his contributions to both the military and the entertainment industry.

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