I completely forgot when I posted Monday. I really was reeling from the news of Jack Klugman's death. Now comes the news that Charles Durning has died as well.
Charles Durning was a really good actor. He left enough of a mark to be a punchline on Will & Grace. It was the episode where Jack gets the dog (and makes the dog speak in a British accent) and Will says something about "character actor Charles Durning"?
He played many roles but, for a lot of us, he was magical in Tootsie.
Tootsie brought out the best in so many.
Jessica Lange could have just been a confection in that film but she made the character so much more. Terri Garr had real power in that film. Dustin Hoffman made America truly fall in love with him. Bill Murray showed us that he had a lot more to offer than just leads in B-comedies.
And Charles Durning.
He played Jessica's father. Dustin is a man who can't get hired as an actor (his agent Sidney Pollack tells him). No one will hire him. To prove his agent wrong, Dustin dresses up as a woman and gets a soap. That's where he meets Jessica who plays a nurse on the soap.
Durning watches for his daughter and falls in love with Dorothy Michaels (Dustin).
And when he finds out Dustin is a man?
That could have sunk the film if it wasn't played right. Durning brought the right amount of umbrage and the right amount of concern for his daughter.
He was at his most magical in that film. And he was great in many others. I will miss him. No more deaths this week, please.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"