27 June 2009
Let's start with a great one, huh?
He has made the statement that great acting comes from listening.
I think one of the all-time greatest pieces of acting I ever saw was when this man didn't utter a word-
The scene is in "Tootsie", and Dustin Hoffman enters the bar where Durning sees him not "in drag" for the first time. The Charles Durning character, who has been a little sweet on "Tootsie", slowly comes to the realization that Hoffman is Tootsie, and that realization is told through Durning's facial expression. It truly is worth the cost of the rental to see these few seconds of the film!
Thanks to Camerapilot's recommendation I did a little research on this hero.
He's nearly unbelieveable...
Drafted at 21, in less than six months he finds himself in the first wave to hit Omaha Beach at Normandy. Surviving that assault, he's injured and hospitalized a few days later but recovers quickly and is released once again for duty, just in time for the "Battle of the Bulge"! There he is captured by the Germans and is one of the hundreds of captured G.I.'s forced out of trucks into an open field at Malmedy by the SS to be massacred by machine-gun. Durning is one of a handful that escapes successfully.
He is the recipient of the Silver Star and 3 Purple Hearts.
It is understatement to say I am awestruck.
You can read more about Charles Durning here and here.