• mrbrink

    I was sad to hear Charles Durning died the other day. He had a great face and an old soul’s comforting twinkle in his eye. Some of my personal all time favorite movies featured Charles Durning. The Sting, Tootsie, To Be Or Not To Be, The Muppet Movie, Hudsucker’s Proxy, O Brother…. I’ve seen every one of those movies dozens of times– at least.

    He was in a movie called, Two Of a Kind where he played an angel trying to save the world from the devil(played by Oliver Reed) through true love between John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Gene Hackman plays the voice of God and it’s one of my favorite-worst movies of all time because I am a sentimental sap who is not afraid to use words like “sentimental sap” in a sentence. I grew up thinking of Charles Durning as some sort of angel.

    In a recent article from USA Today:

    “He was among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the only member of his Army unit to survive. He killed several Germans and was wounded in the leg. Later he was bayoneted by a young German soldier whom he killed with a rock. He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners.”

    “They train you to do awful things, then they release you and wonder why you are so bitter and angry,” Durning told USA TODAY in 1994, when he narrated the Discovery Channel’s Normandy: The Great Crusade. “Scars that you have from wounds heal. Scars that you have mentally never heal.”

    “There’s no nobility with war. It’s tear-’em-up destruction that leaves you frustrated, bitter and angry. … If you really knew what it was like for an hour, you wouldn’t want anyone to go through it.”

    Charles Durning was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts in WW2.

    I’ll miss him.