Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Big Screen in the Sky

The joy of the holiday season has been diminished here at Film Gab with the loss of two classic actors on the same day. Both Jack Klugman and Charles Durning passed away on Monday 12/24/12. The New York Times saluted both of these talented actors and so shall we. 
Klugman is most-remembered for his television work on The Odd Couple and Quincy M.E., but this classic everyman also made some memorable appearances on the silver screen. Klugman was the last surviving juror from the 1957 courtroom masterpiece, 12 Angry Men; played Jack Lemmon's AA sponsor in Blake Edward's Days of Wine and Roses (1962); and even wrangled Judy in her near bio-pic I Could Go On Singing (1963). 
No less an everyman, Durning had a long career as a character actor in such films as The Sting (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), The Muppet Movie (1979), and as an unconventional love interest for Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie (1982). You haven't lived until you've seen Durning slide-dance as the Governor in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). Both of these actors proved that a good everyman is hard to find.

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