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Dec 25, 2012 11:44 AM

Durning, 'king of character actors,' dies in NY

LOS ANGELES (AP) - One made us roar with laughter at his portrayal of a messy, cigar-chomping sportswriter in TV's comedy series "The Odd Couple." The other dazzled us with his versatility, playing roles such as the pope and Adolf Hitler.

Now, two giants of the entertainment world - Jack Klugman and Charles Durning - are gone.

The 90-year-old Klugman died yesterday in Los Angeles and Durning, who was 89, died at his home in Manhattan.

Durning earned an Oscar nomination for his role as an over-the-top, comically corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and for his portrayal of a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks' "To Be or Not to Be."

Following "The Odd Couple," Klugman played the gruff medical examiner in "Quincy M.E."

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