Durning getting SAG career award

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Actor Charles Durning will be honored with SAG's Life Achievement Award at its 14th annual awards show Jan. 27.

"Throughout his career, he has epitomized the art and grace of acting and brought something special to every role," SAG president Alan Rosenberg said in a statement. "He is above all things a great actor with the talent to which we all aspire: the power to create indelible characters."

The 84-year-old stage, film and TV actor turned to studies in acting, speech and dance as part of his post-World War II recovery.

Durning never spoke of his war experiences until the 50th anniversary of D-Day, when he disclosed that he had been among the soldiers in the first wave that stormed Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion, suffering machine gun and shrapnel wounds. He was also stabbed eight times by a German soldier, taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge and was the sole survivor of 40-man unit that took out a German machine gun nest. He has three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star.

Durning has also been nominated for numerous awards over his 50-plus years as a performer, including winning a 1991 Golden Globe for the miniseries "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" and Tony and Drama Desk awards for playing Big Daddy in the 1990 Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

He's most recently worked as Denis Leary's father on "Rescue Me." His upcoming film "Deal" has him reuniting with friend Burt Reynolds.
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