Charactor actor Charles Durning has stolen scenes in countless movies since the early 1970s (not to mention various TV shows and Broadway plays). Many of us grew up watching him as Doc Hopper, the evil fried-frog-legs magnate in The Muppet Movie. I always envision him in Hopper's stereotypically Southern white suit. I've pictured him wearing that suit even in movies where, after I did a little research, it turns out he didn't wear it at all, such as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (where he played the governor of Texas) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (where he played the governor of Mississippi). The man was born to wear seersucker and string ties.

Durning can steal a movie away from Muppets, for heaven's sake. He can even steal scenes from Robert Downey Jr. in Home for the Holidays, and Downey is arguably one of the top scene-stealers of the past 20 years. One reason is that Durning can sing and dance -- he danced professionally in his younger days. Suddenly, in the middle of a movie like Home for the Holidays, he'll start waltzing around the room with surprising grace. Or he'll just start singing, as in Tootsie or The Hudsucker Proxy, and all attention turns to him.
categories Features, Cinematical