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Published: Wed, December 26, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

newsmakers

Ben Affleck won’t run for US Senate in Mass.

BOSTON

Ben Affleck is taking his name off the list of possible candidates for U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat, which would be open if the Democratic senator from Massachusetts is confirmed as secretary of state.

Affleck said in a Monday posting on his Facebook page that while he loves the political process, he will not be running for public office. Speculation rose slightly when he did not completely rule out a Senate bid during an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation on Sunday.”

Character actor Durning dies

LOS ANGELES

Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge.

His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year career as a consummate Oscar-nominated character actor, playing everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in “Tootsie.”

Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role as a comically corrupt governor in 1982’s “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

Many critics marveled that such a heavyset man could be so nimble in the film’s show-stopping song-and-dance number, not realizing Durning had been a dance instructor early in his career. Indeed, he had met his first wife, Carol, when both worked at a dance studio.

The year after “Best Little Whorehouse,” Durning received another Oscar nomination, for his portrayal of a bumbling Nazi officer in Mel Brooks’ “To Be or Not to Be.” He also was nominated for a Golden Globe as the harried police lieutenant in 1975’s “Dog Day Afternoon.”

Associated Press


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