Character actor Charles Durning has died aged 89 of natural causes, his agent said.

The Oscar nominated actor played roles in The Sting and Tootsie.

He was nominated for an Oscar for a supporting role in 'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' where he played a govenor and in the remake of 'To Be or Not To Be' where he played a Nazi colonel.

He was also nominated for an Emmy nine times.

The actor, who was a WWII veteran, was Silver Star for valor and three Purple Hearts. He told an interviewer in 1997 he would not discuss his experiences at war, saying there were "too many bad memories." "I don't want you to see me crying."

He decided to become an actor almost a decade later when he enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

His time there, however, was short lived with him telling the Times "they basically said you have no talent and you couldn’t even buy a dime’s worth of it if it was for sale."

Despite the setback Durning became known as 'king of the character actors.'

Durning had three children with his first wife, Michele, Douglas and Jeannine, before divorcing her in 1972. Two years later he married Mary Ann Amelio.

He is survived by his children.