The Decorated PFC
JM, Charles Durning, 4.22.08
The event was winding down; people were saying goodnight. Suddenly Charles Durning, newly decorated to the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur of France, the nation's oldest and most revered order, came forward into a crowd of gents who seemed right out of The Sting. It was a good time to snap a cellphone shot; it was a good event put on by the French consulate, honoring an American who not only has appeared in over 180 films but who long ago landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day and who escaped from German prison camps twice during the war. PFC Durning regaled the Gallic crowd with tales of Germans merciful and Germans not so. The French government in the person of Philippe Larrieu, Consul Général de France à Los Angeles, expressed its debt of gratitude.
Durning is 85 and received SAG's lifetime achievement award two months ago.