They never go out of style. They never lose their appeal. They are never put away because their looks have faded or their waistline thickened. We stick with them, just as they stick with us. (Durning was working into his late 80s in a recurring role as the irascible father of Denis Leary's firefighter protagonist on the drama “Rescue Me”). In this way, too, they resemble everybody we truly love: We love them in every phase of their lives.
Like most of us, the character actor seldom if ever gets the girl or saves the world. They aren't flashy. But with their own special magnetism, they remind us, in role after role, that everyday people are special, too.
Sure, we love being dazzled by Hollywood glamour. We love stars who make us weak in the knees.
But an actor like Klugman or Durning bears a message that applies far beyond the realm of Tinseltown, a message worth remembering with every performance: Beauty is, as beauty does.
Now, with their passing, we don't feel the pain of loss as much as gratitude for all the happy hours shared with Durning and Klugman. We are so glad for knowing them. Never mind we never met.