Bean, Durning Take on TV Roles From Youth

Monday, November 22nd 2004, 10:08 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Veteran actors Orson Bean and Charles Durning have taken on TV roles that touch on very different periods in their youths.

Bean, 76, who was blacklisted for a year during the anti-communist fervor of the 1950s, guest stared on ``Cold Case'' as a former communist sympathizer now suspected in an unsolved 1953 murder case.

Durning, 81, a decorated World War II veteran, appears in ``NCIS'' as a man who claims to have murdered a fellow Marine while fighting at Iwo Jima in 1945.

The ``Cold Case'' episode with Bean, titled ``Red Glare,'' aired Sunday. Durning is in Tuesday's episode of ``NCIS.''

Bean said he wasn't averse to revisiting the controversial period in which actors, writers and others in Hollywood faced a loss of work if they were tagged as communists or fellow travelers.

His TV career was briefly stalled but he didn't suffer the prolonged ostracism that crushed others in the industry, Bean said.

Durning, who has been in such films as ``State and Main'' and ``The Hudsucker Proxy,'' took part in the Normandy invasion and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He holds three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star.

Durning said he applauds ``NCIS'' for reminding viewers of history.

``I enjoyed the part,'' Durning said. ``I enjoyed that it was about my era, my time in the sun, I guess you'd call it.''