• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Dabney Coleman, ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Buffalo Bill’ Star, Dead at 92

Dabney Coleman, ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Buffalo Bill’ Star, Dead at 92

Photo: Jim Britt /Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Dabney Coleman, the actor who bossed Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton around in the 1980 comedy 9 to 5, died at his home in Santa Monica on Thursday. He was 92. His daughter, Quincy Coleman, confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter. “My father crafted his time here on Earth with a curious mind, a generous heart and a soul on fire with passion, desire and humor that tickled the funny bone of humanity,” she said in a statement. “As he lived, he moved through this final act of his life with elegance, excellence and mastery. A teacher, a hero and a king, Dabney Coleman is a gift and blessing in life and in death as his spirit will shine through his work, his loved ones and his legacy … eternally.”

Born in Austin, Texas in 1932, Coleman studied acting at Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre from 1958 to 1960. But it was in his forties that he really became a household name. In a 2010 interview with Vulture, Coleman credited that shift in popularity to the soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman for showcasing his comedic chops. (He also theorized that growing his signature ‘stache helped.) Ultimately, Coleman developed a reputation for playing on-screen jerks in movies and shows such as 9 to 5, Buffalo Bill, Tootsie, Boardwalk Empire, and more. “It’s fun playing those roles,” he told Vulture. “You get to do outlandish things, things that you want to do, probably, in real life but you just don’t because you’re a civilized human being. There are no holds barred when you’re playing [jerks] — I couldn’t imagine anyone not loving playing those parts.”

Over the course of his decades-long career, Coleman won an Emmy Award for his supporting role in Sworn to Silence, a Golden Globe for Best Actor for The Slap Maxwell Story, and two SAG awards as part of the ensemble cast of Boardwalk Empire. More recently, he guest starred as John Dutton Sr. in Yellowstone. He is survived by four children and five grandchildren.

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