Dabney Coleman Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in Austin, Texas, USA
Birth NameDabney Wharton Coleman
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

For decades, Dabney Coleman has often appeared as a smarmy, selfish, nervous person, often with money, who is mostly out for himself. He did such a good job in this type of part that he's made a career of it in film.

Dabney Wharton Coleman was born in Austin, Texas, to Mary Wharton (Johns) and Melvin Randolph Coleman. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, and studied law in Texas. Coleman has a well deserved reputation as a fine character actor, and a reliable presence for almost any role in TV and movies. Dabney Coleman's early appearances in the cinema were in The Slender Thread (1965) and Downhill Racer (1969). On TV he starred in That Girl (1966). As the 1970s approached he became a well-known character actor in television and movies, appearing in The Towering Inferno (1974), Midway (1976), and Cinderella Liberty (1973). Television seemed Dabney Coleman's forum in the 1970s as Coleman played the role of Merle Jeeter in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976) and Fernwood Tonight (1977). Coleman made appearances in the popular North Dallas Forty (1979) and the Oscar-winning Melvin and Howard (1980). Dabney Coleman also became known for some satirical movies, starring in the comedy How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) and snatched a lead role for the TV movie Pray TV (1981). Coleman's reputation for playing world-class jerks became cemented in 1980 as the boss to Dolly Parton , Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5 (1980). The next year, Coleman was in very good company working with legends Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond (1981). Coleman's hit streak would not end there.

In 1982 Coleman landed a key role in the classic Tootsie (1982), further cementing his role as an unlikable wealthy boss in some capacity. In 1983 Coleman starred in the Cold War classic WarGames (1983). During this period he also found many parts in lesser known movies like Young Doctors in Love (1982) and Callie & Son (1981). In 1984 he starred in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) and in 1985 he starred with Tom Hanks in The Man with One Red Shoe (1985). In 1987 the actor won an Emmy for Sworn to Silence (1987). In 1990 Coleman took two lead roles, one in the disastrous Where the Heart Is (1990), and the other in the quirky comedy Short Time (1990). In 1993 Coleman starred in the slapstick comedy Amos & Andrew (1993) (a very funny part) and in a remake of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) as Milburn Drysdale. Coleman took an extensive line of TV movies, such films as Texan, In the Line of Duty, among others. Coleman took an unusual part in the ABC cartoon, Recess (1997), and then starred in a couple of big money grossers, the Tom Hanks comedy, You've Got Mail (1998), as Chief Quimby in Inspector Gadget (1999), and in Stuart Little (1999), both 1999.

Coleman is still very active.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Scott

Spouse (2)

Jean Hale (11 December 1961 - 4 December 1984) ( divorced) ( 4 children)
Ann Courtney Harrell (21 December 1957 - 1959) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Usually plays characters that are "up to no good"
Often plays a smarmy, selfish, nervous person with money that is out for himself
His mustache.

Trivia (22)

Parents are Melvin Randolph and Mary Wharton Coleman.
Attended the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1950s.
Was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute as a member of the Class of 1953... left after two years.
Entered VMI (the prestigious Virginia Military Institute) in 1949 but wound up studying law at the University of Texas and then theater in New York.
Served for two years in the United States Army's Special Services Division.
Diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but took part in a clinical trial which remedied his sight from 20-400 to 20-40 in just a week (2000).
Is a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity from the Texas Beta Chapter at the University of Texas.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 112-113. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Father of Quincy Coleman (born 1972), Randy Coleman and Kelly Johns, with ex-wife Jean Hale, and of Meghan Coleman.
His daughter, Quincy, released her first CD on September 30, 2003 called "Also Known As Mary".
A very good tennis player, Dabney gave tennis lessons in the 1960s.
Auditioned for the role of Professor Roy Hinkley on Gilligan's Island (1964), which went to Russell Johnson.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6141 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 6, 2014.
He starred in his own television series, Buffalo Bill, during 1983-84, in which he played an egotistical, chauvinistic talk show host.
He has English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German, and Swiss-German ancestry.
He's from the same city as Ethan Hawke and Steve Austin.
Didn't have a successful TV series until he was 69.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Burton Fallin in The Guardian (2001).
Acting mentor and friend of Simon Baker.
Barry Kemp had originally written the role of Coach Hayden Fox for Coleman on "Coach" (1989), after the two of them worked on the miniseries "Fresno" (1986). Coleman, however became unavailable when Kemp pitched the show to distributor Universal and network ABC, and the role went to Craig T. Nelson instead.
The March 10, 1982, issue of Variety announced the film "The Glory Road", directed by Marjoe Gortner starring Gary Busey, Dabney Coleman, and Mary Crosby, started filming February 1, 1982, filming suspended February 8, 1982. The film went bankrupt and was never completed.
Though hes famous for playing rich uptight guts it was the role of the professor he almost got on Gilligan's island not Mr Howell.

Personal Quotes (4)

I've played good guys and nice guys, but the truth is I'd rather be nasty than nice. The bad guys are always better written and more fun to play.
[on why he never phones in a performance] That's the way I do things. It's the only way I know how to do it. it's a competition thing. I compete with myself. I won't let myself do less than I know I can do.
[on acting in lesser quality films and TV shows] Those things are just bad memories. They have no air from the day you walk onto the set from the day you leave. There's no oxygen on the set. You can't breathe. It's just oppressive. It hurts to do things like that. And you do things like that to stay alive. To make a living.
[on playing bad guy roles] I maintain that you have a head start playing the opposite of who you really are. Because you know what the opposite is. Somehow you know a little bit better. Especially if comedy is involved. I don't mean it in an arrogant way, but that's what I believe.

See also

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