Dolly Parton remembers her ‘dear friend’ and 9 to 5 co-star Dabney Coleman in moving tribute

May 21, 2024
Parton's post triggered a heartfelt response from fans, many offering their own moving tributes to the late Coleman. Source: Getty Images.

While their characters may have clashed in the movie 9 to 5, in real life Dolly Parton and the late Dabney Coleman were incredibly close.

Their close friendship was evident following Coleman’s unfortunate passing on Thursday, May 16 at the age of 92.

In a moving tribute to her former co-star and “dear friend”, Parton took to social media to reflect on the “funny, deep and smart” figure Coleman was.

“Dabney was a great actor and became a dear friend,” she began.

“He taught me so much when I was doing my first movie, 9 to 5.

“He was funny, deep and smart. We remained friends through the years and I will miss him greatly as many people will.”

Source: Getty Images.

Parton’s post triggered a heartfelt response from fans, many offering their own moving tributes to the late Coleman.

“So many wonderful memories of him in cinema. He was the absolute funniest,” one fan wrote.

“Just heard the news about his passing. He was funny in 9 to 5 and great too in other movies I’ve seen him in. He will be missed but not forgotten! RIP Dabney!”

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“He was brilliant in 9 to 5 and you were too. RIP Dabney Coleman,” another commented.

Born January 3, 1932, Coleman honed his acting skills under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City between 1958 and 1960.

Coleman’s Broadway debut came in 1961 with the short-lived production A Call on Kuprin. He gained early television exposure in a 1964 episode of Kraft Suspense Theatre and later in the first season of That Girl in 1966.

His early film credits include playing a U.S. Olympic skiing team coach in Downhill Racer (1969), a fire chief in The Towering Inferno (1974), and a wealthy Westerner in Bite the Bullet (1975).

Coleman’s breakthrough role came in 1980 as the sexist boss Franklin Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5, establishing him as a comic relief villain. He continued in this vein with roles like the arrogant soap opera director in Tootsie (1982) but also diversified his characters. He appeared as the sympathetic fiancé in On Golden Pond (1981), a military computer scientist in WarGames (1983), and took on a dual role in Cloak & Dagger (1984).

Throughout his career, Coleman adeptly switched between drama and comedy, often playing variations of his 9 to 5 character. His portrayal of a self-centered TV host in Buffalo Bill earned him an Emmy nomination, and he won an Emmy for Sworn to Silence in 1987. Other notable roles include a Broadway producer in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), a magazine mogul in Dragnet (1987), and the befuddled banker Milburn Drysdale in The Beverly Hillbillies (1993).

He also appeared in You’ve Got Mail (1998) and Inspector Gadget (1999). In later years, he played a casino owner in Domino (2005) and was a regular on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (2010-2011). His final roles included a part in Rules Don’t Apply (2016) and a guest role in Yellowstone (2019).

In 2014, Coleman was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, cementing his legacy in the entertainment industry.

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