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Stars pay tribute to Dabney Coleman, actor who starred in 9 to 5 and Tootsie | Ents & Art News

Dabney Coleman made a career playing villains alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Lily Tomlin, Morgan Fairchild and Ben Stiller led tributes to the Boardwalk Empire actor.

Saturday May 18, 2024 3:09 PM, UK

Lily Tomlin, Morgan Fairchild and Ben Stiller have paid tribute to ‘unique’ actor Dabney Coleman following his death at the age of 92.

Coleman made a career playing comedic villains, mean-spirited bosses and scoundrels in films like 9 to 5 and Tootsie, and playing Commodore Louis Kaestner in Boardwalk Empire.

Lily Tomlin, who starred opposite him in 9 To 5 with Jane Fonda and Dolly Partonsaid, “We just loved him.”

In her message to

Morgan Fairchild, who starred in Falcon Crest and Friends, described Coleman as “amazing”.

“We are very sorry to hear of the death of the great #DabneyColeman,” she wrote on X alongside a black and white photo of them together.

“We dated for a while in the ’80s and I adored him. This city has lost something unique!”

Coleman “peacefully and exquisitely breathed his last earthly breath” Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, his daughter said Friday in a statement on behalf of the family.

“My father spent 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.

“While he lived, he went through this last act of his life with grace, excellence and mastery.”

Coleman in 1989. Photo: AP

Zoolander and Meet The Parents actor Ben Stiller praised Coleman for paving the way for character actors.

“The great Dabney Coleman literally created or defined – in a unique way – an archetype as a character actor.

“He was so good at what he did, it’s hard to imagine movies and television from the last 40 years without him.”

Coleman with Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in 1980 Credit: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/IPX

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Coleman appeared in a number of films and TV series in the 1960s and then made his breakthrough as a corrupt mayor in the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman in 1976.

His film credits include a computer scientist in WarGames, Tom Hanks’ father in You’ve Got Mail and a chief firefighter in The Towering Inferno.

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He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for The Slap Maxwell Story and an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in Peter Levin’s 1987 legal drama Sworn To Silence.

Coleman also won two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the cast of crime drama Boardwalk Empire and received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his starring role in the NBC sitcom Buffalo Bill.