Dabney Coleman, actor who starred in Boardwalk Empire and 9 to 5, dies

Following his passing at the age of 92, actors Dabney Coleman was hailed as a “one-of-a-kind” by Lily Tomlin, Morgan Fairchild, and Ben Stiller.

Coleman began his acting career in movies like as Tootsie and 9 to 5, where he played nasty bosses and villains, as well as Commodore Louis Kaestner in Boardwalk Empire.

Lily Tomlin, who costarred with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in 9 to 5, remarked, “We just loved him.”

The actress posted a picture of herself as Violet Newstead, a character from X, next to a tense-looking Coleman, who plays her conceited boss Franklin Hart Jr.

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

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

“We went out for a bit in the ’80s and I adored him. This town has lost one of a kind!”

Coleman “took his last earthly breath peacefully and exquisitely” on Thursday at his Santa Monica home, according to a statement released by his daughter on Friday on the family’s behalf.

“My father crafted his time here on Earth with a curious mind, a generous heart and a soul on fire with passion, desire and humour that tickled the funny bone of humanity”, she said.

The actor Ben Stiller, who starred in Zoolander and Meet the Parents, commended Coleman for opening doors for character actors.

“As a character actor, the legendary Dabney Coleman almost invented—or defined, in a singularly exceptional way—an archetype.

After appearing in several TV shows and movies in the 1960s, Coleman achieved notoriety in 1976 when he played a dishonest mayor in the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

His roles in movies include that of a head fireman in The Towering Inferno, the father of Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, and a computer scientist in WarGames.

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

“As he lived, he moved through ths final act of his life with elegance, excellence and mastery.”

In Peter Levin’s 1987 judicial drama Sworn To Silence, he received an Emmy for best supporting actor in addition to a Golden Globe for best actor for The Slap Maxwell Story.

Coleman was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his main role in the NBC sitcom Buffalo Bill. He also won two Screen Actors Guild Awards while he was a member of the cast of the crime thriller Boardwalk Empire.