‘Tootsie’ and ‘9 to 5’ acting icon Dabney Coleman dead aged 92

‘Tootsie’ and ‘9 to 5’ actor Dabney Coleman has died aged 92 credit:Bang Showbiz
‘Tootsie’ and ‘9 to 5’ actor Dabney Coleman has died aged 92 credit:Bang Showbiz

‘Tootsie’ and ‘9 to 5’ actor Dabney Coleman has died aged 92.

Best known for playing bad boss Franklin Hart Jr in the 1980 Dolly Parton film ‘9 to 5’, the Hollywood character actor’s daughter Quincy Coleman confirmed his death on Friday. (18.05.24)

She told Page Six the dad-of-four “took his last earthly breath peacefully and exquisitely” at his home in Santa Monica, California, on Thursday.

Quincy added: “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.

“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.”

No details were given on Dabney’s cause of death.

The Texas native’s entertainment career kicked off in the 1960s but it took him a decade to land his breakthrough role – as Merle Jeeter on ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’.

He has said about the role: “‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’ was a huge turning point. That was the turning point in my career.

“That’s kind of where it all started, as far as people’s belief that I could do comedy, particularly that negative, caustic, cynical kind of guy. I was pretty good at doing that kind of humour.

“So that was a huge turning point, and it was a lot of fun. In my opinion, it’s probably the best thing I ever did.”

In 1980, straight-talking Texan Dabney sealed his reputation for playing irascible middle-aged men with his ‘9 to 5’ role as Franklin Hart Jr.

He played a diabolical boss tormenting secretaries played by Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, who he has called “icons in their fields”.

His other famed roles include lecherous soap opera director Ron Carlisle, as well as parts in ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and ‘Buffalo Bill’.

He racked up around 180 acting credits, with his last performance in a 2019 episode of ‘Yellowstone’.

Nominated for six Emmy awards, he won one for his work in 1987’s ‘Sworn to Silence’.

He was also nominated for three Golden Globes, taking one home in 1988 for his performance in ‘The Slap Maxwell Story’.

Twice-married Dabney, whose wives were Ann Courtney Harrell and late actress Carol Jane Hale was not married at the time of his death.

Along with Quincy, he is survived by his three other children, Meghan, Kelly and Randy.