Coleman, Dabney 1932–

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COLEMAN, Dabney 1932–


Full name, Dabney Wharton Coleman; born January 3, 1932, in Austin, TX; son of Melvin Randolph and Mary (maiden name, Johns) Coleman; married Ann Courtney Harrell, December 21, 1957 (divorced, June 1959); married Carol Jean Hale (an actress), December 11, 1961 (divorced, 1983); children: (first marriage) Kelly Johns, Randolph, Mary. Education: Attended Virginia Military Institute, 1949–51; University of Texas, B.A., drama, 1954; attended the University of Texas Law School; studied theatre at the Neighborhood Playhouse School, 1958–60. Religion: Episcopalian.

Addresses: Agent—Gersh Agency, 232 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Manager—Michael Black Management, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 640, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Career: Actor. Military service: U.S. Army, special services division, 1953–55.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Phi Delta Theta.

Awards, Honors: Emmy Award nominations, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, 1983, 1884, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a TV series—comedy/musical, 1984, all for Buffalo Bill; CableACE Award nomination, actor in a movie or miniseries, 1987, for Murrow; Emmy Award, outstanding supporting actor in a special, 1987, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, miniseries, or motion picture made for TV, 1988, both for Sworn to Silence; Golden Globe Award, best actor in a comedy, Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, 1988, both for The "Slap" Maxwell Story; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor in a special, 1988, for Baby M; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor in a drama series, 1991, for Columbo.


Film Appearances:

(Debut) Charlie, The Slender Thread, Paramount, 1965.

Salesman, This Property Is Condemned, Paramount, 1966.

Jed, The Scalphunters, United Artists, 1968.

Harrison "Harry" Wilby, The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get into It) (also known as The Chautauqua and The Trouble with Girls), Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1969.

Mayo, Downhill Racer, Paramount, 1969.

Frank Donnelly, I Love My Wife, Universal, 1970.

Executive officer, Cinderella Liberty, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1973.

Charles Huntley, The Dove, Paramount, 1974.

First deputy fire chief, The Towering Inferno, Twentieth Century–Fox/Warner Bros., 1974.

Jack Parker, Bite the Bullet, Columbia, 1975.

Dave McCoy, The Other Side of the Mountain (also known as A Window to the Sky), Universal, 1975.

Heineken (cop), The Black Street Fighter (also known as Black Fist, Fist, Bogard, and Homeboy), 1976.

Captain Murray Arnold, Midway (also known as The Battle of Midway), Universal, 1976.

Maxwell, Rolling Thunder, American International Pictures, 1977.

Ralph Thompson, Viva Knievel! (also known as Seconds to Live), Warner Bros., 1977.

(Uncredited) Dave McCoy, The Other Side of the Mountain Part II, 1978.

Emmett Hunter, North Dallas Forty, Paramount, 1979.

Jack Heintzel, How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, American International Pictures, 1980.

Marvin Fleece, Pray TV (also known as K–GOD), 1980.

Judge Keith Hayes, Melvin and Howard, Universal, 1980.

Tom Dickerson, Nothing Personal, American International/Filmways, 1980.

Franklin Hart, Jr., Nine to Five (also known as 9 to 5), Twentieth Century–Fox, 1980.

Mark, Modern Problems, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1981.

Bill Ray, On Golden Pond, Universal, 1981.

Ron Carlisle, Tootsie, Columbia, 1982.

Dr. Joseph Prang, Young Doctors in Love, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1982.

Dr. John McKittrick, WarGames, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists, 1983.

Jack Flack/Hal Osborne, Cloak and Dagger, Universal, 1984.

Martin Price, The Muppets Take Manhattan, TriStar, 1984.

Cooper, The Man with One Red Shoe, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1985.

Jerry Caesar, Dragnet, Universal, 1987.

Walter Sawyer, Hot to Trot, Warner Bros., 1988.

Stewart McBain, Where the Heart Is, Buena Vista, 1990.

Burt Simpson, Short Time, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1990.

Aunt Bea, Meet the Applegates (also known as The Applegates), Triton Pictures, 1991.

Jeffrey, There Goes the Neighborhood (also known as Paydirt), 1992.

Chief of Police Cecil Tolliver, Amos & Andrew, Columbia, 1993.

Mr. Drysdale, The Beverly Hillbillies, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1993.

Charles Mayron, Judicial Consent (also known as My Love, Your Honor), 1994.

Gerald Ellis, Clifford, Orion, 1994.

Joel, Witch Way Love (also known as Un amour de sorciere), TF1 International, 1997.

Nelson Fox, You've Got Mail, Warner Bros., 1998.

Ethan Grover, Taken, Avalanche Home Entertainment, 1999.

Jonathan Gallant, Giving It Up (also known as Casanova Falling), Lions Gate Films, 1999.

Chief Quimby, Inspector Gadget, Buena Vista, 1999.

Dr. Beechwood, Stuart Little, Columbia, 1999.

Grandpa, Where the Red Fern Grows, 2000.

Voice of Principal Peter Prickly, Recess: School's Out (animated), Buena Vista, 2001.

Voice of Principal Peter Prickly, Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street (animated), 2001.

Mack "Mackie" Leonard, The Climb, WorldWide Pictures, 2002.

Mike Mulcahey, Moonlight Mile, Buena Vista, 2002.

Voice of Principal Prickly, Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade (animated), Buena Vista Home Video, 2003.

Drake Bishop, Domino, New Line Cinema, 2005.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dr. Leon Bessemer, That Girl, ABC, 1966–67.

Dr. Tracy Graham, Bright Promise, NBC, 1971–72.

Reverend Merle Jeeter, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, syndicated, 1976–77.

Reverend Merle Jeeter, Forever Fernwood, syndicated, 1977.

"Fast Eddie" Barnes, Apple Pie, ABC, 1978.

Bill Bittinger (title role), Buffalo Bill, NBC, 1983–84.

Title role, The "Slap" Maxwell Story, ABC, 1987–88.

Otis Drexell (title role), Drexell's Class (also known as Oh No, Not Drexell! and Shut Up, Kids), Fox, 1991–92.

Jack "Madman" Buckner (title role), Madman of the People, NBC, 1994–95.

Voice of Principal Peter Prickly, Recess (animated; also known as Disney's Recess), 1997.

Burton Fallin, The Guardian, CBS, 2001.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Tyler Cane, Fresno, CBS, 1986.

Gary Skoloff, Baby M, 1988.

Television Appearances; Movies:

The Movie Maker (also known as A Slow Fade to Black), 1964.

Agent Shephard, The Brotherhood of the Bell, CBS, 1970.

Bob Mitchell, Dying Room Only, ABC, 1973.

Senator Burt Haines, The President's Plane Is Missing, ABC, 1973.

Ted Seligson, Savage (also known as Watch Dog and The Savage File), NBC, 1973.

Detective Murray, Columbo: Double Shock, 1973.

Mr. Wood, Bad Ronald, ABC, 1974.

House of Evil, 1974.

Paul Mathison, Attack on Terror: The FBI versus the Ku Klux Klan, CBS, 1975.

Al Stephensen, Returning Home, ABC, 1975.

McCallum, Maneaters Are Loose!, CBS, 1978.

Josh Harrington, More Than Friends (also known as Love Me and I'll Be Your Best Friend), ABC, 1978.

Jack Wilson, When She Was Bad ... (also known as A New Life), ABC, 1979.

Randall Bordeaux, Callie and Son (also known as Rags to Riches), CBS, 1981.

CBS Chairman William S. Paley, Murrow, HBO, 1986.

Himself, The Return of Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer," CBS, 1986.

Ed Siegel, Guilty of Innocence: The Lenell Geter Story (also known as Justice Delayed: The Lenell Geter Story), CBS, 1987.

Jessie Kiplinger, Plaza Suite, ABC, 1987.

Martin Costigan, Sworn to Silence, 1987.

Hal Gilbert, Maybe Baby (also known as Sooner or Later and Baby Makes Three), NBC, 1988.

William Cox, Never Forget (also known as The Promise), TNT, 1991.

Hugh Creighton, Columbo: Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star (also known as Murder of a Rock Star), 1991.

Richard Williams, Texan, Showtime, 1994.

Arthur Milo, In the Line of Duty: Kidnapped (also known as In the Line of Duty: Taxman), NBC, 1995.

Seymour Kecker, Devil's Food, Lifetime, 1996.

Senator Ben Arnold, Sam's uncle, Target Earth, ABC, 1998.

President Richmond, My Date with the President's Daughter, ABC, 1998.

Lieutenant Stober, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (also known as Exiled), NBC, 1998.

Tuttle, Must Be Santa, CBS and Starz!, 1999.

John Kennedy, How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale (also known as How to Marry a Billionaire), Fox, 2000.

Henry, Kiss My Act, ABC, 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

The Night of One Hundred Stars II, ABC, 1985.

Comic Relief II, HBO, 1987.

Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood, ABC, 1987.

Host, "The Aspen Comedy Festival," Showtime Presents, Showtime, 1989.

Voice of Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln (documentary), ABC, 1992.

Scribe/Narrator, Idols of the Game (documentary; also known as Idols of the Arena), TBS, 1995.

Voice of Monsieur Fox, Aesop's Fables: A Whodunit Musical: An Animated Special from the "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" Series (animated), HBO, 2000.

Jessica Lange: On Her Own Terms (documentary), Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, The Beverly Hillbillies: The E! True Hollywood Story (documentary), E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Himself, The Perfect Pitch (documentary; also known as Brilliant But Cancelled: The Perfect Pitch), Trio, 2002.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Captain Walter Jones, Egan, ABC, 1973.

Captain Logan, Kiss Me, Kill Me, ABC, 1976.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Junkie, "Assignment—Teenage Junkies," Armstrong Circle Theatre, 1962.

Lee Mattheson, "Of Struggle and Flight," Alcoa Premiere, 1963.

Dr. Bobby Bainbridge, "Father Was an Intern," Ben Casey, 1963.

Tom Esterow, "Dear Uncle George," The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, 1963.

"Solo For B–Flat Clarinet," Breaking Point, 1963.

Dr. Williams, "The Mice," The Outer Limits, 1964.

(Uncredited) Lieutenant Rupert Lawrence Howard, "Speciman: Unknown," The Outer Limits, 1964.

Sergeant Lou Snyder, "Isabel," The Alfred Hitchcock Story, 1964.

Sergeant Keith, "World's End," The Fugitive, 1964.

William Gunther, "The Threatening Eye," Kraft Suspense Theatre, 1964.

Stanley Rivkin, "A Slow Fade to Black," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, 1964.

Alvin, "Their Own Executioners," Kraft Suspense Theatre, 1964.

Dr. Kirkson, "A Sense of Tempo," Dr. Kildare, 1964.

James Custer, "Wolf 359," The Outer Limits, 1964.

Captain Wilson, "Here's to Courageous Cowards," Twelve O'Clock High, 1964.

Floyd Pierce, "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet," The Fugitive, 1965.

Lieutenant George Webb, "Anybody Here Seen Jeannie?," I Dream of Jeannie, NBC, 1965.

Ira Barker, "Slow March up a Steep Hill," The F.B.I., ABC, 1965.

Sergeant Harry King, "The Fliers," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, 1965.

Allen Clarke, "The Hijackers," The F.B.I., 1965.

Rally master, "Rally around the Girls, Boys," The Donna Reed Show, 1965.

George Graham, "Coralee," The Fugitive, 1966.

Steve, "Approach with Care," The Fugitive, 1966.

Captain Robbins, "The Outsider," Twelve O'Clock High, 1966.

Captain Yardley, "The Mod Party," I Dream of Jeannie, NBC, 1967.

Steve Leonard, "The Conspirators," The F.B.I., ABC, 1967.

Captain Mitchell Ross, "The Innocent," The Invaders, ABC, 1967.

John Carter, "The Saucer," The Invaders, ABC, 1967.

Sub captain, "The Flying Nun," The Flying Nun, 1967.

Fred Palmer, "The Calculus of Chaos," Run for Your Life, 1967.

Sheriff Wrenn, "The Jubilee Raid Brief," Dundee and the Culhane, 1967.

Archer, "Death Has Two Faces," The Iron Horse, 1967.

Cal, "Ten Day Millionaires," Death Valley Days, 1968.

Ivar Peterson, "Queen High," Bonanza, 1968.

John, "The Guru," The Mod Squad, 1968.

Clyde, "A Darker Shadow," Bonanza, NBC, 1969.

Doc, "The Circle of Time," Then Came Bronson, 1969.

Pilot Sam Langlin, "Flight," The F.B.I., 1969.

Ty Williams, "Incident in the Desert," The F.B.I., ABC, 1970.

Detective Robinson, "The Humanization of Herbert T. Peabody," Nanny and the Professor, 1970.

Jamison, "The Game of Terror," The F.B.I., 1971.

"Portrait of a Hero," Mannix, 1972.

"Think of Me Kindly," Banyon, 1972.

Detective Murphy, "Double Shock," Columbo, NBC, 1973.

Lieutenant Dagger, "The Dead Lady's Tears," Cannon, 1973.

Daniel Leary, "The Caller," Ironside, 1973.

Elliott Desmond, "Suffer My Child," Search, 1973.

Paul Cleveland, "Blind Terror," Barnaby Jones, 1973.

Frank Hansen, "Cross and Double Cross," McMillan and Wife, 1974.

"Survival," The F.B.I., 1974.

Alex Linden, "Therapy in Dynamite," Kojak, 1974.

George Todd, "Jacob's Boy," The Streets of San Francisco, 1975.

"A Ransom for Yesterday," Mannix, 1975.

Brice, "Aftershock," Medical Center, 1975.

Walter Jennings, "Aftershock," McMillan and Wife, 1975.

George Clark, "A Taste for Murder," Barnaby Jones, 1975.

Andrew Horvath, Sr., "The Drop," The Streets of San Francisco, 1976.

Phil Wright, "The Seminar," The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 1976.

Jack Sheffield, "The House of Cards," Cannon, 1976.

"The Quality of Mercy," Medical Story, 1976.

Lieutenant Kruse, "Eamon Kinsella Royce," Police Story, 1976.

"The Payoff," Petrocelli, 1976.

Captain Stromwall, "Three Days to Thirty," Police Story, 1976.

Merle Jeeter, "Talk to a Jew," Fernwood 2Nite, syndicated, 1977.

Merle Jeeter, Fernwood 2Nite, syndicated, 1977.

Officer Peter O'Neil, "A Dead Man's Truth," Quincy

(also known as Quincy, M.E.), 1977.

Burt Travers, "A Good Smack in the Mouth," Quincy (also known as Quincy, M.E.), 1977.

Ted Sayers, "Final Judgment: Parts 1 & 2," Barnaby Jones, 1978.

Van Milner, "The Isosceles Triangle/El Kid/Last Hundred Bucks," The Love Boat, 1978.

Fred Tanner, "Arnold's Girlfriend: Parts 1 & 2," Diff'rent Strokes, 1979.

Brad Adamson, "Indoctrination in Evil," Barnaby Jones, 1979.

Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1983, 1987, 1991.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, NBC, 1984, 1990, 1991.

The Comedy Zone, CBS, 1984.

Host, Saturday Night Live, 1987.

Himself, "The Final Show," It's Garry Shandling's Show, 1990.

Hugh Creighton, "Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star," Columbo, ABC, 1991.

Voices of William Randolph Hearst and Don Wildmon, Sex and the Silver Screen (documentary), Showtime, 1996.

Voice of Ashton Philips, "The Palace of Clues," Jumanji, 1997.

Voice of Horace Scope, "Sees Stars," The Magic School Bus, 1997.

Voice of Ashton Philips, "An Old Story" (also known as "Bark at Jumanji"), Jumanji, UPN, 1997.

Voice of Dr. Boyle, "Hunt in the Hub," The Zeta Project (animated), The WB, 2002.

Television Work:

Executive consultant, Drexell's Class, Fox, 1991–92.

Stage Appearances:

(With Tania Velia) American couple, A Call on Kuprin, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1961.

The Night of One Hundred Stars Two, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1985.

TheAtrainplays, Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, New York City, 2003.

Made professional debut in The Dark a the Top of the Stars.


Television Episodes:

(Two episodes) Bright Promise, NBC, 1972.



Los Angeles Magazine, February, 1988, p. 16.

Newsweek, July 18, 1983, p. 71.

People, July 11, 1983, p. 71; May 6, 2002, p. 155.

Rolling Stone, November 19, 1987, p. 39.

Texas Monthly, February, 2000, p. 24.

TV Guide, March 2, 1984, p. 36; January 2, 1988, p. 26.

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