When you hear the name Dabney Coleman, what images spring to mind? If your answer is “the image of a question mark,” you’re an imbecile who’s managed to go through life without recognizing one of the greatest actors in the history of the craft. Since the early 60’s, Coleman has been out there busting his ass right along side some of the biggest names in the business. And at the age of 78, he’s still going strong with his latest role on the critically acclaimed HBO drama, “Boardwalk Empire.” While he doesn’t often get the recognition of your big-name stars like Dan Hedaya and James Rebhorn, he deserves just as much, if not more. So slap on your brain condoms, because you’re about to get mind-f**ked with knowledge about acting great Dabney Coleman.
Dabney Coleman Worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley
If you were skeptical about my claim that Dabney Coleman is awesome, this should put your hesitation to rest. After all, you can judge a man by the company he keeps, and Mr. Coleman keeps some very good company. He’s worked with Alfred Hitchcock (“The Alfred Hitchcock Hour”) Elvis Presley (The Trouble with Girls) and Steve McQueen (The Towering Inferno). How many people can say that? Add Robert Redford (Downhill Racer), Gene Hackman (Bite the Bullet), Henry Fonda (On Golden Pond) and John Stamos (How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale) to that list and tell me this guy isn’t good. You can’t!
Dabney Coleman Worked with the Muppets
I guess working with Steve f**king McQueen wasn’t good enough for you? Well how about Fozzie f**king Bear? Perhaps you’ve also heard of his friend, Kermit T. Frog? I thought so.
Dabney Coleman played a con-artist in The Muppets Take Manhattan, and if the producers of the next Muppet film are smart, they’ll ask him back. After all, if a man can look that intense while acting along side a fake chicken, you know he’s not screwing around.
Dabney Coleman’s in the Second Funniest Movie of All Time
According to the American Film Institute, Tootsie is the second greatest American comedy of all time. I can’t begin to tell you how much I disagree with that ranking. After all, the fact that Dabney Coleman is in the film should push it to number one.
Dabney Coleman’s Mustache Does Not Make Him Look Like a Child Molester
A mustache without a beard or goatee to back it up often comes off as creepy. In fact, nine times out of ten, a guy with a mustache can end up looking like a child molester, or even worse, a hipster. But not Dabney Coleman. He looks so awesome in his mustache that it’s hard to imagine him without it. In fact, rather than giving off the child-molester vibe, Coleman’s ‘stache probably gets him all kinds of attention from the ladies. Which brings me to my next point.
Coleman had a major role in the comedy classic, Nine to Five (1980). The film was a hit, thanks in no small part to Coleman’s portrayal of a smarmy, misogynistic boss named Franklin M. Hart Jr. And while the film itself is impressive, what’s even more impressive is the fact that, as the picture above clearly demonstrates, Coleman had the opportunity to touch Dolly Patron’s tits. Keep in mind, this was the early 80’s, before every girl who got touched by her uncle could run out and get implants. If you wanted ridiculously huge breasts, your options were basically limited to Dolly Parton and Elvira, which makes Coleman’s achievement all the more admirable. Way to go, Dabney.
When it comes to classic Cold War thrillers, you can’t get much better than War Games. And while you probably remember Matthew Broderick stealing the show, it was Dabney Coleman who held that film together. In fact, by the end of production, I bet Coleman’s back hurt from carrying Broderick on it the entire shoot. Screw you, Ferris!
Dabney Coleman’s Literally Too Good at Acting Like a Jerk
In 1983, Dabney Coleman landed a role in “Buffalo Bill,” a show about an egotistical television host. The problem for the show was that Coleman was just too good at playing an asshole character, and audiences didn’t know how to react. Despite the positive reception by critics, the show never found an audience. However, it is considered groundbreaking for its time, and former NBC president Brandon Tartikoff claims that canceling it was his biggest professional regret.
At any rate, please enjoy this totally unrelated clip of Dabney Coleman playing a racist jerk in the film Black Fist.
Two Words: “Drexell’s Class”
This short-lived sitcom aired on Fox between 1991 and 1992. It told the story of a crooked corporate executive who takes a job as a teacher to avoid jail time. Personally, I think the show would have been a huge success if it had stuck with its original title, “Shut Up, Kids!”
Well, if you count “and,” that’s three words. Who cares! In this classic 80’s kids movie, Coleman plays two roles: a mild mannered dad and an imaginary secret agent named Jack Flack. I’m sure if I watched it now it wouldn’t hold up, but when I was five, it was badass!
Dabney Coleman Made This Awesome Car Chase from Short Time
Coleman must have picked up something while working with Steve McQueen, because this car chase is right up there with the movie Bullitt. In the film, Coleman plays a cop who thinks he is dying, and wants to get killed in the line of duty so his family will get the insurance money. Hilarity ensues.
Dabney Coleman’s Too Good for Law School
In case you hadn’t noticed, Dabney Coleman is one smart mofo. He actually studied law at the University of Texas before realizing that law school is for assholes and moving on to acting. In all fairness, acting is for assholes, too, but Dabney Coleman is the exception.
“Boardwalk Empire” was one of the best new shows of 2010, and it’s coming back for a second season. The show’s popularity can be attributed to its shrewd use of “The Three D’s:” Death, Dames and Dabney Coleman. Any show can throw a bunch of topless girls and mindless violence on the screen, but when you throw Dabney into the mix, it morphs from cheap pulp fiction into a powerful drama. And after his impressive role as Commodore Louis Kaestner, perhaps an Emmy is in the 78-year old’s future. And if not, so what. Dabney Coleman doesn’t need your piece of sh*t statue.