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Dolly Parton pens emotional tribute after death of 'dear friend': 'I will miss him'

The Jolene singer mourned the loss of Dabney Coleman

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
May 21, 2024
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Dolly Parton is mourning the death of her "dear friend" Dabney Coleman following his passing aged 92 on May 16. 

The Jolene singer worked with the late actor on the 1980 movie 9 to 5 and took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to him on Monday. 

"Dabney was a great actor and became a dear friend," she began her statement. "He taught me so much when I was doing my first movie, 9 to 5. He was funny, deep and smart."

She added. "We remained friends through the years and I will miss him greatly, as many people will. Love, Dolly."

dolly parton jane fonda lily tomlin danbey coleman 9 to 5 premiere 1980© Getty Images
Dolly and Dabney starred in 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin

 Dabney Dabney died at his home in Santa Monica, California, and his death was confirmed by his daughter, Quincy Coleman. 

"My father, Dabney Wharton Coleman, took his last earthly breath peacefully and exquisitely in his home on Thursday May 16th 2024 at 1:50 pm," she said in a statement. 

"My father crafted 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 added: "As he lived, he moved through this final act of life with elegance, excellence and mastery. 

dolly parton and dabney coleman© Getty Images
Dolly and Dabney became friends

"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," Quincy concluded.

Dolly joins a long list of stars who have paid tribute to Dabney following his passing. 

Actor Ben Stiller took to X and wrote: "The great Dabney Coleman literally created, or defined, really – in a uniquely singular way — an archetype as a character actor. He was so good at what he did it’s hard to imagine movies and television of the last 40 years without him." 

dabney coleman dead aged 92© Getty Images
Dabney died aged 92 on May 16

Kevin Costner, who starred with Dabney in Yellowstone, said: "One of the most heart wrenching scenes I’ve been a part of. What an honor to have gotten to work with Dabney Coleman. May he rest in peace." 

James Woods – who starred in the 2001 animated movie Recess: School's Out alongside Dabney wrote: "I've gone to Dan Tana's restaurant regularly all my adult life. Dabney Coleman was always there, sitting in booth number one (appropriately), having his trademark steak. I had always loved him as an actor, and loved him more as we became friends. ##RIPDabneyColeman." 

Dabney Coleman in season two of Yellowstone© Instagram
Dabney appeared in season two of Yellowstone

After making his breakthrough as a corrupt mayor in the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, in 1976, Dabney went on to star in 9 to 5, You Got Mail, War Games, and The Towering Inferno

He won a Best Actor Golden Globe for The Slap Maxwell Story and a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for the 1987 legal drama Sworn To Silence. He also won two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the cast of crime drama Boardwalk Empire.

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