Dabney Coleman is an American character actor who is usually typecast as a smarmy, selfish, patronising, self-absorbed bigot, usually an authority figure of some sort, most famously as a powerful, chauvinistic boss.
His fate in these types of roles was cemented with his performances in movies such as Nine to Five, Tootsie and WarGames; and his starring role as Commodore Louis Kaestner in the period drama series Boardwalk Empire, from 2010-2011.
His most memorable film roles include the villainous boss in 9 to 5, the pompous director in Tootsie and the sympathetic role of Jane Fonda's boyfriend in On Golden Pond.
On film, Coleman gave one his most ambitious performances in John Boorman's Where the Heart Is as a formidable New York patriarch who decides to teach his pampered children the value of money.
Over the years, the veteran actor has starred in WarGames, Cloak and Dagger, Dragnet, Meet the Applegates and The Beverly Hillbillies.
His TV career began with a recurring role of the boyfriend of That Girl and has included award-worthy performances in series such as Buffalo Bill (Golden Globe nomination, two Emmy nominations) and The 'Slap' Maxwell Story (Golden Globe award, Emmy nomination).
Although much of his earlier television series work was in comedy, it was equally rich in drama, showing Coleman's tremendous range as an actor.
He was nominated for a Golden Globe and won an Emmy for his dramatic performance in the television movie Sworn to Silence, opposite Liam Neeson and Peter Coyote; he earned an Emmy nomination for the miniseries Baby M, one of the first shows to deal with surrogate mothers.
He earned another Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Columbo, and he was nominated for a CableACE Award for his performance as the prudent head of a network in the HBO original movie Murrow.
In 2001, he began a three-season run on The Guardian, starring alongside Simon Baker as his concerned and driven father.
In addition to Boardwalk Empire, Coleman can be seen in Char·ac·ter, a documentary on six illuminating filmmakers and friends.