- Category : Entertainment-Comedy
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 4
American 6 ft. tall mustached character actor of films and TV. He was awarded an Emmy in 1987 for "Sworn to Silence." In the early '80s, Coleman scored hits in ensemble cast films such as, "Nine to Five," 1980, "On Golden Pond," 1981, "Tootsie,"1982 and "War Games," 1983. He carried his own TV shows "Buffalo Bill" and "The Slap Maxwell Story" in the'80s.
Raised in Austin, Texas during the Depression, his father Melvin Randolph Coleman was a businessman and cotton farmer financially ruined by the bad weather. Coleman was the youngest and the only son after three sisters. Attached to his father from his earliest memories, Coleman suffered separation anxiety when his father left to work. At four, Coleman's dad died of pneumonia, 1936. Mary Wharton Johns Coleman, his practical homemaker widowed mother raised him and his sisters with money left to her from her side of the family.
While Coleman grew up without financial worries, the early loss of his father haunted his youth and adult life. He vented his sorrow and anger constructively as a star football player in high school. Coleman was a scrawny, scrappy, competitive player determined to carry the football to the end zone.
At 17, he entered Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA and in 1953 was drafted and served in the Army Special Services Division. Discharged from the Army in 1955, he headed back to Austin to study at the University of Texas law school. Acknowledging his lack of interest Coleman, never attended class and was soon kicked out of school.
At 25, Coleman lacked a sense of direction in his life. He married Ann Courtney Harrell in 1957. By chance Zachary Scott, an actor and family friend of his wife's dropped by the young couple's Austin apartment for a visit. His style and persona impressed Coleman. After the 45-minute meeting, Coleman decided he would move that very next day to New York and become an actor. He attended acting school in New York and supported himself with small TV roles and off-Broadway shows. In 1962, Coleman moved to Los Angeles to try his skills on the big screen. "The Slender Thread," in 1965 was Coleman's first movie role, but he soon discovered difficulty in securing roles.
After a regular comedy role in TV series "That Girl," Coleman's career took off on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" as the Rev. Merle Jeeter, 1975. He continued to find comedy roles on TV and films.
His 1957 marriage to Ann Courtney Harrell lasted two years. In 1961, he met and married actress, Jean Hale and they moved to Los Angeles the following year. They raised a family in Los Angeles, Kelly born in 1966, Randolph born in 1968 and Mary born in 1972. The marriage ended in a divorce in 1983. Coleman regrets lost opportunities to have played an active role as father to his growing children.
During a tennis match in early 2000, the actor grew anxieous after missing an easy shot because of not being able to see the ball. An examination resulted in the diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness for people over 55. No one knows exactly what triggers the airment, which afflicts 10 million Americans, but its results is the destriction of the macula, or central retina. One of the first of 30 patients, Coleman took part in a clinical trial of a new family of drugs designed to block the progress, in which the compounds are injected directly into the eyeball. He did not flinch with the treatment - and the results were spectacular for some one-third of the patients. Coleman went from legally blind to nearly normal in just a week.
He is currently co-starring in the TV law-series "The Guardian," 2002.