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The Young & The Restless

Eric Braeden Pays Tribute to “Old Friend” Dabney Coleman


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Hollywood lost an icon when Emmy winner Dabney Coleman passed away on May 16 — and The Young & The Restless legend Eric Braeden (Victor) lost a longtime friend.

Coleman, who was 92, had an impressive acting career that spanned over six decades. Among his most memorable roles were the chauvinist boss Franklin Hart in 9 to 5, nasty TV director Ron Carlisle in the soap-within-a-movie hit film Tootsie, and Merle Jeter on the satirical primetime soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

“My old friend, Dabney Coleman, just passed,” Braeden wrote on Instagram, sharing two photos from when Coleman attended the Daytime Emmy winner’s 40th-anniversary party on the Y&R set back in 2020. “Upon his recommendation did I decide to do Y&R! Dabney was 92. A great actor, great friend, and tennis player! Rest in peace, my friend!”

Eric Braeden Dabney Coleman hug
Coleman was among the guests at a party held in honor of Braeden on the set of Y&R.Howard Wise/

As Braeden had shared during the set-side celebration in his honor four years ago, he had turned to Coleman — with whom he frequently played tennis — for advice when the soap was interested in meeting him back in 1980. In the early 1970s, Coleman played Dr. Tracy Graham on the NBC daytime drama Bright Promise (created by General Hospital creators Frank and Doris Hursley), and he urged his friend to meet with Y&R co-creator William J. Bell. The rest, as they say, was history.

Over the course of his career, Coleman earned six Emmy nominations for his various television roles in the series Buffalo Bill, Columbo, and The Slap Maxwell Story, as well as the TV movie Sworn to Silence (for which he won his one and only Emmy Award) and the mini-series Baby M. Additionally, he won two Screen Actors Guild awards for his work in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. In film, besides his comedic turns in Tootsie and 9 to 5, Coleman starred in Cloak & Dagger and On Golden Pond, and played Tom Hanks’ father in You’ve Got Mail. Most recently, he appeared as patriarch John Dutton Sr. in a 2019 episode of Yellowstone.

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