Dabney Coleman, Actor Audiences Loved to Hate, Is Dead at 92

Dabney Coleman, an award-winning television and movie actor best known for his over-the-top portrayals of garrulous, egomaniacal characters, died on Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 92.

His daughter Quincy Coleman confirmed the death to The New York Times but did not cite the cause.

Mr. Coleman was equally adept at comedy and drama, but he received his greatest acclaim for his comic work — notably in the 1980 movie “9 to 5,” in which he played a thoroughly despicable boss, and the 1983-84 NBC sitcom “Buffalo Bill,” in which he starred as the unscrupulous host of a television talk show in Buffalo.

At a time when antiheroic leads, with the outsize exception of Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker, were a rarity on television comedies, Mr. Coleman’s distinctly unlikable Bill Bittinger on “Buffalo Bill” was an exception. A profile of Mr. Coleman in Rolling Stone called Bill “a rapscallion for our times, a playfully wicked combination of G. Gordon Liddy and Groucho Marx.” (“He has to do something terrible,” Bill’s station manager said of him in one episode. “It’s in his blood.”)

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