Dolly Parton pays tribute to Dabney Coleman: '9 To 5' co-star was a 'dear friend'

Dolly Parton in a black and beige outfit holding a guitar with pearl detailing and singing on a dark stage
Dolly Parton described her "9 to 5" co-star Dabney Coleman as "funny, deep and smart." (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
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Dolly Parton is mourning her co-star and longtime friend Dabney Coleman.

"Dabney was a great actor and became a dear friend," the country music star wrote on Instagram. "He taught me so much when I was doing my first movie, 9 to 5."

The pair met while filming the 1980s classic, which also starred Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Their characters work together to take revenge on their sexist, authoritarian boss played by Coleman. Parton sang the title song and helped adapt the story into a stage musical that premiered in 2009.

"He was funny, deep and smart," Parton continued. "We remained friends through the years and I will miss him greatly as many people will. Love, Dolly."

Tomlin also shared her condolences, posting a photo from the set of "9 to 5" that showed the comedian in a Snow White costume kneeling next to Coleman.

Despite declaring that he had "more fun playing bad guys" and what he called the “rottenness” of his "9 to 5" character, Coleman was adored by his castmates.

"We just loved him," Tomlin wrote.

Coleman’s death was confirmed by his daughter, who wrote that he died “peacefully and exquisitely” at home last week. He was 92.

"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 said in a statement obtained by The Times. “As he lived, he moved through this final act of his life with elegance, excellence and mastery."

Parton, 78, has been nominated for 54 Grammys and won 10. She released her 49th studio album, "Rockstar," in 2023 following her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and headlined the halftime show at the 2023 Thanksgiving NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders.

Beyoncé recently covered her hit song "Jolene" on her newest album, "Cowboy Carter," much to Parton's acclaim. The adapted track featured an introduction from Parton and she is credited as a songwriter on the album.

Longtime friends Tomlin and Fonda most recently starred together in the 2023 film "80 for Brady." They also played best friends for seven seasons of Netflix's "Grace and Frankie," from 2015 to 2022.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.