James Coburn - Rotten Tomatoes

James Coburn

Highest Rated:   100% Hard Times (1975)
Lowest Rated:   0% Deadfall (1993)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Laurel, Nebraska, USA
James Coburn was an actor whose style allowed him to comfortably embrace drama, action, and comedy roles, and many of his best-known performances found him blending elements of all these styles in roles that overflowed with charisma and a natural charm. Born in Laurel, NE, on August 31, 1928, Coburn relocated to California as a young man, and first developed an interest in acting while studying at Los Angeles City College. After appearing in several student productions, he decided to take a stab at acting as a profession, and enrolled in the theater department at U.C.L.A. Coburn earned his first notable reviews in an adaptation of Herman Melville's Billy Budd, staged at Los Angeles' La Jolla Playhouse, which starred Vincent Price. In the early '50s, Coburn moved to New York City, where he studied acting with Stella Adler, and began working in commercials and live television. In 1958, Coburn won a recurring role on a Western TV series called Bronco, and scored his first film role the following year in Budd Boetticher's Ride Lonesome, starring Randolph Scott. For a while, Coburn seemed to find himself typecast as a heavy in Westerns, most notably in The Magnificent Seven, and later starred in two action-oriented TV series, Klondike (which ran for 18 weeks between 1960 and 1961) and Acapulco (which lasted a mere eight weeks in 1961). However, after a strong showing in the war drama Hell Is for Heroes, Coburn finally got to play a big-screen hero as part of the ensemble cast of 1963's The Great Escape. In 1964, Coburn got a chance to show his flair for comedy in The Americanization of Emily, and in 1965 he appeared in Major Dundee, the first of several films he would make with iconoclastic director Sam Peckinpah. In 1966, Coburn finally hit full-fledged stardom in Our Man Flint, a flashy satiric comedy which put an American spin on the James Bond-style superspy films of the period. Coburn's deft blend of comic cheek and action heroics as Derek Flint made the film a major box-office success, and in 1967 he appeared in a sequel, In Like Flint, as well as two similar action comedies, Duffy and the cult film The President's Analyst (the latter of which Coburn helped produce). Moving back and forth between comedies (Candy, Harry in Your Pocket), Westerns (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid), and dramas (The Last of Shelia, Cross of Iron), Coburn was in high demand through much of the 1970s. He also dabbled in screenwriting (he penned a script for his friend Bruce Lee which was filmed after Lee's death as Circle of Iron, starring David Carradine) and directing (he directed an episode of the TV series The Rockford Files, as well as handling second-unit work on Sam Peckinpah's Convoy). By the end of the decade, however, his box-office allure was not what it once was, although he remained a potent draw in Japan. Coburn remained busy in the 1980s, with supporting roles in theatrical films, larger roles in television projects, and voice-over work for documentaries. In 1979, Coburn was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and in the mid-'80s, when his illness failed to respond to conventional treatment, he began to cut back on his work schedule. But in the 1990s, a holistic therapist was able to treat Coburn using nutritional supplements, and he began appearing onscreen with greater frequency (he also appeared in a series of instructional videos on gambling strategies, one of Coburn's passions). He won a 1999 Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his intense portrayal of an abusive father in Paul Schrader's film Affliction, and the award kick-started Coburn's career. He would work on more than a dozen projects over the next two years, but Coburn then succumbed to a heart attack in 2002. Coburn was survived by two children, James H. Coburn IV and Lisa Coburn, his former spouse Beverly Kelly, and Paula Murad, his wife at the time of his death.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Payback: Straight Up
  • Fairfax
2006
24% Snow Dogs
  • Thunder Jack
$81.2M 2002
40% American Gun
  • Martin
2002
No Score Yet Bruce Lee: The Legend Lives On
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet The Intercepting Fist
  • Actor
2001
96% Monsters, Inc.
  • Henry J. Waternoose
$34.1M 2001
51% The Man from Elysian Fields
  • Tobias Alcott
$1.3M 2001
38% The Mists of Avalon
  • Executive Producer
2001
No Score Yet Walter and Henry
  • Charlie
2001
No Score Yet Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Proximity
  • Jim Corcoran
2001
No Score Yet Hard Times
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Interpretando mi Vida
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Missing Pieces
  • Atticus Cody
2000
No Score Yet Hollywood Screen Tests
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hollywood Hero
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Noah's Ark
  • The Peddler
1999
54% Payback
  • Fairfax
1999
No Score Yet Madam
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Deep Water
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Mr. Murder
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Bruce Lee: Path of the Dragon
  • Actor
1998
88% Affliction
  • Glen Whitehouse
1997
No Score Yet The Second Civil War
  • Jack Buchan
1997
No Score Yet Skeletons
  • Frank Jones
1997
No Score Yet National Geographic Presents
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Stories from My Childhood
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet The Cherokee Kid
  • Cyrus Bloomington
1996
No Score Yet The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson
  • Himself
1996
64% The Nutty Professor
  • Harlan Hartley
1996
37% Eraser
  • Beller
1996
13% Keys to Tulsa
  • Harmon Shaw
1996
No Score Yet A Christmas Reunion
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet The Set Up
  • Jeremiah Cole
1995
No Score Yet The Avenging Angel
  • Porter Rockwell
1995
67% Maverick
  • Commodore
1994
7% Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
  • Mr. Crisp
1993
0% Deadfall
  • Mike Donan/Lou Donan
1993
No Score Yet Bruce Lee: Martial Arts Master
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Bruce Lee: The Curse of the Dragon
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet The Hit List
  • Mayhew
1993
98% The Player
  • Himself
1992
No Score Yet Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232
  • Actor
1992
No Score Yet Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet Mastergate
  • Actor
1992
26% Hudson Hawk
  • George Kaplan
1991
No Score Yet Hollywood Collection
  • Narrator
1991
35% Young Guns II
  • John Chisum
1990
No Score Yet Bruce Lee, The Legend
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Death Of A Soldier
  • Maj. Patrick Danneberg
1986
No Score Yet Martin's Day
  • Lt. Lardner
1985
No Score Yet Draw!
  • Sam Starret
1984
No Score Yet Bill Wyman's Digital Daydreams
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Digital Dreams
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Fall Guy
  • Actor
1982
29% Looker
  • John Reston
1981
No Score Yet High Risk
  • Serrano
1981
No Score Yet Crossover
  • Patman
1981
No Score Yet Loving Couples
  • Dr. Walter Kirby
1980
No Score Yet The Baltimore Bullet
  • Nick Casey
1980
No Score Yet Firepower
  • Jerry Fanon/Eddie
1979
88% The Muppet Movie
  • El Sleezo Cafe Owner
1979
No Score Yet Golden Girl
  • Actor
1979
55% California Suite
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet The Dain Curse
  • Actor
1978
80% Cross of Iron
  • Unteroffizier Feldwebel (S / Sgt.) Rolf Steiner
1977
54% Midway
  • Capt. Vinton Maddox
1976
No Score Yet The Last Hard Men
  • Zach Provo
1976
No Score Yet Sky Riders
  • McCabe
1976
71% Bite the Bullet
  • Luke Matthews
1975
100% Hard Times
  • Spencer "Speed" Weed
1975
No Score Yet The Internecine Project
  • Robert Elliot
1974
No Score Yet Massacre at Fort Holman
  • Col. Pembroke
1974
92% The Last of Sheila
  • Clinton
1973
83% Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
  • Pat Garrett
1973
No Score Yet Harry in Your Pocket
  • Harry
1973
No Score Yet A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (Ragione per vivere e una per morire, Una)
  • Actor
1972
90% Duck, You Sucker (Giù la testa)
  • John H. Mallory
1972
No Score Yet The Carey Treatment (A Case of Murder) (Emergency Ward)
  • Dr. Peter Carey
1972
No Score Yet Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (Blood Kin)(The Seven Descents of Myrtle)
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet Hard Contract
  • John Cunningham
1969
80% Candy
  • Dr. A.B. Krankheit
1968
No Score Yet Duffy
  • Duffy
1968
80% The President's Analyst
  • Dr. Sidney Schaefer
1967
No Score Yet Waterhole No. 3
  • Lewton Cole
1967
75% In Like Flint
  • Derek Flint
1967
82% Our Man Flint
  • Derek Flint
1966
40% What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
  • Lt. Christian
1966
No Score Yet Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
  • Eli Kotch
1966
53% The Loved One
  • Immigration Officer
1965
97% Major Dundee
  • Samuel Potts
1965
100% The Americanization of Emily
  • Lt. Cmdr. Paul "Bus" Cummings
1964
No Score Yet A High Wind in Jamaica
  • Zac
1964
92% Charade
  • Tex Panthollow
1963
93% The Great Escape
  • Sedgwick
1963
No Score Yet Man From Galveston
  • Boyd Palmer
1963
83% Hell Is for Heroes
  • Cpl. Henshaw
1962
90% The Magnificent Seven
  • Britt
1960
No Score Yet Face of a Fugitive
  • Purdy
1959
83% Ride Lonesome
  • Whit
1959
94% The Ten Commandments
  • Actor
1956
No Score Yet Kurosawa
  • Actor
1951

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Host
  • Guest
  • 1982
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Major French
  • 1963

Quotes from James Coburn's Characters