James Coburn

Lowest Rated: 0% Deadfall (1993)
Birthday: Aug 31, 1928
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

CREDIT
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
45% 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 Kurosawa Actor 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
35% Eraser Beller 1996
10% 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
66% 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
28% 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
57% 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
92% 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
85% The Last of Sheila Clinton 1973
85% 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
91% Duck, You Sucker (A Fistful of Dynamite) (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
57% 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
71% In Like Flint Derek Flint 1967
82% Our Man Flint Derek Flint 1966
45% What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? Lt. Christian 1966
40% 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
95% Charade Tex Panthollow 1963
94% The Great Escape Sedgwick 1963
No Score Yet Man From Galveston Boyd Palmer 1963
83% Hell Is for Heroes Cpl. Henshaw 1962
88% The Magnificent Seven Britt 1960
No Score Yet Face of a Fugitive Purdy 1959
86% Ride Lonesome Whit 1959
97% The Ten Commandments Actor 1956

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Arli$$
1996-2002
Guest `Slaughterhouse' Sid Perelli
  • 2002
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
1984-1996
Cyrus Ramsey
  • 1992
No Score Yet The Fifth Corner
1992
Dr. Grandwell
  • 1992
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
Guest Host
  • 1982
100% The Muppet Show
1976-1981
Guest
  • 1980
No Score Yet The Rockford Files
1974-1980
Director
  • 1977
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Trace Ross Marquett Jessup
  • 1966
  • 1962
  • 1961
  • 1959
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
Major French
  • 1963
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Army Officer
  • 1962
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Andrews Evans
  • 1959
  • 1958

QUOTES FROM James Coburn CHARACTERS