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Frederick Coffin

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Frederick Coffin
Frederick Coffin
Frederick D. Coffin

(1943-01-16)January 16, 1943
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedJuly 31, 2003(2003-07-31) (aged 60)
Other namesHolden McGuire
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active1973–2003
SpouseBarbara Monte-Britton (1977–2003) (his death)

Frederick D. Coffin (January 16, 1943 – July 31, 2003) was an American film actor, singer, songwriter, and musician.

Early life[edit]

Coffin was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1943 to actress Winifred Deforest Coffin and writer Dean Coffin, and was one of five children. He was educated at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, where he studied theater and was also a serious athlete, graduating in 1961. He enrolled the University of Michigan in 1962, where he intended to play football but instead decided to focus on acting, earning a B.A. then a master's degree in theater.


Coffin made his screen debut in 1973 when he appeared in the television film Much Ado About Nothing, an adaptation of the play, in which he also starred. He appeared in his first feature film in 1976 in the drama Dragonfly, with Beau Bridges and Susan Sarandon. His second feature was the Golden Globe nominated King of the Gypsies, with Shelley Winters. During the 1980s, Coffin appeared in several films: the horror film Alone in the Dark, which starred Donald Pleasence, Without a Trace, Mother's Day, Credited as Holden McGuire Nothing Lasts Forever, the biography film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling with Richard Pryor, the action comedy A Fine Mess with Ted Danson, and The Bedroom Window. In the 1990s, Coffin continued to appear in films, one of which he is known for is the comedy film Wayne's World, with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, and the Steven Seagal film Hard to Kill. In 1999, Coffin would appear, in perhaps his best known role among millennials, as corrupt business man Parker Wyndham in the Disney Channel original movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. He would appear in two final films before his death in 2003: View from the Top with Gwyneth Paltrow, and Identity with John Cusack.

Although, it was in fact television that Coffin appeared in mostly throughout his career, his first appearance in a television series was in Great Performances, which starred actors such as Walter Cronkite, who presented the series, Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli. He also made guest appearances in many well known series including Kojak, Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Remington Steele, Dallas, in which he appeared for six episodes, L.A. Law, The X-Files, Walker, Texas Ranger, Murder, She Wrote, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and the soap operas Ryan's Hope and The Edge of Night. He appeared as Buffalo hunter Big Zwey in the epic mini-series, Lonesome Dove.

Coffin starred in many television films including Under Siege, the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove and the 1995 film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. He was originally cast as the voice of the father in the series Family Dog, he was later replaced by actor Martin Mull.

He also had roles in theater, including playing Eliot Rosewater in the 1979 premier of Ashman and Menken's musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

In 1997, he returned to his alma mater as that year's Knight Fellow, one of Western Reserve Academy's most distinguished honors.[citation needed]

Coffin was also a talented singer, songwriter, and musician.[1]

Personal life and death[edit]

Coffin was married to actress Barbara Monte-Britton from September 25, 1977, to his death on July 31, 2003, from lung cancer; he was a long-time chain smoker.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Dragonfly Walter Craigle
1978 King of the Gypsies Basketball Coach
1980 Mother's Day Ike Credited as Holden McGuire
1981 Dead Ringer Himself Documentary film
1982 Alone in the Dark Jim Gable
1983 Without a Trace Officer Coffin
1984 Nothing Lasts Forever Lunar Shopping Observer
1986 Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Dr. Weissman
A Fine Mess Traffic Cop
1987 The Bedroom Window Detective Jessup
1988 Shoot to Kill Ralph
A Time of Destiny Ed
1989 Out Cold Sergeant Haroldson
1990 Hard to Kill Lieutenant Kevin O'Malley
1991 If Looks Could Kill Lieutenant Colonel Larabee
V.I. Warshawski Horton Grafalk
1992 Wayne's World Officer Koharski
1994 There Goes My Baby Mr. Maran
1998 Memorial Day Senator Jerald Lancaster
1999 The Base General Albert Becker Direct-to-video
2003 View from the Top Mr. Stewart
Identity Detective Varole (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1973 Much Ado About Nothing Borachio Television film
1974 Great Performances Second Guard / Oswald Episodes: "Antigone", "King Lear"
1977 Secret Service Lieutenant Maxwell Television film
1976–1977 Kojak Lieutenant Bill Lee Episodes: "A Shield for Murder: Parts 1 & 2", "Sister Maria"
1978 Once Upon a Classic Sagramore Episode: "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
1980 The Jilting of Granny Weatherall Dr. Harry Television film
Death Penalty Eddie Television film
Ryan's Hope Jim Hurley Episodes: #1227, #1230, #1250
1982 Muggable Mary, Street Cop Used Car Salesman Television film
1983 An Invasion of Privacy Alvin Television film
The Edge of Night Stephen Markham
1984 Concealed Enemies Thomas Murphy Television film
Hill Street Blues Tony Yankovich Episode: "Ewe and Me, Babe"
1985 Scandal Sheet Television film
Moonlighting Pawnbroker Episode: "Pilot"
Amos Roland Television film
1986 The Twilight Zone Max Episode: Season 1.14 - segment: "The Misfortune Cookie"
Under Siege Dan Murphy Television film
Remington Steele Joe Gullickson Episode: "Steele in the Running"
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Beckerman Television film
The Deliberate Stranger Jerry Thompson Television film
Comedy Factory Lucas Hanlon Episode: "Chameleon"
Manhunt for Claude Dallas Frank Weston Television film
1987 Private Eye Television film
Crime Story Slim Mahoney Episode: "The Battle of Las Vegas"
Amazing Stories Al Lewis Episode: "Such Interesting Neighbors"
Dallas Alfred Simpson 6 episodes
Hunter Lloyd Fredericks Episodes: "City of Passion: Parts 1, 2 & 3"
I Married Dora 'Buck' Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Forever?"
1988 The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Brian Episode: "Here's a Message from Your Local Bag Lady"
Something Is Out There Charles Calvin Episode: "Night of the Visitors"
1989 Fair Game Rick Winchester Television film
Lonesome Dove 'Big Zwey' 4 episodes
The Robert Guillaume Show Episode: "Together Again"
Jake and the Fatman Clark Beaudine Episode: "Side by Side"
A Peaceable Kingdom Pete Latham Episode: "Chimp"
Mancuso, F.B.I. Sullivan Episode: "Little Saigon"
Settle the Score Tucker Television film
1990 The Young Riders Sutro Episode: "Unfinished Business"
Glory Days Mr. Lovejoy Episode: "The Kids Are Allright"
Crash: The Mystery of Flight 1501 Wes Goddard Television film
1991 MacGyver Karl Meredith Episode: "Deadly Silents"
1992 The Commish Joe McKellar Episodes: "Adventures in the Skin Trade: Parts 1 & 2"
1987–1993 L.A. Law Bill Novicky / John Shale 4 episodes
1993 Renegade Episode: "Lyon's Roar"
The X-Files Chief Joe McGrath Episode: "Fallen Angel"
1994 Secret Sins of the Father L.J. Thielman Television film
Secret Sins of the Father Father Episode: "Ned Zed"
Dragstrip Girl Mr. Bickford Television film
Walker, Texas Ranger Tate Brodie Episode: "Rainbow Warrior"
Texas Zave Television film
1995 A Streetcar Named Desire Steve Television film
1989–1996 Murder, She Wrote Tim Mulligan / Tony Sable / Stanford Lomax / Lieutenant Roy Flint 4 episodes
1996 Murder One Wayne Cormier Episode: "Chapter Ten"
Andersonville Collins Television film
The Siege at Ruby Ridge Doug Wilks Television film
1997 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Danforth Episode: "The Dam"
Night Man Episode: "Face to Face"
1999 Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century Parker Wyndham Television film
Days of Our Lives Warden Episode: #8556
2000 Perfect Murder, Perfect Town Television film
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Sheriff Driscoll "The FBI Story"
The Invisible Man Charlie Fogerty Episode: "The Catevari"
Rocket's Red Glare Mitch Greer Television film
Bull Wayne Wesley Episode: "Final Hour"
2001 The District Episode: "A Southern Town"
Providence Steven Zeller Episode: "Home Sweet Home"
Family Law Doug Perliss Episode: "Sacrifices"
2002 Diagnosis: Murder- Town without Pity Mathew Campbell Television film
American Family Episode: "La Llorona: Part 2"
For the People Mr. Cole Episode: "Our Own"
Presidio Med Episode: "When Approaching a Let-Go"
Jackie Chan Adventures Mr. MacDonald Episode: "When Pigs Fly"
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Land of the Lore III Innkeeper/Morrison/The Last Man Voice
2002 Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Stormtrooper 1 Voice


  1. ^ "Fred Coffin Sings". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Frederick Coffin". Variety. 5 August 2003.

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