Tags: Actor | James | Coburn | Dies | Age

Actor James Coburn Dies at Age 74

Tuesday, 19 November 2002 12:00 AM

In "Affliction," directed by Paul Schrader, Coburn portrayed the abusive father of a son played by Nick Nolte.

Coburn, who was born on Aug. 31, 1928, in Laurel, Neb., appeared in more than 80 films, including "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), which also starred Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, and "Our Man Flint" (1966).

In the late 1970s, he developed rheumatoid arthritis. At times, it was too painful for him to even stand up. But after many years, he was able to get treatment that worked, and he returned to acting roles.

More recently, Coburn provided the voice for chief executive officer Henry J. Waternoose III in the animated movie "Monsters, Inc." (2001).

Coburn leaves his wife, Paula Murad; a son, James H. Coburn IV; and a stepdaughter, Lisa Coburn, according to the Web site imdb.com. He also leaves two grandchildren, The New York Times said in its Tuesday edition.

In his acceptance speech for the Oscar, Coburn said: "My, my, my. Wow. You know, I've been around here -- I've been working and doing this work for like, over half my life. And I finally got one right I guess. See, some of them you do for money, some of them you do for love. This is a love child."

He went on to thank Schrader, Nolte, other cast members, and his children. Music cut in, the cue for him to finish up.

Coburn then said: "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I've got to say something else here! This, for my beautiful wife, Paula. She finally got to come to the Academy Awards. This is for you, baby!"

In an interview with Backstage.Com, Coburn was asked what he loved most about acting.

"Working with great actors is the biggest joy of all. I'll choose a film now even if the part isn't very good if there are really good actors to play with or if there's a good director to work with. Then you at least have a chance to make the character something and you can play with it."

Coburn, who had studied acting with Stella Adler in New York, continued: "Your genius is in your choice, as Stella always used to say, when you're choosing what to do, where to do it, how to walk through a door, and what you do on the other side of that door. Working with really good actors is the joy of walking through that door, and that's why I do it." Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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In "Affliction," directed by Paul Schrader, Coburn portrayed the abusive father of a son played by Nick Nolte. Coburn, who was born on Aug. 31, 1928, in Laurel, Neb., appeared in more than 80 films, including "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), which also starred Yul...
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2002-00-19
Tuesday, 19 November 2002 12:00 AM
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