James Coburn


Actor
James Coburn

About

Also Known As
James Coburn Jr.
Birth Place
Laurel, Nebraska, USA
Born
August 31, 1928
Died
November 19, 2002
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Endowed with a toothy grin and resonant baritone, actor James Coburn went from supporting character player to breezily hip leading man, before gaining critical recognition and an Academy Award late in a career that spanned 50 years. After several years of minor roles - often as a thug - on television series and in feature films, Coburn's big break arrived when he joined "The Magnificent ...

Photos & Videos

The Carey Treatment - Color Scene Stills
The Magnificent Seven - Lobby Cards
Bite the Bullet - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Beverly Kelly
Wife
Married on November 11, 1959; divorced 1979.
Lynsey De Paul
Lover
Singer-songwriter. Born 1950; together c. 1979; Coburn co-wrote two songs on her 1979 album "Tigers and Fireflies".
Paula Murad
Wife
Former TV newcaster. Born c. 1955; together since 1989; married October 22, 1993; died July 30, 2004 of cancer.

Notes

In 1979, Coburn started suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis which has at times left him debilitated. In 1998, a holistic healer started him on a dietary supplement , which has resulted in a drastic improvement in his condition. He told The Associated Press in a 1999 interview that he had "healed himself" by taking sulfur-based pills. Although his knuckles remained gnarled, the pills cured him of the excruciating pain.

Coburn was a pallbearer at Bruce Lee's funeral

Biography

Endowed with a toothy grin and resonant baritone, actor James Coburn went from supporting character player to breezily hip leading man, before gaining critical recognition and an Academy Award late in a career that spanned 50 years. After several years of minor roles - often as a thug - on television series and in feature films, Coburn's big break arrived when he joined "The Magnificent Seven" (1960) alongside fellow cowboy mercenaries Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. Even more successful was his third consecutive pairing with McQueen in the WWII adventure "The Great Escape" (1963). He achieved full-fledged movie stardom in the comedy spy spoof "Our Man Flint" (1966), presaging the campy exploits of Austin Powers by 30 years. Although he disliked the role, Coburn relented to the sequel "In Like Flint" (1967), before moving on to more creatively satisfying work and briefly forming his own production company. In what he personally regarded as some of his best work, Coburn collaborated with the volatile director Sam Peckinpah on the films "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973) and "Cross of Iron" (1977). Although both movies would eventually find ardent admirers, sadly neither performed well upon initial release. Twenty years later, just as the sun seemed to be setting on his storied career, Coburn delivered an Oscar-winning performance opposite Nick Nolte in director Paul Schrader's "Affliction" (1998). In a fitting comment on his work and ability, Schrader recalled bracing Coburn for the rigors he was about to face in the role of an abusive alcoholic. After listening to the Schrader's words of encouragement, Coburn replied, "Oh, you mean you want me to really act? I can do that. I haven't often been asked to, but I can."

Born James Harrison Coburn III on Aug. 31, 1928 in Laurel, NE, he was the son of Mylet and James Harrison Coburn, Jr., an auto mechanic whose family had lost their substantial holdings during the Great Depression. After heading out West with his family at the age of five, Coburn grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, where he attended public schools and briefly enrolled at the local junior college prior to enlisting in the Army in 1950. It was while stationed as a soldier in Mainz, Germany that he became interested in film after providing narration for several Army training films. Upon his return to the States, Coburn enrolled in drama classes at Los Angeles City College, where he took part in various school productions and eventually appeared onstage at the La Jolla Playhouse in a production of "Billy Budd" opposite Vincent Price. In 1954, he made the move to New York City, where he studied with Stella Adler and began picking up work in commercials and various televised live plays that included early turns on "Studio One" (CBS, 1948-1958) and "General Electric Theater" (CBS, 1953-1962). Coburn was back in L.A. by the late 1950s, working on series such as "Wagon Train" (NBC, 1957-1965) and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS, 1955-1965). Although working steadily by the end of the decade, Hollywood seemed content to relegate him to supporting roles as a bad guy in such films as director Budd Boetticher's Western "Ride Lonesome" (1959). Things began to change, however, when director John Sturges cast Coburn in a remake of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's landmark "Seven Samurai" (1954).

After learning about the project from actor Robert Vaughn - a friend and fellow classmate at City College - Coburn wrangled the role of Britt, a knife-wielding mercenary in the action-packed Western, "The Magnificent Seven" (1960). Although given only a handful of lines in the movie, it established the rough-hewn actor as a heroic figure alongside Hollywood tough guys like Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner. Despite the film's blockbuster success, it would not equate to overnight stardom for Coburn, then still considered a supporting actor. He made early attempts at getting an ongoing television series off the ground, first by playing a con man during the Alaskan gold rush in the short-lived "Klondike" (NBC, 1960-61), co-starring Ralph Taeger. When that failed, the network moved both Coburn and Taeger to sunnier locales where they played a pair of adventuresome beachcombers in the even less successful "Acapulco" (NBC, 1961). He had better luck back on the big screen, where he reteamed with Steve McQueen as a member of a small squad outnumbered by German forces in the gritty WWII action drama "Hell is for Heroes" (1962), directed by Don Siegel. As much of a step in the right direction as this was for Coburn, it would be in his next collaboration with McQueen that he would find himself co-starring in a true Hollywood spectacular with some of cinema's brightest stars.

Pleased with Coburn's work in "The Magnificent Seven," director John Sturges cast him in the role of Louis "The Manufacturer" Sedgwick in the WWII blockbuster "The Great Escape" (1963), the fact-based story of a massive escape attempt by Allied POWs from a high-security German prison camp. Featuring an all-star cast that included McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, the film, while only drawing modest praise from critics, went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of the year and helped strengthen Coburn's stature as a marquee actor. Villainous roles - something Coburn never shied away from - continued to come his way in projects like the Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn romantic thriller "Charade" (1964), in which he played one of three unscrupulous characters willing to do anything to get his hands on the money he thinks Hepburn's dead ex-husband stole. Other supporting roles included a turn alongside Charlton Heston in the Civil War Western "Major Dundee" (1965), directed by the mercurial Sam Peckinpah, whose clashes with both Heston and the studio during the film's production became legendary. For his part, however, Coburn grew quite fond of Peckinpah, and later stated that he felt much of his best work came from his collaborations with the trouble filmmaker.

The following year, Coburn was finally given the chance to carry a film as its leading man in the spy spoof "Our Man Flint" (1966). As the suave and sexy super agent Derek Flint, the actor adroitly skewered the James Bond craze of the day and explicitly influenced comedian Mike Myers' "Austin Powers" films three decades later. Thus, Coburn entered a phase in which he headlined quirky comedies such as the Blake Edwards WWII satire "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" (1966) and the inevitable sequel, "In Like Flint" (1967). In a move that spoke volumes about Coburn's character, he turned down a third outing as Flint - a film series that, despite its financial success, he disliked greatly - in order to pursue more challenging projects. One of those was the conspiracy theory comedy "The President's Analyst" (1967), which he produced under his own banner, Panpiper Productions. Under-appreciated through the years, the film was an incisive satire in which Coburn, as the Commander in Chief's shrink, discovers that the shadowy entity pulling the strings in a global power structure is none other than the phone company. He next attempted to take a page from McQueen's book of cool with a turn as a charming criminal in the lighthearted caper "Duffy" (1968).

After a string of less notable films over the turn of the decade, Coburn teamed with the king of the "spaghetti Western," Italian director Sergio Leone and co-star Rod Steiger for the explosively fun "Duck, You Sucker" (1972) - better known in the U.S. as "A Fistful of Dynamite." He continued with the Western genre in the less bombastic, although equally volatile "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973), which paired him once again with Peckinpah. Coburn played Garrett, the past-his-prime gunslinger sent to bring down his former friend, notorious outlaw Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson). From the start, the film's production was troubled due in equal parts to the director's debilitating alcoholism and his adversarial relationship with executives at MGM. Suffering from studio-imposed time and budgetary constraints, the hastily edited version released in theaters was disastrously received, severely damaging Peckinpah's already tarnished reputation. That same year saw Coburn leading an all-star cast that included Raquel Welch, Dyan Cannon, James Mason, and Richard Benjamin in the glossy, albeit empty, who-done-it, "The Last of Sheila" (1973), co-written by actor Anthony Perkins and stage lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

Coburn was dealt a personal blow that summer when his close friend and martial arts trainer, kung fu legend Bruce Lee, died suddenly just weeks before his breakthrough film "Enter the Dragon" (1973) was to be released. For years, he and Lee had worked on a film project based on a story they had co-written, along with screenwriting veteran Sterling Silliphant, entitled "The Silent Flute." Years earlier a training injury of Lee's and scheduling conflicts of Coburn's had derailed the effort, however, with Lee's death, the film that had been tailored with roles for both actors would seemingly never see production. On a lighter note, Coburn joined other notable faces, including horror film legend Christopher Lee, on the iconic album cover of Paul McCartney & Wings' platinum-selling 1973 album, Band on the Run. Returning to the big screen, he once again embraced the role of villain in a paean to the Western "The Last Hard Men" (1976), co-starring Charlton Heston. Despite the disappointments of their last collaboration, he re-teamed with Peckinpah once more for the unconventional WWII drama "Cross of Iron" (1977). In the film, Coburn portrayed a Nazi soldier under the command of a self-serving officer (Maximilian Schell), who finds himself torn between duty and his conscience. Although the movie garnered critical acclaim in addition to box office success in Europe, it was poorly received by U.S. audiences, much to the disappointment of Coburn and his embattled director.

Coburn next made his first television appearance in years as the star of the miniseries "The Dain Curse" (CBS, 1978), a mystery based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett. Overcoming the inherent difficulties of the novel's exceptionally byzantine plot, the TV movie went on to win an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, in addition to several Emmy nominations. The release of the action-fantasy "Circle of Iron" (1979) was surely a bittersweet moment for Coburn. Based on the long-dormant story for "The Silent Flute," the substandard effort starred an inadequate David Carradine in the role originally intended for Bruce Lee. Ironically, it would earn Coburn his one and only film writing credit. Coburn's professional output tapered off over the next decade, due in large part to the debilitating effects of a 10-year battle with severe rheumatoid arthritis, which he eventually found a modicum of relief from years later with the help of homeopathic therapies. The brief appearances he did make during that period included a cameo as a South American drug lord robbed by James Brolin and his cash-strapped friends in the action-adventure "High Risk" (1981). He was also seen more frequently on television, where he hosted the supernatural anthology series "Darkroom" (ABC, 1981-82), and essayed a ruthless businessman in the drama "Sins of the Father" (NBC, 1985).

By the start of the next decade, Coburn increased his visibility with a lengthy string of supporting character roles. He revisited familiar territory as a cattle baron intent on bringing down Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez) in the Brat Pack Western sequel "Young Guns II" (1990), followed by a turn as a sinister CIA agent in the Bruce Willis box-office disaster "Hudson Hawk" (1991). Coburn also lent his considerable comedic talents to the unworthy sequel "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993), and the needless remake "The Nutty Professor" (1996), starring Eddie Murphy in the role originally perfected by Jerry Lewis. However, two years later and more than four decades into his career, Coburn would stun audiences and critics with his devastating portrayal of an abusive alcoholic in the Paul Schrader psychological drama "Affliction" (1998). As Glen "Pop" Whitehouse, the unrelentingly cruel father of small town sheriff Nick Nolte, the actor delivered what many considered his finest performance, in a dark character study of buried secrets, long-festering wounds, and self-discovery. For his exceptional work in the difficult film, Coburn won his only Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

With renewed vigor, Coburn worked practically non-stop in the years that followed. The veteran actor employed his unmistakable baritone to menacing effect in the Disney/Pixar animated feature "Monsters, Inc." (2001), as the voice of villainous CEO Henry J. Waternoose III. Coburn took on pivotal roles in projects such as "The Man from Elysian Fields" (2002), in which he played a venerated novelist whose wife (Olivia Williams) engages in an affair with a much younger, aspiring writer (Andy Garcia). Despite his recent stature as an Oscar-winning thespian, Coburn seemed happy to take part in less-than-stellar productions, as evidenced by a turn in the sled dog comedy "Snow Dogs" (2002), starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. Proving he still had the gravitas to carry a film, the 74-year-old Coburn starred as a WWII veteran tracing the ownership of the gun used in the killing of his daughter (Virginia Madsen) in director Alan Jacobs' drama "American Gun" (2004). The film would be his last. On Nov. 18, 2002, Coburn died of a heart attack while listening to music and playing his flute at his home in Beverly Hills.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Snow Dogs (2002)
The Man From Elysian Fields (2002)
Tobias Allcott
Kurosawa (2001)
Himself
Walter and Henry (2001)
Charlie
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Missing Pieces (2000)
Keys to Tulsa (1997)
Skeletons (1997)
The Second Civil War (1997)
Affliction (1997)
Glen Whitehouse
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Harlan Hartley
Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy On the Right (1996)
Narrator
Eraser (1996)
Cherokee Kid (1996)
The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson (1996)
Himself
Ray Alexander: A Menu For Murder (1995)
The Avenging Angel (1995)
The Set Up (1995)
Jeremiah Cole
Maverick (1994)
Commodore Duvall
Ray Alexander: A Taste For Justice (1994)
Greyhounds (1994)
Deadfall (1993)
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
The Hit List (1993)
Mastergate (1992)
The Player (1992)
Himself
Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232 (1992)
Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time (1992)
Narrator
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Young Guns II (1990)
Call From Space (1989)
Tag till himlen (1989)
Gregorios
Walking After Midnight (1988)
Steve Mcqueen: Man On the Edge (1986)
Narration
Death of a Soldier (1986)
The Leonski Incident (1985)
Major Dannenberg
The Lion's Roar (1985)
Narration
Sins of the Father (1985)
Frank Murchison
Martin's Day (1984)
Lieutenant Lardner
Draw (1984)
Sam Starret
Digital Dreams (1983)
Screwballs (1983)
Tim Stevenson
High Risk (1981)
Looker (1981)
The Baltimore Bullet (1980)
Mr. Patman (1980)
Patman
Loving Couples (1980)
Goldengirl (1979)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Firepower (1979)
White Rock (1977)
Narrator
Cross Of Iron (1977)
Sergeant Steiner
Sky Riders (1976)
The Last Hard Men (1976)
Midway (1976)
Hard Times (1975)
Bite the Bullet (1975)
Una Ragione Per Morire (1974)
Colonel Pembroke
The Internecine Project (1974)
Robert Elliott
The Last Of Sheila (1973)
Clinton
Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Harry
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
Duck, You Sucker (1972)
Sean Mallory
The Carey Treatment (1972)
[Dr.] Peter Carey
The Honkers (1971)
The Last of the Mobile Hotshots (1970)
Jeb Stuart Thorington
Hard Contract (1969)
John Cunningham
Duffy (1968)
Duffy
Candy (1968)
Dr. Krankeit
The President's Analyst (1967)
Dr. Sidney Schaefer
In Like Flint (1967)
Derek Flint
Waterhole #3 (1967)
Lewton Cole
What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)
Lieutenant Christian
Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966)
Eli Kotch
Our Man Flint (1966)
Derek Flint
The Loved One (1965)
Immigration officer
A High Wind in Jamaica (1965)
Zac
Major Dundee (1965)
Samuel Potts
The Americanization of Emily (1964)
Lieut. Comdr. "Bus" Cummings
Charade (1963)
Tex Panthollow
The Man From Galveston (1963)
Boyd Palmer
The Great Escape (1963)
[Flying Officer Louis] Sedgwick "Manufacturer"
Hell Is for Heroes (1962)
Henshaw
Murder Men (1961)
Arthur Troy
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Britt
Ride Lonesome (1959)
Wid
Face of a Fugitive (1959)
Purdy

Writer (Feature Film)

Circle Of Iron (1979)
From Story

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Payback (1999)
Other
The Player (1992)
Other

Cast (Special)

Kurosawa (2002)
Interviewee
Intimate Portrait: Raquel Welch (2002)
Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days (2001)
Narrator
The CIA (2000)
Narrator
20th Century Fox: The Blockbuster Years (2000)
Narrator
World's Scariest Ghosts: Caught on Tape (2000)
Narrator
72nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation (2000)
Presenter
The 5th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (1999)
Performer
Borneo: Island in the Clouds (1999)
Narration
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hollywood Hero (1999)
Nick Nolte (1999)
Interviewee
Palau, Paradise of the Pacific (1998)
Narrator
Steve McQueen: The E! True Hollywood Story (1998)
20th Century Fox: The First 50 Years (1997)
Narrator
Beauty and the Beasts: A Leopard's Story (1996)
Narrator
Football America (1996)
Narrator
Okavango: Africa's Savage Oasis (1996)
Narrator
Arctic Kingdom: Life at the Edge (1996)
Narrator
Bruce Lee (1994)
The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration (1994)
100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
50th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1993)
Presenter
The Wild West (1993)
Voice
The 14th Annual CableACE Awards (1993)
Presenter
Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron (1993)
Inside the KGB (1993)
A Day in the Life of Hollywood (1992)
Silverfox (1991)
Shark Chronicles (1991)
Narrator
A Place of Skulls (1990)
Narrator
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
The Wildest West Show of the Stars (1986)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's All-Star Birthday at Annapolis (1982)
Escape (1981)
Narration
Escape (1981)
Host
Safari (1962)
Charlie Allnot

Cast (Short)

Action on the Beach (1964)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Proximity (2001)
Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder (1999)
Shake, Rattle & Roll (1999)
Noah's Ark (1999)
A Christmas Reunion (1998)
Malibu (1983)
Tom Wharton
Valley Of The Dolls (1981)
The Dain Curse (1978)
Hamilton Nash

Producer (TV Mini-Series)

The Mists of Avalon (2001)
Executive Producer

Life Events

1950

Acting debut in La Jolla Playhouse production of "Billy Budd", San Diego, CA (date approximate)

1959

Screen acting debut in "Ride Lonesome"

1960

Starred in TV series, "Klondike"

1961

Starred in NBC series "Acapulco"

1965

Achieved star status as secret agent in "Our Man Flint"; reprised role two years later in "In Like Flint"

1967

Debut as film producer, "The President's Analyst" and "Waterhole Number 3"

1973

Featured in ensemble cast of "The Last of Sheila"

1973

Gave fine performance as Pat Garrett in Sam Peckinpaugh's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"

1977

Reunited with Peckinpaugh, playing honest German soldier in "Cross of Iron"

1992

Appeared in Robert Altman's "The Player"

1996

Had co-starring role in "The Nutty Professor" remake

1998

Played Nick Nolte's father in Paul Schrader's "Affliction"; received Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor

1999

Made uncredited appearance as a wealthy gangster in "Payback"

1999

Appeared as The Peddler in the TV mini-series "Noah's Ark"

2001

Voiced Monsters, Inc. CEO Henry J. Waternoose III in Disney/Pixar's computer-animated "Monsters, Inc."

2001

Replaced an ailing Jason Robards as a crusty novelist married to a much younger woman in "The Man From Elysian Fields"; screened at Toronto

2002

Played arctic mountain man Thunder Jack in Disney's "Snow Dogs," starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Photo Collections

The Carey Treatment - Color Scene Stills
Here are a few color scene stills from The Carey Treatment (1972), starring James Coburn and Jennifer O'Neill.
The Magnificent Seven - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Magnificent Seven (1960). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Bite the Bullet - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Columbia Pictures' Bite the Bullet (1975), starring Gene Hackman. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Americanization of Emily - James Coburn Publicity Stills
Here are some photos taken of James Coburn and some female co-stars from The Americanization of Emily (1964). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid - Poster Art
Here is the original art used for the main ad campaign for Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson.
The President's Analyst - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The President's Analyst (1967), starring James Coburn. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Major Dundee (1965) - The Major Ain't No Lawyer Now in Mexico, chasing the Apache and short on supplies, Charlton Heston (title character) with Graham (Jim Hutton) on artillery and scout Sam (James Coburn), enters a village loosely occupied by French imperial troops, where Senta Berger (as Teresa) makes her first appearance, and Tyreen (Richard Harris), head of the consrcripted Confederate troops, takes a different approach, in Sam Peckinpah’s Major Dundee, 1965.
Major Dundee (1965) - Open, I'm A Long Way From Gettysburg Intense tones of racial hatred, subject matter that would have spoken to director and co-writer Sam Peckinpah, narration by Marvin Miller, and an introduction to Charlton Heston, the title character, and James Coburn as his scout, opening the generally-panned Major Dundee, 1965, also starring Richard Harris.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) - This Town Has Got No Hat Size James Coburn (1st title character) is looking for Billy and comes to the town where Slim Pickens, we eventually realize, is the downtrodden sheriff, Katy Jurado his wife, and his prisoner roams mostly free, motivation running low, in Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, 1973.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) - The Big Peckerheads Maybe the best dialogue scene in the film, Garrett (James Coburn) meets sagacious Governor Wallace (Jason Robards Jr.) and two apparatchiks (Jack Dodson, John Beck) in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, 1973.
Ride Lonesome (1959) - Something Pure Awful Brigade (Randolph Scott) with prisoner Billy (James Best) arrives at the station, meeting Boone (Pernell Roberts), Wid (James Coburn) and the master's wife Carrie (Karen Steele), plot thickening in Budd Boetticher's Ride Lonesome, 1959.
Americanization Of Emily, The (1964) - A Man Could Get Killed Pre-D-Day American navy functionaries in London, both avowed cowards, Charlie (James Garner) and "Bus" (James Coburn) checking on their propaganda film, visited by their obsessed admiral (Melvyn Douglas), in The Americanization Of Emily, 1964, from a Paddy Chayefsky screenplay.
Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973) - Near Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1909 Director Sam Peckinpah’s opening, which on repeated viewing is not incoherent, beginning with the murder of one title character (James Coburn) and flashing back to the introduction of the other (Kris Kristofferson), from the elegiac Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, 1973, featuring Bob Dylan’s famous soundtrack.
Carey Treatment, The (1972) - There's A Complaint Box Packing loads of cool from California, James Coburn as the title character arrives as his new Boston hospital, greeted by Murphy (John Fink), old pal David (James Hong) and prospect Georgia (Jennifer O’Neill), Blake Edwards directing, from a novel by Michael Crichton, in The Carey Treatment, 1972.
Carey Treatment, The (1972) - I Think I'll Give You A Key New-in-town pathologist Carey (James Coburn) and Boston divorceè and dietitian Georgia (Jennifer O'Neill), establishing their early-70's liberated singles relationship, working on location, Blake Edwards directing, in The Carey Treatment, 1972.
Carey Treatment, The (1972) - You Take A Tough Line Crisp scene from a movie director Blake Edwards wound up disowning due to studio-enforced cuts, pathologist Carey (James Coburn) meets cop Pearson (Pat Hingle), having just visited a friend wrongly charged with killing a young woman in a botched abortion, in The Carey Treatment, 1972.
Magnificent Seven, The (1960) - You Lost Chris (Yul Brynner) and Vin (Steve McQueen) are seeking recruits when they find taciturn Britt (James Coburn), dealing with a cocky cowpuncher (Robert Wilke), in director John Sturges' version of a famous scene from Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, in The Magnificent Seven, 1960.
Great Escape, The (1963) - Five Gold Rings Observed by commander Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), the tunnel crew (Charles Bronson, John Leyton, James Coburn) finds they need more wood, Hendley, Cavendish and Hilts (James Garner, Nigel Stock, Steve McQueen) on the job, in The Great Escape, 1963.

Trailer

Great Escape, The - (Original Trailer) Thrown together by the Germans, a group of captive Allied troublemakers plot a daring prison breakout in The Great Escape (1963) starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough.
Last of Sheila, The - (Original Trailer) The Last of Sheila (1973), an all-star whodunit written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins.
Major Dundee - (Original Trailer) A Union officer (Charlton Heston) leads Confederate prisoners against Apaches in Mexico in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee (1965).
Midway - (Original Trailer) Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda star in Midway (1976), a spectacular re-creation of the World War II battle that turned the tide for the U.S. in the Pacific.
Our Man Flint - (Original Trailer) When scientists use eco-terrorism to impose their will on the world, top agent Derek Flint (James Coburn) is called in Our Man Flint (1966).
Loved One, The - (Original Trailer) Robert Morse heads an all-star cast in the bizarre comedy The Loved One (1965) based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh.
President's Analyst, The - (Original Trailer) When James Coburn becomes The President's Analyst (1967), he becomes the pawn of one conspiracy after another.
Hard Times - (Original Trailer) Charles Bronson stars as a Depression-era drifter who takes up street fighting in Hard Times (1975) co-starring James Coburn.
Americanization of Emily, The - (Original Trailer) A British war widow (Julie Andrews) falls for an opportunistic American sailor (James Garner) during World War II.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid - (Original Trailer) The legendary outlaw clashes with his former best friend, now the sheriff in director Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973).
Charade - (Original Trailer) Audrey Hepburn's husband is murdered and now the killers are after her. Is Cary Grant on her side or is it all a Charade (1963).
Ride Lonesome - (Original Trailer) A bounty hunter (Randolph Scott) tries to bring a murderer to justice through perilous territory in Budd Boetticher's Ride Lonesome (1959).

Promo

Family

James Coburn Sr
Father
Garage business wiped out by the Depression.
James Coburn IV
Son
Sound editor. Born on May 22, 1961.
Lisa Coburn
Daughter
Webmaster. Born 1957.

Companions

Beverly Kelly
Wife
Married on November 11, 1959; divorced 1979.
Lynsey De Paul
Lover
Singer-songwriter. Born 1950; together c. 1979; Coburn co-wrote two songs on her 1979 album "Tigers and Fireflies".
Paula Murad
Wife
Former TV newcaster. Born c. 1955; together since 1989; married October 22, 1993; died July 30, 2004 of cancer.

Bibliography

Notes

In 1979, Coburn started suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis which has at times left him debilitated. In 1998, a holistic healer started him on a dietary supplement , which has resulted in a drastic improvement in his condition. He told The Associated Press in a 1999 interview that he had "healed himself" by taking sulfur-based pills. Although his knuckles remained gnarled, the pills cured him of the excruciating pain.

Coburn was a pallbearer at Bruce Lee's funeral