Pat Corley (June 1, 1930 – September 11, 2006) was an American actor. He was known for his role as bar owner Phil on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown (1988–96). He also had a recurring role as Chief Coroner Wally Nydorf on the television drama Hill Street Blues (1981–1987). Additionally, he had supporting roles in a number of films, including Night Shift (1982), Against All Odds (1984), and Mr. Destiny (1990).

Early life Edit

Corley was born Cleo Pat Corley in Dallas, Texas, the son of Ada Lee (née Martin) and R.L. Corley. He got his start in the entertainment business as a teenage ballet dancer for the Stockton Ballet where he performed for three seasons. While serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Corley helped put on entertainment shows for the brass while stationed in France. After his honorable discharge, he entered Stockton College on the G.I. Bill where he met his future second wife, Iris Carter, a younger student, champion debater and a locally acclaimed actress.

Career Edit

After moving to New York City he worked as a waiter, attended the esteemed American Theatre Wing, studied under Uta Hagen and auditioned for plays. Corley and his wife toured in summer stock in Indiana and New Jersey with his young daughter Troy in tow. His first Broadway appearance was in James Baldwin's Blues for Mr. Charlie, a production by the Actors Studio, where Corley had been accepted as a member. Early in his career he shared the stage with future stars Al Pacino and James Earl Jones in the Off-Broadwayplay The Peace Creeps. In the 1970s Corley appeared in several Broadway productions including Of Mice and Men with James Earl Jones and Sweet Bird of Youth with Christopher Walken.

Corley's Hollywood career began in 1969 in TV with a small role in N.Y.P.D. and a few television commercials. His first feature film roles were in Gordon Parks' The Super Cops and the comedy Law and Disorder with Carroll O'Connor and Ernest Borgnine. He also appeared in Coming Home and in Oliver Stone's first feature, The Hand, with Michael Caine.

Corley appeared on dozens of TV shows, among the earliest of which were: The Wackiest Ship in the ArmyGet Christie Love and Kojak. Other series on which Corley has guest-starred include Starsky and HutchBarnaby JonesHill Street BluesHart to HartSt. ElsewhereSimon & SimonMurder, She WroteMagnum, P.I.Cagney & LaceyNight CourtMoonlightingL.A. Law, and Hey Arnold!. Corley also had roles in two mini-series, Roots and "Fresno". He provided the voice of Sheriff McGee in Tom Sawyer (2000).

Death Edit

Corley died of congestive heart failure in September 2006 at age 76 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. His wife, actress Iris Corley, had died the year prior.

Trivia Edit

  • Corley was named after the new character Pat Patel played by Nik Dodani for an upcoming revival series.

External links Edit

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