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Pat Corley
Born Cleo Pat Corley
June 1, 1930(1930-06-01)
Dallas, Texas
Died September 11, 2006 (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California

Pat Corley (June 1, 1930 – September 11, 2006) was an American actor. He was perhaps best known for his role as bar owner Phil on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown from 1988–1996, where he served sage advice along with drinks. 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

Corley was born Cleo Pat Corley in Dallas, Texas, the son of Ada Lee (née Martin) and R.L. Corley.[1][2] 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 2nd wife, Iris Carter, a younger student, champion debater and a locally acclaimed actress.


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 Actor's 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-Broadway play 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 ArmY", Get Christie Love and Kojak. Other series on which Corley has guest-starred include Starsky and Hutch, Barnaby Jones, Hart to Hart, St. Elsewhere, Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Cagney & Lacey, Night Court, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, and Hey Arnold!. Corley also had a role in the ground-breaking TV series "Roots" and the mini-series "Fresno". And then, Corley was the voice acting Sheriff McGee in Tom Sawyer.


Corley died of congestive heart failure at age 76 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He is survived by daughters Troy Corley and Christina Pratt and sons Kevin and Jerry from his marriage to Iris Carter, and daughter Vicki Restani from his first marriage to Rose Valentine. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren from his five children with wife Iris: Tristan and Emelia Cassel; Keith, Kris, Kaitlyn Corley and Natalie Corley; Sean and Shelby Corley; Jackie and Collin Pratt; and Mark Mundy; three grandchildren by daughter Vicki: Nick, Dominic and Gina; a sister, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. His wife, Iris, died in 2005. His youngest daughter, Michelle, died in Dec 1996.



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