Dolly Parton has paid tribute to “funny, deep and smart” 9 To 5 co-star Dabney Coleman following his death aged 92.

The US actor was best known for portraying villains such as the sexist boss in the 1980 hit comedy opposite Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and the nasty TV director in the 1982 satire Tootsie.

Parton, who played Doralee Rhodes, the secretary of Coleman’s character Frank Hart in 9 To 5, wrote on Instagram: “Dabney was a great actor and became a dear friend.

“He taught me so much when I was doing my first movie, 9 To 5.

“He was funny, deep and smart. We remained friends through the years and I will miss him greatly as many people will.”

The movie was a star vehicle for Parton and she also recorded the film’s theme song, with the same title, which was one of the biggest hits of the decade.

The film follows three working women who live out their fantasies of getting even with and overthrowing the company’s vile sexist boss.

Obit Dabney Coleman
Dabney Coleman (Julie Markes/AP)

Coleman, who was famous for his signature moustache, made his breakthrough as a corrupt mayor in the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, from 1976.

His film credits include a computer scientist in WarGames, Tom Hanks’ father in You’ve Got Mail and a chief firefighter in The Towering Inferno.

His death last week prompted tributes from co-stars and friends including Tomlin, actor Ben Stiller and actress Morgan Fairchild.