Tristram "Tris"" movie star" Coffin

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Tristram Chalkley Coffin

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Wapello Co, Ottumwa, IA, USA
Death: March 26, 1990 (80)
His remains were cremated and scattered at sea off the coast of Long Beach. (Lung Cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of Edwin Chapin Coffin Sr. and Elizabeth "Christy "
Husband of Dorthy Coffin and Vera Coffin
Brother of Edwin Chapin Coffin, Capt. Jr; Jackson "Jack" Coffin and Boyd Starbuck Coffin
Half brother of Eldridge Sunderlin Coffin; Ernest Redfield Coffin; Hamilton Chalkey Coffin; Ethenburg "Ethel" Coffin and Roger "Macy" Coffin

Managed by: Edwin Chapin Coffin Sr.
Last Updated:

About Tristram "Tris"" movie star" Coffin

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Suave and dapper, Tristram Coffin was one of the best dressed and handsomest heavies to work in westerns. In a Hollywood career spanning over 30 years, Coffin's work ran the gamut of all film genres—he even got to be the hero in Republic's "King of the Rocketmen" serial and TV's "26 Men" (‘57-‘59) which co-starred Kelo Henderson who remembers Tris as "an accomplished veteran actor who knew his theatrical trade and portrayed his role as Ranger Captain with authority. He was pleasant to the casts, crew and the fans, who came to watch the filming.

Tristram Chalkley Coffin was born in the silver mining town of Mammoth, UT, August 13, 1909. His father, Edwin Coffin, was from Iowa and his mother, Elizabeth Christie, was a Utah native. Tris' father was superintendent of Mammoth Mines, one of the largest silver mines in the world.

Tris grew up and received his education in the Salt Lake City, UT, schools where he started acting in school plays. Following high school, Tris became a member of a touring stock company. He first attended the University of Utah, studying medicine, gave that up to attend, and graduate from, the University of Washington with a major in speech which led to employment as chief staff announcer on WAB and WAC radio in Boston, MA. While there, a Hollywood scout heard him and that, coupled with his good looks, caused the scout to urge Coffin towards Hollywood. Fittingly, Tris' first film, "The Saint Strikes Back" (‘39), saw him playing a radio newscaster.

Coffin worked in Monogram westerns opposite Jack Randall, Tex Ritter, Range Busters and Rough Riders. By the early ‘40s he was working at Columbia and Republic with Bill Elliott/Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Russell Hayden, Johnny Mack Brown, Sunset Carson, Monte Hale, Allan "Rocky" Lane, Charles Starrett, Jimmy Wakely, Whip Wilson, Rex Allen and others.

10-13 films per year: ‘46-‘51, mostly westerns, although a few were with Charlie Chan, Jungle Jim and the Bowery Boys…

Major films: "The Fountainhead" (‘49), "Flamingo Road" (‘49), "Voice Of the Turtle" (‘47) and "The Fat Man" (‘51).

(over 300 movie and TV) films

14 credits: "Dick Tracy's G-Men" (‘39); starring role in "King of the Rocketmen" (‘49); "Holt of the Secret Service" (‘41), "Perils of Nyoka" (‘42), "Jesse James Rides Again" and "Pirates of the High Seas" (‘50).

With the advent of TV, Tris cut his film workload back to only a few a year, concentrating on half-hour TV westerns—"Lone Ranger", "Cisco Kid", "Kit Carson", "Cowboy G-Men", "Wild Bill Hickok", "Judge Roy Bean", "Death Valley Days", "Wyatt Earp". Starring role as Capt. Tom Rynning on "26 Men". Co-starred on syndicated "Files of Jeffrey Jones" (‘54) w/Don Haggerty and Gloria Henry.

Tris continued character role work on TV and films, until 1971, with his last credited role is in Disney's "Barefoot Executive".

He and his wife, Vera, last resided at 2314 Pier Ave., Santa Monica, CA. He died at age 80, of cardiac arrest and lung cancer, March 26, 1990, at St. John's Medical Center, Santa Monica. His remains were cremated and scattered at sea off the coast of Long Beach.

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Tristram "Tris"" movie star" Coffin's Timeline

August 13, 1909
Ottumwa, IA, USA
March 26, 1990
Age 80
His remains were cremated and scattered at sea off the coast of Long Beach.