After attending the Virginia Military Institute for about two years, I enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. My family had all gone there, and I majored in philosophy, history, and economics — one for each year. I finally opted for the Plan II program and then got into the law school. I did that for a year and a half, but I didn’t break any records. I don’t think I passed more than two courses because I didn’t go to class very often. I was too busy playing Ping-Pong at the Phi Delta Theta house and calling girls. I was still living in Austin when Zachary Scott, who was an old friend of my first wife’s, came over to our apartment for a drink. Believe it or not, I was smitten with becoming an actor just from that meeting. It sounds superficial — and I guess it is — but I’m very glad that it happened. The next day, I was on a plane to New York.

Actor Dabney Coleman was born in Austin and grew up in Corpus Christi. He has appeared in more than eighty films, including Nine to Five and You’ve Got Mail. Where the Red Fern Grows, his next movie, will be in theaters later this year.