The Cast of ‘9 to 5’: Where Are They Now? Plus is the Sequel Happening?
“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’…” You know the song and if you’ve clicked on this article, you’ve probably seen the cult classic film. 9 to 5 is a comedy released in 1980 starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as three working gals who want to overthrow their horrible boss, played by Dabney Coleman. The film did quite well in theaters and beyond, spawning a television series that ran for five seasons as well as a musical stage adaptation featuring new songs written by Parton. Find out where the stars are now and if a highly-anticipated sequel is still in the works.
Jane Fonda (Judy Bernly)
Fonda starred in the film as Judy and after the film’s success, she spent most of the 1980s as a fitness IT girl. Just a year later, she starred in On Golden Pond with her father, Henry Fonda, 9 to 5 co-star Coleman, and Katharine Hepburn.
Fonda has not slowed down and continued to work steadily in the ‘90s, 2000s, and beyond. Some of her most famous work is the Netflix show Grace and Frankie, Monster-in-Law, Book Club, and Georgia Rule. Just this year she starred in 80 for Brady and Book Club: The Next Chapter. In addition to acting, she is very active as an advocate for human rights and the environment, often seen at public protests. Fonda has been married three times and has three children.
Lily Tomlin (Violet Newstead)
Tomlin began her career as a stand-up comedian and off-Broadway performer but soon broke into the acting world with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Before 9 to 5, she had already won Emmy and Grammy Awards. Some of her notable films include All of Me, The Beverly Hillbillies, Flirting with Disaster, I Heart Huckabees, Grandma, and of course, Grace and Frankie with Fonda.
Many ‘90 kids may recognize her voice as Ms. Frizzle in the animated series The Magic School Bus and the reboot The Magic School Bus Rides Again. Her most recent role was in 80 for Brady. Tomlin married her longtime partner, writer Jane Wagner in 2013.
Dolly Parton (Doralee Rhodes)
While many know Parton as a country music superstar, she has acted in her fair share of films including The Beverly Hillbilies and Straight Talk. During her long career, she has released over 50 albums featuring songs such as “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and of course, the 9 to 5 theme song “9 to 5.” She recently performed a medley of her hits during an NFL halftime show.
In addition to singing and acting, she has her own amusement park called Dollywood in Tennessee and is dedicated to philanthropic work. She launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to give children free books in 1995. Parton has been married to Carl Dean since 1966.
Dabney Coleman (Franklin Hart Jr.)
Coleman shined as the egotistical and sexist boss and since then he has worked pretty steadily, appearing in films such as WarGames, Dragnet, You’ve Got Mail, and Rules Don’t Apply. He has also worked on television appearing in Boardwalk Empire, Recess, and many more.
He recently appeared on the hit series Yellowstone and continues to work. He has one film in pre-production called Someday Sometime. He has been married twice and has four children. Over the years, he was an avid tennis player and appeared in celebrity and charity tournaments. Now on to this sequel business…
There have been rumors swirling about a 9 to 5 sequel for years. Nostalgic sequels, remakes, or reboots seem to do quite well these days but in 2019, it was reported that the project was off the table. Since then, the stars have spoken out and said that it is possible that a sequel could still happen but it might be different than you’d expect. Tomlin confirmed that she would still be involved if it came up. However, she said, “I would like any material that’s just really rich and true and not dishonest and somehow its intention is communicating something better to humanity. I’m interested in any human issue, any human condition, anything about humanity that’s positive or says something meaningful about how we’re living or what we’re doing to each other, any number of things like that. But we like to get the comedy in there.”
This year, Fonda said that she hasn’t seen a script that she is happy with quite yet and won’t move forward until the cast truly believes in a script for the sequel. In 2018, Parton said that a sequel was in the works with original co-writer Patricia Resnick as well as Rashida Jones. At the time, she said that it would feature a new cast of characters but the original cast would sign on too. However, just a year later that version got the boot.
Although it sounds like the sequel is truly up in the air with no new updates, the ladies did say that if it does happen, they definitely want Parton to write and perform a new theme song. Tomlin added, “You’d want Dolly to be in a new ‘9 to 5,’ for sure no question. I mean, who’s gonna write the theme song? I remember she came onto the set of the original, and played the theme song on her fingernails. And Jane and I looked at each other and it was just like — it was such a great song. It was just so right for the movie. And I said, ‘Well, the song will be a hit if the movie isn’t a huge hit.’”
While we wait patiently for a sequel, you can watch the original 9 to 5 movie for free on YouTube. There is also a documentary called Still Working 9 to 5 which takes a look at the 40-year evolution of workplace gender discrimination and inequality. It features interviews from the cast and a new duet of “9 to 5” by Parton and Kelly Clarkson. Stay tuned to the documentary’s website to find out when you can stream it.