James Coyne was an American director, screenwriter, and actor, who is best known for his work on such films as The Thin Man (1934), The Egg and I (1947), and The Court Jester (1955).
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 2, 1902, Coyne was the son of a lawyer. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied acting and directing. Coyne began his career in the theater, working as an actor and director in various Broadway productions. He was then hired by Paramount Pictures as a dialogue coach and was later promoted to assistant director.
In 1934, Coyne made his directing debut with the classic film The Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. The movie was a huge success and earned Coyne an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
Coyne continued to work in Hollywood, helming films such as the western The Plainsman (1936), the musical The Bride Wore Red (1937), and the comedy The Great McGinty (1940). He also wrote the screenplay for the 1941 film The Lady from Cheyenne, which starred Barbara Stanwyck.
In 1947, Coyne directed the comedy The Egg and I, starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray. The movie was a box office hit and was later adapted into a successful television series.
In the 1950s, Coyne directed several popular comedies, including The Court Jester (1955) and The Great Man (1956). He also directed the science fiction classic The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) and the western War Paint (1953).
Coyne's last film was the 1960 western The Plunderers. He then retired from directing and moved to Palm Springs, California, where he died in 1976 at the age of 74.
Throughout his career, Coyne has been praised for his work on such classics as The Thin Man and The Egg and I. He is remembered as one of the most influential directors of the classic Hollywood era.