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Ronald Charles Colman (9 February 1891 – 19 May 1958) was an English actor, popular during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.[1] He won an Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor for A Double Life (1947) and received nominations for Random Harvest (1942), Bulldog Drummond (1929) and Condemned (1929). Colman starred in several classic films, including A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). He also played the starring role in the Technicolor classic Kismet (1944), with Marlene Dietrich, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. Colman has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
for his contributions to motion pictures and television.

Contents

1 Early years 2 First World War 3 Career

3.1 Theatre 3.2 Film 3.3 Fame 3.4 Radio and television

4 Death 5 Awards and honours 6 Filmography 7 Radio appearances 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Early years[edit] Ronald Charles Colman was born in Richmond, Surrey, England, the second son and fourth child[2] of Charles Colman and his wife Marjory Read Fraser. His siblings comprised Eric, Edith and Marjorie. He was educated at boarding school in Littlehampton, where he discovered that he enjoyed acting, despite his shyness.[3] He intended to study engineering at Cambridge, but his father's sudden death from pneumonia in 1907 made it financially impossible.[3] He became a well-known amateur actor and was a member of the West Middlesex
Middlesex
Dramatic Society in 1908–09. He made his first appearance on the professional stage in 1914. First World War[edit] While working as a clerk at the British Steamship Company in the City of London,[2] he joined the London Scottish Regiment[4][5] in 1909 as a Territorial Army soldier, and on being mobilised at the outbreak of the First World War, crossed the English Channel
English Channel
to France in September 1914 to take part in the fighting on the Western Front. On 31 October 1914, at the Battle of Messines,[4] Colman was seriously wounded by shrapnel in his ankle, which gave him a limp that he would attempt to hide throughout the rest of his acting career. As a consequence, he was invalided out of the British Army
British Army
in 1915.[6] His fellow Hollywood
Hollywood
actors Claude Rains, Herbert Marshall, Cedric Hardwicke and Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
all saw service with the London Scottish in the war. Career[edit] Theatre[edit]

As poet François Villon
François Villon
in If I Were King
If I Were King
(1938)

Colman had sufficiently recovered from wartime injuries to appear at the London Coliseum
London Coliseum
on 19 June 1916, as Rahmat Sheikh in The Maharani of Arakan, with Lena Ashwell; at the Playhouse in December that year as Stephen Weatherbee in the Charles Goddard/ Paul Dickey play The Misleading Lady; at the Court Theatre in March 1917 as Webber in Partnership. At the same theatre the following year he appeared in Eugène Brieux's Damaged Goods. At the Ambassadors Theatre in February 1918 he played George Lubin in The Little Brother. During 1918, he toured as David Goldsmith in The Bubble.[citation needed] In 1920, Colman went to America and toured with Robert Warwick in The Dauntless Three, and subsequently toured with Fay Bainter
Fay Bainter
in East is West. At the Booth Theatre
Booth Theatre
in New York in January 1921 he played the Temple Priest in William Archer's play The Green Goddess. With George Arliss at the 39th Street Theatre in August 1921 he appeared as Charles in The Nightcap. In September 1922 he had great success as Alain Sergyll at the Empire Theatre (New York City) in La Tendresse. Film[edit]

with Jean Arthur
Jean Arthur
in Talk
Talk
of the Town (1942)

Colman had first appeared in films in Britain in 1917 and 1919 for director Cecil Hepworth, and subsequently with the old Broadwest Film Company in Snow in the Desert. While appearing on stage in New York in La Tendresse, Director Henry King saw him and engaged him as the leading man in the 1923 film The White Sister, opposite Lillian Gish. He was an immediate success. Thereafter Colman virtually abandoned the stage for film. He became a very popular silent film star in both romantic and adventure films, among them The Dark Angel (1925), Stella Dallas (1926), Beau Geste (1926) and The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926). His dark hair and eyes and his athletic and riding ability (he did most of his own stunts until late in his career) led reviewers to describe him as a "Valentino type". He was often cast in similar, exotic roles.[7] Towards the end of the silent era, Colman was teamed with Hungarian actress Vilma Bánky
Vilma Bánky
under Samuel Goldwyn; the two were a popular film team rivalling Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
and John Gilbert. Although he was a huge success in silent films, he was unable to capitalise on one of his chief assets until the advent of the talking picture, "his beautifully modulated and cultured voice."[8] also described as "a bewitching, finely-modulated, resonant voice." Colman was often viewed as a suave English gentleman, whose voice embodied chivalry and mirrored the image of a "Stereotypical English gentleman."[9][10] Commenting on Colman's appeal, English film critic David Shipman stated that Colman was "'the dream lover - calm, dignified, trustworthy. Although he was a lithe figure in adventure stories, his glamour - which was genuine - came from his respectability; he was an aristocratic figure without being aloof.'"[11] His first major talkie success was in 1930, when he was nominated for the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor for two roles – Condemned and Bulldog Drummond. He thereafter appeared in a number of notable films: Raffles in 1930, The Masquerader in 1933, Clive of India
Clive of India
and A Tale of Two Cities in 1935, Under Two Flags, The Prisoner of Zenda and Lost Horizon in 1937, If I Were King
If I Were King
in 1938 and Random Harvest and The Talk
Talk
of the Town in 1942. He won the Best Actor Oscar in 1948 for A Double Life. He next starred in a screwball comedy, 1950's Champagne for Caesar. At the time of his death, Colman was contracted by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for the lead role in Village of the Damned. However, Colman died and the film became a British production starring George Sanders, who had married Colman's widow, Benita Hume. Fame[edit] Colman has been mentioned in many novels, but he is specifically mentioned in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man because of his charming, well-known voice. The main character of this novel says that he wishes he could have a voice like Colman's because it is charming, and relates the voice to that of a gentleman or a man from Esquire magazine.[12] Colman was indeed very well known for his voice. Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
says that Colman had a "resonant, mellifluous speaking voice with a unique, pleasing timbre".[13] Along with his charming voice, Colman had a very confident performing manner that helped make him a major star of sound films.[14] Radio and television[edit] Beginning in 1945, Colman made many guest appearances on The Jack Benny Program on radio, alongside his second wife, stage and screen actress Benita Hume. Their comedy work as Benny's perpetually exasperated next-door neighbours led to their own radio comedy The Halls of Ivy from 1950 to 1952, created by Fibber McGee & Molly mastermind Don Quinn, on which the Colmans played the literate, charming president of a middle American college and his former-actress wife. Listeners were surprised to discover that the episode of 24 January 1951, "The Goya Bequest"—a story examining the bequest of a Goya painting that was suspected of being a fraud hyped by its late owner to avoid paying customs duties when bringing it to the United States—was written by Colman himself, who poked fun at his accomplishment while taking a rare turn giving the evening's credits at the show's conclusion. The Halls of Ivy ran on NBC radio from 1950 to 1952, then moved to CBS television for the 1954–55 season.[15] Colman was also the host and occasional star of the syndicate anthology Favorite Story, (1946-1949).[16] Of note was his narration and portrayal of Scrooge in a 1948 production of "A Christmas Carol". Death[edit] Colman died on 19 May 1958, aged 67, from acute emphysema in Santa Barbara, California, and was interred in the Santa Barbara Cemetery. He had a daughter, Juliet Benita Colman (born 1944), by his second wife Benita Hume.[17] Awards and honours[edit] Colman was nominated three times for the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor. At the 3rd Academy Awards
Academy Awards
ceremony he received a single nomination for his work in two films; Bulldog Drummond (1929) and Condemned (1929). He was nominated again for Random Harvest (1942), before winning for A Double Life (1947), where he played the role of Anthony John, an actor playing Othello who comes to identify with the character. He also won the Golden Globe
Golden Globe
award for Best Actor in 1947 for his role in A Double Life. In 2002, Colman's Oscar statuette was sold at auction by Christie's
Christie's
for US$174,500.[18] Colman is a recipient of the George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. Colman has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
in Los Angeles, one for motion pictures at 6801 Hollywood
Hollywood
Blvd. and one for television at 1623 Vine Street. He is the subject of a biography written by his daughter Juliet Benita Colman in 1975, "Ronald Colman: A Very Private Person". Filmography[edit] Main article: Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
filmography Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source

1945 Suspense "August Heat"[19]

1945 Suspense "The Dunwich Horror"[20]

1946 Academy Award Lost Horizon[21]

1946 Encore Theatre Yellowjack[22]

1952 Lux Radio Theatre Les Misérables[23]

1953 Suspense Vision of Death[24]

See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of actors with Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations

References[edit]

^ Obituary Variety, 21 May 1958. ^ a b "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography".  ^ a b "Shelley Winters." Britannica Book of the Year, 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013.Web.16 September 2013 ^ a b "Famous London Scottish". The London Scottish Regimental Trust.  ^ "Medal card of Colman, Ronald C, Soldier Number: 2148, Rank: Private, Corps: 14th London Regiment". The National Archives. Retrieved 20 January 2016.  ^ Morley, Sheridan. (1983.) Tales from the Hollywood
Hollywood
Raj: The British, the Movies and Tinseltown. The Viking Press, p. 66. ^ Quirk, Lawrence J., The Films of Ronald Colman, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1977. ^ Franklin, Joe, Classics of the Silent Screen, p. 148, 1959 The Citadel Press ^ Franklin, Joe. Classics of the Silent Screen: A Pictorial Treasury. New York: Bramhall House, 1959. Print ^ Zito, Stephen F., American Film
Film
Institute and the Library of Congress, Cinema Club 9 Program Notes, April, 1973 Post Newsweek Stations, Washington, D.C. ^ Morley, p. 65. ^ Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison
(1952). The Invisible Man. Random House.  ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica".  ^ William K. Everson (1978). American Silent Film. Oxford University Press.  ^ Becker, Christine (1 October 2005). "Televising Film
Film
Stardom in the 1950s". Framework. Retrieved 21 January 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.  ^ "Cremation for Ronald Colman" (AP). Kentucky New Era. 19 May 1958. p. 11. ^ Dave Kehr, "Objection Quashes Sale of Welles's 'Kane' Oscar", New York Times (22 July 2003) ^ "Escape and Suspense!: Suspense - August Heat". escape-suspense.com. Retrieved 2 June 2017.  ^ "Escape and Suspense!: Suspense - The Dunwich Horror". escape-suspense.com. Retrieved 2 June 2017.  ^ "'Horizon' Star". Harrisburg Telegraph. 23 November 1946. p. 19. Retrieved 13 September 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 41 (3): 32–39. Summer 2015.  ^ Kirby, Walter (21 December 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved 8 June 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ Kirby, Walter (31 May 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 40. Retrieved 30 June 2015 – via Newspapers.com. 

Parker, John, editor, Who's Who in the Theatre, 10th edition revised, London, 1947, p. 437.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ronald Colman.

Works by or about Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
at Internet Archive Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
on IMDb Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
at the TCM Movie Database Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
at Virtual History " Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
- Gentleman Of The Cinema". ronaldcolman.com. Retrieved 2 June 2017. 

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor

1928–1950

Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(1928) Warner Baxter
Warner Baxter
(1929) George Arliss
George Arliss
(1930) Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
(1931) Fredric March
Fredric March
/ Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
(1932) Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
(1933) Clark Gable
Clark Gable
(1934) Victor McLaglen
Victor McLaglen
(1935) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1936) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1937) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1938) Robert Donat
Robert Donat
(1939) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1940) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1941) James Cagney
James Cagney
(1942) Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1943) Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
(1944) Ray Milland
Ray Milland
(1945) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1946) Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
(1947) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1948) Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
(1949) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1950)

1951–1975

Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
(1951) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1952) William Holden
William Holden
(1953) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1954) Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
(1955) Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner
(1956) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1957) David Niven
David Niven
(1958) Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
(1959) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1960) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1961) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1962) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1963) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1964) Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin
(1965) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1966) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1967) Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson
(1968) John Wayne
John Wayne
(1969) George C. Scott1 (1970) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1971) Marlon Brando1 (1972) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1973) Art Carney
Art Carney
(1974) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1975)

1976–2000

Peter Finch
Peter Finch
(1976) Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
(1977) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1978) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1979) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1980) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1981) Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
(1982) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1983) F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham
(1984) William Hurt
William Hurt
(1985) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1986) Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
(1987) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1988) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(1989) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1990) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1991) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1992) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1993) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1994) Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
(1995) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(1996) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1997) Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
(1998) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1999) Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe
(2000)

2001–present

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2001) Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
(2004) Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman
(2005) Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
(2006) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2007) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2008) Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
(2009) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2010) Jean Dujardin
Jean Dujardin
(2011) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2012) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2013) Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
(2014) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(2015) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2016) Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman
(2017)

1 refused award that year

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1943) Alexander Knox
Alexander Knox
(1944) Ray Milland
Ray Milland
(1945) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1946) Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
(1947) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1948) Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
(1949) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1950) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1951) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1952) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1953) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1954) Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
(1955) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
(1956) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1957) David Niven
David Niven
(1958) Anthony Franciosa
Anthony Franciosa
(1959) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1960) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1961) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1962) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1963) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(1964) Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif
(1965) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1966) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1967) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(1968) John Wayne
John Wayne
(1969) George C. Scott
George C. Scott
(1970) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1971) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1972) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1973) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1974) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1975) Peter Finch
Peter Finch
(1976) Richard Burton
Richard Burton
(1977) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1978) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1979) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1980) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1981) Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
(1982) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
/ Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1983) F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham
(1984) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1985) Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins
(1986) Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
(1987) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1988) Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
(1989) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1990) Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte
(1991) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1992) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1993) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1994) Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
(1995) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(1996) Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda
(1997) Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey
(1998) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1999) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(2000) Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe
(2001) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(2004) Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman
(2005) Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
(2006) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2007) Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke
(2008) Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
(2009) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2010) George Clooney
George Clooney
(2011) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2012) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2013) Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
(2014) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(2015) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2016) Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman
(2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 61686319 LCCN: n88132379 ISNI: 0000 0000 6302 5425 GND: 119023687 SUDOC: 035240520 BNF: cb13176261d (data) BNE: XX1064303 SN

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