Image of Ronald Colman

Ronald Colman

British leading man of primarily American films, one of the great stars of the Golden Age. Raised in Ealing, the son of a successful silk merchant, he attended boarding school in Sussex, where he first discovered amateur theatre. He intended to attend Cambridge and become an engineer, but his father's death cost him the financial support necessary. He joined the London Scottish Regionals and at the outbreak of World War I was sent to France. Seriously wounded at the battle of Messines--he was gassed--he was invalided out of service scarcely two months after shipping out for France. Upon his recovery he tried to enter the consular service, but a chance encounter got him a small role in a London play. He dropped other plans and concentrated on the theatre, and was rewarded with a succession of increasingly prominent parts. He made extra money appearing in a few minor films, and in 1920 set out for New York in hopes of finding greater fortune there than in war-depressed England. After two years of impoverishment he was cast in a Broadway hit, "La Tendresse". Director Henry King spotted him in the show and cast him as Lillian Gish's leading man in The White Sister (1923). His success in the film led to a contract with Samuel Goldwyn, and his career as a Hollywood leading man was underway. He became a vastly popular star of silent films, in romances as well as adventure films. The coming of sound made his extraordinarily beautiful speaking voice even more important to the film industry. He played sophisticated, thoughtful characters of integrity with enormous aplomb, and swashbuckled expertly when called to do so in films like The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). A decade later he received an Academy Award for his splendid portrayal of a tormented actor in A Double Life (1947). Much of his later career was devoted to "The Halls of Ivy", a radio show that later was transferred to television "The Halls of Ivy" (1954). He continued to work until nearly the end of his life, which came in 1958 after a brief lung illness. He was survived by his second wife, actress Benita Hume, and their daughter Juliet Benita Colman.


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Born:
Feb 9, 1891 In Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
54
First Appeared:
Movie Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies 2001-10-07
Latest Project:
In the movie The Toilers 1919-03-01
Known For
Poster of The Dark Angel
Poster of Tarnish
Poster of Anna the Adventuress
Poster of The Toilers
Filmography
Movie Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies Himself (archive footage)
Movie The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (archive footage)
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage)
Movie The Story of Mankind The Spirit of Man
Movie Around the World in Eighty Days Railway Official
Series The Halls of Ivy
Series General Electric Theater Unknown
Movie Champagne for Caesar Beauregard Bottomley
Movie The Art Director
Movie A Double Life Anthony John
Movie The Late George Apley George Apley
Movie Kismet Hafiz
Movie The Talk of the Town Professor Michael Lightcap
Movie Random Harvest Charles Rainier aka "Smithy"
Movie My Life with Caroline Anthony Mason
Movie Lucky Partners David Grant
Movie The Light That Failed Dick Heldar
Movie If I Were King Fran├žois Villon
Movie The Prisoner of Zenda Major Rudolf Rassendyll / The Prisoner of Zenda
Movie Lost Horizon Robert " Bob " Conway
Movie Under Two Flags Sgt. Victor
Movie A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton
Movie The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo Paul Gaillard
Movie Clive of India Robert Clive
Movie Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Captain Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond
Movie The Masquerader Sir John Chilcote / John Loder
Movie Cynara James Warlock
Movie Arrowsmith Dr. Martin Arrowsmith
Movie The Unholy Garden Barrington Hunt
Movie Raffles A.J. Raffles
Movie The Devil to Pay! Willie Hale
Movie Condemned Michel
Movie Bulldog Drummond Hugh Drummond
Movie The Rescue Tom Lingard
Movie Two Lovers Mark van Rycke
Movie The Magic Flame Tito the Clown / The Count
Movie The Night of Love Montero
Movie The Winning of Barbara Worth Willard Holmes
Movie Beau Geste Michael 'Beau' Geste
Movie Kiki Victor Renal
Movie A Thief in Paradise Maurice Blake
Movie His Supreme Moment John Douglas
Movie The Sporting Venus Donald MacAllan
Movie Stella Dallas Stephen Dallas
Movie Her Sister from Paris Joseph
Movie The Dark Angel Captain Alan Trent
Movie Lady Windermere's Fan Lord Darlington
Movie Romola Carlo Bucellini
Movie Her Night of Romance Paul Menford
Movie Tarnish
Movie Twenty Dollars a Week
Movie The White Sister Capt. Giovanni Severi
Movie Anna the Adventuress Brendan
Movie The Toilers Unknown