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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Feb 9, 1891 In Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Anna the Adventuress 1920-02-01
Latest Project:
Movie Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies 2001-10-07
Known For
Poster of Arrowsmith
Poster of Bulldog Drummond
Poster of His Supreme Moment
Poster of The White Sister
Movie Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies Himself (archive footage) 2001-10-07
Movie The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (archive footage) 1988-10-01
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-17
Movie The Story of Mankind The Spirit of Man 1957-11-08
Movie Around the World in Eighty Days Railway Official 1956-10-17
Series The Halls of Ivy 1954-10-19
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Movie Champagne for Caesar Beauregard Bottomley 1950-05-11
Movie The Late George Apley George Apley 1947-03-19
Movie A Double Life Anthony John 1947-12-25
Movie Kismet Hafiz 1944-10-01
Movie The Talk of the Town Professor Michael Lightcap 1942-08-20
Movie Random Harvest Charles Rainier aka "Smithy" 1942-12-17
Movie My Life with Caroline Anthony Mason 1941-08-01
Movie Lucky Partners David Grant 1940-08-02
Movie The Light That Failed Dick Heldar 1939-12-24
Movie If I Were King François Villon 1938-09-28
Movie Lost Horizon Robert " Bob " Conway 1937-03-03
Movie The Prisoner of Zenda Major Rudolf Rassendyll / The Prisoner of Zenda 1937-09-03
Movie Under Two Flags Sgt. Victor 1936-04-30
Movie Clive of India Robert Clive 1935-01-25
Movie A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton 1935-12-25
Movie The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo Paul Gaillard 1935-11-14
Movie Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Captain Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond 1934-08-15
Movie The Masquerader Sir John Chilcote / John Loder 1933-09-03
Movie Cynara James Warlock 1932-12-24
Movie Arrowsmith Dr. Martin Arrowsmith 1931-12-07
Movie Raffles A.J. Raffles 1930-07-24
Movie The Devil to Pay! Willie Hale 1930-12-18
Movie The Rescue Tom Lingard 1929-01-12
Movie Bulldog Drummond Hugh Drummond 1929-05-02
Movie Condemned Michel 1929-11-03
Movie Two Lovers Mark van Rycke 1928-03-23
Movie The Night of Love Montero 1927-01-22
Movie The Magic Flame Tito the Clown / The Count 1927-09-17
Movie Kiki Victor Renal 1926-04-04
Movie Beau Geste Michael 'Beau' Geste 1926-08-24
Movie The Winning of Barbara Worth Willard Holmes 1926-10-14
Movie The Sporting Venus Donald MacAllan 1925-04-12
Movie His Supreme Moment John Douglas 1925-04-12
Movie Her Sister from Paris Joseph 1925-08-01
Movie A Thief in Paradise Maurice Blake 1925-06-18
Movie The Dark Angel Captain Alan Trent 1925-09-27
Movie Lady Windermere's Fan Lord Darlington 1925-12-26
Movie Stella Dallas Stephen Dallas 1925-11-16
Movie Her Night of Romance Paul Menford 1924-11-24
Movie Romola Carlo Bucellini 1924-12-06
Movie The White Sister Capt. Giovanni Severi 1923-09-05
Movie Anna the Adventuress Brendan 1920-02-01
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