I was out shopping, this morning, and stopped by the local wine merchant for a good bottle of merlot for dinner. Leaving the store, three young girls saw me, squealed "It's HIM!" and ran up to me. While normally I try to avoid fan encounters (I prefer privacy and anonymity), I was feeling a bit expansive, so I smiled and greeted them, as they pulled out scraps of paper for my autograph. They were so 'starstruck' that they never paid attention to what I wrote (I wonder if other actors ever fantasize of writing "Thanks for eating spinach, Love, Popeye"), and as I finished, they snatched the papers away, and gushed, "We loved you in "The Wizard of Oz", Mr. Morgan!" then ran down the street...

They thought I was FRANK MORGAN!!!

While I admire the talented Mr. Morgan, it was offsetting to be mistaken for the jowly, somewhat portly character actor...and I shared the experience with Benita, when I got back to the house.

She giggled, and said, reassuringly, "It's no big deal, Ronnie."

"Maybe not to you, darling, but I've always considered myself, well, rather unique!"

"You are, dear, but everyone has cases of ''mistaken identity'...I answer your fan mail, and you'd be amazed who people mix you up with!"

"Really?" I asked, incredulously. "Who?"

She laughed, and said, "Come to the study, and I'll show you today's mail..."

I saw the bag of unopened mail on my desk, and Benita emptied it, sorting out the personal mail, bills, and studio paperwork. She then waved to the large stack, remaining, announced, "today's fan mail", and invited me to take a look.

Looking over it, I was stunned!

Besides the letters that were undeniably for me, I had been misidentified, not only as Morgan, but as John Gilbert, Warner Baxter, Warren William, Cesar Romero, John Barrymore, Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, David Niven and Errol Flynn!

"My heavens!" I exclaimed. "I'm surprised nobody mixed me up with Gable or Bill Powell!"

"Never with Gable," Benita reassured me, "but I get two or three 'William Powells' a week, where people say how much they love you as 'The Thin Man'!"

"How do you handle this?"

She looked down, and replied, "Usually, I have to throw them out...I used to try and answer, and explain their mistake, but there were simply too many! Occasionally, if Jack Barrymore, or Errol, or Warner drops by, I give them the letters...but they do build up rather quickly!"

Here are a few samples from the mail...

"Dear Mr. Colman,

I am your biggest fan! I never miss any of your movies! My favorites are "Imitation of Life", "Golddiggers of 1933", and the Perry Mason movie..." (Obviously, Warren William; I swear, he looks more like Barrymore than me!)

"Dear Ronald,

You are my hero! I want to be just like you, especially when you play Sherlock Holmes..." (Basil Rathbone...I'm really not right for the role!)

"Dear Mr. Colman,

You are the sexiest man I ever saw! When I saw you in tights as Robin Hood, I became so excited! I'm only 16, but you are my DREAM MAN! I'm enclosing my underwear..." (God, does Flynn get a LOT of mail like this???)

"Dear Mr. Colman,

Here is the liquor bill for last week. Tell your *##**!! monkey that I accept only CASH, not sexual favors!" (Obviously BARRYMORE...he's probably used my name to run up bills for years!)

"Dear Dr. Colman,

I need the Crime Doctor, as my husband is an old fart, and I want to bump him off..." (Certainly intended for Warner Baxter...I admit, we do rather resemble one another...but this woman needs a good shrink!)

"Dear Ronald,

I miss your movies with Garbo...you sure have a funny-sounding voice!..." (John Gilbert's voice isn't THAT bad, but the studios have certainly disagreed!)

"Dear Mr. Colman,

How could you let your men kill Shirley's sweet buddy? I don't care if she did make friends with you and end the war, you were so MEAN..." (She must be referring to the Shirley Temple movie with Cesar Romero as the insurgent...his men killed Vic McLaglan...but it was only a MOVIE, dear!) 

"Hey, Coley,

Why don't you ditch piggy old Benita and come out and play *smack, smack*..." (Oops, that's mine...three guesses who wrote THAT one!)

Today's revelation has certainly deflated my ego, a bit!






"The Dinner Party for Erich von Stroheim"

"The Misadventures of John Barrymore's Cheeky Monkey, Clementine"

"The All-Star Surprise Party for Laine"

"The Classic Hollywood Long Beach-Catalina Yacht Race"

"The Ronald Colman Seance"

"My "Lost Horizon" Surprise!"

"A Night at the Hollywood Canteen!"

"But I Thought You Were..."

"The People vs. Ronald Colman"

"The Epic Hearst Costume Party..."


"The Monkey on Ronald Colman's Back Saga" (A 9-Part Adventure):

"Introduction: A Day at the ZOO..."

"Chapter 1: A Most UNWELCOME Houseguest!"

"Chapter 2: Clemmie's BIG DAY!"

"Chapter 3: The Hollywood WOMEN'S CLUB Meeting!"

"Chapter 4: Clemmie and Juliet's Father's Day SURPRISE!"

"Chapter 5: The Legendary Mocambo BRAWL!"

"Chapter 6: The Colman CAMPING TRIP!"

"Chapter 7: Colman's DILEMMA!"

"Chapter 8: Ronald Colman's DAY in COURT!"


"ON THE TOWN with Clemmie and Juliet!"


"A MAN, A MONKEY, the MOB, and RONALD COLMAN!" (A 5-Part Adventure):

"Introduction: Broadway, 1920..."

"Chapter 1: A LONG Memory..."

"Chapter 2: Barrymore's Reply..."

"Chapter 3: Barrymore in Cement!"

"Chapter 4: A Desert Grave..."



"The RONALD COLMAN Banner Collection"

Finally, if you'd like to 'go to the source', with over 200 photos of Ronald Colman's life and career, please visit Myspace.com/Ronald Colman...the page that started it all!