First off, let me begin with a disclaimer...what you read in these pages is not 'official' or sanctioned by Juliet Benita Colman, the Estate of Ronald Colman, or the Estates of any of the celebrities who appear; the stories within the site are works of fan fiction, solely created as works of entertainment, without financial gain. Please contact the Webmaster with any questions or comments...
It all began as a Tribute site...
After joining Myspace, I discovered that no one had created a page for one of my favorite actors, the legendary Ronald Colman. I had been a fan since I was ten, or so, when I saw my first Colman film on TV (amazingly, his last, and possibly worst feature, "The Story of Mankind"). I was enthralled by his keen intellect, his innate kindness, and most of all, by his extraordinary speaking voice. No one ever sounded better, no matter how inane the dialogue!
Gathering pictures and basic biographical information from the Internet, I soon had a most respectable site, and a fair number of fans wishing to subscribe to it, as 'Friends'. But an interesting thing happened; letters to the site often addressed me as 'Mr. Colman', expecting me to join many others in role-playing, as the screen star. While I am nothing like Colman, in appearance or temperment, I realized that in 'playing' the actor, I could bring more attention to this unfairly forgotten star...and have some fun, as well, guessing how he'd interreact with a variety of celebrities and 'common' folk, over many time periods. So "Ronald Colman" was reborn, in Myspace!
To accurately portray the actor, I had to research him far more thoroughly, and while there are few books about his life and career, each is a gold mine of information. My primary sources were his daughter, Juliet Benita Colman's loving biography, "Ronald Colman...A Very Private Person"; R. Dixon Smith's richly illustrated "Ronald Colman, Gentleman of the Cinema: A Biography and Filmography"; Lawrence J. Quirk's "The Films of Ronald Colman"; and, best of all, Sam Frank's exhaustive reference book, "Ronald Colman: A Bio-Bibliography (Bio-Bibliographies in the Performing Arts)". Armed with these resources, the adventures began!
"The Quintessential Englishman"..."The Personification of the Gentleman Hero"..."The Velvet Voice"...
Ronald Colman, Oscar-winning English actor, was one of only a handful of legendary stars who triumphed in both silent and sound films, over a 40-year career that encompassed stage, screen, radio, and television.
Born to middle-class parents in Richmond, Surrey, England on February 9th, 1891, he was orphaned at 16, and found employment as an office boy in a British steamship company. He served in WWI, was severely wounded at Ypres, and upon returning to England decided to pursue an acting career. By 1917, he starred in "Damaged Goods" on the London stage, and his success led to film work. Starting with bit parts, between stage productions, he got his big break in the British film, "The Black Spider" (1920), and America, offering more opportunity and prestige (and the promise of better paychecks), soon beckoned.
After a very rough start in New York (sometimes reduced to sleeping on benches), he began to find stage work, eventually moving up into leading roles. While in the hit, "La Tendresse", he caught the eye of legendary star Lillian Gish, who chose him as her co-star in "The White Sister" (1923), which established the 32-year-old actor as a romantic leading man in silent films (Director Henry King would also take credit for 'finding' him). One of the era's most popular stars, Colman was frequently paired with Vilma Banky, in films such as "The Dark Angel" (1925) and "The Winning of Barbara Worth" (1926), a film that featured young Gary Cooper. He would also appear with May McAvoy in "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1925), in the silent version of "Beau Geste" (1926), and with Norma Talmadge in "Kiki" (1926).
With the arrival of sound pictures, Colman's incredible speaking voice was revealed, insuring not only his continued success in film, but an even wider audience. In his two earliest sound fims, "Bulldog Drummond" (1929) and "Condemned" (1929), he would be nominated for an Oscar as "Best Actor". Under contract to Samuel Goldwyn throughout much of the silent era, he detested the producer's methods of promotion (often insulting his stars, creating slanderous rumors about them to promote his films), and he would sue Goldwyn in the early thirties, winning a release from his contract. Thus Ronald Colman became one of the first major stars to freelance between studios. He was alcoholic barrister Sidney Carton in Selznick's definitive "A Tale Of Two Cities" (1935), and scored another huge success for Selznick, playing dual roles in "The Prisoner of Zenda"(1937). At ease in both period and contemporary films, he was as beloved as vagabond poet Francois Villon in "If I Were King" (1938) as playing self-sacrificing diplomat Robert Conway in the classic "Lost Horizon" (1937).
By the 1940's, he decided to reduce his film work, appearing more frequently on radio (often with second wife Benita Hume), and working tirelessly for war-related charities, but his film choices were often brilliant, appearing as a Supreme Court nominee in a romantic triangle with Jean Arthur and Cary Grant in "The Talk of the Town" (1942), as the amnesiac hero of "Random Harvest" (1942), opposite Greer Garson, and winning a "Best Actor" Oscar as a stage actor driven to madness while portraying "Othello" in "A Double Life" (1947).
In declining health, and with acceptable film roles harder and harder to find (he turned down the Alec Guiness role in "The Bridge on the River Kwai" because of the long shooting schedule in Ceylon), he devoted himself primarily to radio and television work in the 1950s, starring in the very popular series, "The Halls of Ivy", with wife Benita Hume; his best-remembered screen appearance would be a cameo in "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956).
Ronald Colman died of a lung infection on May 19th, 1958 in Santa Barbara, California, at 67.
To learn more about Ronald Colman, visit The Internet Movie Database, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, and
From this point, my version of "Ronald Colman" began a series of adventures, in the timeless realm of Myspace, with a diverse collection of stars of different eras...and I invite you to check them out!
THE RONALD COLMAN SAGA
"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):
"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..."
"SURPRISE PARTY for RONALD COLMAN!"
"The RONALD COLMAN Banner Collection"