British-born US film star, whose cultured voice and dignified appearance made him Hollywood's epitome of the English gentleman. Born in Richmond, Surrey, Colman had an early desire to become an actor that led him into amateur theatricals. However, his entry into the profession in 1914 was interrupted by World War I. After service with the London Scottish in France he was invalided out in 1916 and returned to the stage, making his first appearance in The Maharani of Arakan at the London Coliseum. Many more stage performances followed, both in London and on tour in the USA. He appeared in films in England as early as 1917 but it was in America that his film career really began. Most notable of his early films was The White Sister (1923) with Lillian Gish and Herbert Brenan's silent classic Beau Geste (1926). His voice made him an ideal choice for the talkies and he was nominated for Best Actor Awards for Bulldog Drummond (1929), Condemned (1929), and Random Harvest (1942); he won this award for A Double Life (1947). Other notable performances were in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937), and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). Towards the end of his life he had a cameo part in Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and made his last screen appearance in The Story of Mankind (1957).
From Who's Who in the Twentieth Century in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).