Ronald Colman

Ronald Colman

Christopher Walken (whose given name is Ronald) was named for him.

Daughter Juliet Benita Colman (b. 1944).

Fought with the British Army in World War I, and was wounded during the Battle of Ypres.

He made his film debut in an unreleased two-reel short made in 1919. Its title is unknown, and references to it as 'Live Wire, The (1917)' apparently erroneously connect it to a play of that title in which Colman appeared around the same time.

He, along with wife Benita Hume, were frequent guests on Jack Benny's radio show. The Colmans were supposed to be next-door neighbors. After Colman won his Oscar, Jack borrowed it to take home only to be robbed and the Oscar taken. For several weeks the show story line was the recovery of the stolen Oscar.

His recording of "A Christmas Carol", originally released in a Decca 78-RPM set in 1941, was the first recorded version to win wide acclaim. It appeared several times on LP, and has recently (October 2005) been released on CD by Deutsche Grammophon, along with its frequent companion piece on LP, "Mr. Pickwick's Christmas".

In his early film career he was panned by many critics for his overtheatrics (used in the stage work he was doing at the time) and his pronounced limp (from a bad war injury). He credited working with greats such as George Arliss for overcoming those obstacles.

When he made his mark in Hollywood as a handsome young silent actor, there were some who doubted he would translate well to "talkies." His subsequent success in radio (he made a multi-volume recording of the William Shakespeare sonnets, as well) proves them wrong with a vengeance.