Time Machine to the Twenties: Peeping Toms at Ronald Colman's
However, time permitting, I will discuss Ronald Colman's other silent pictures. . who were in a relationship until Valentine jilted poor Geoffrey for a rich husband. . he had married the actress Thelma Raye in haste, a union Colman . their talking pictures and after her voice was tested, Carole was ready. During the time Sylvia had been seeing Colman, there had been a One Sunday morning, Madame Sylvia arrived at Ronald Colman's home. Results. Patients were grouped by specific screening criteria into three groups of increasing frailty: Independent, Frail, and Severely Impaired. Each criterion.
Ronald Colman (1891-1958)
Regardless, starting at the Bowery Theatre, New York, Sennett became a chorus boy, eventually moving onto Broadway shows. Under the tutelage of D W Griffith his expertise in motion picture making progressed to such an extent that during Sennett moved on from being merely a player to also writing and directing two reel shorts. Mack Sennett started the Bathing Beauties initially to drum up publicity, but found that the antics of this troop of girls increased the popularity of his pictures.
The Sennett brand of slapstick tomfoolery was becoming a bit old hat, and the dawn of the talkies would usher in a more verbose style of quick witted humour through the Thirties.
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- Ronald Colman Filmography
He just needed a nice looking girl who was game for anything. And he was more than happy to proffer useful advice for Carole: He is the old maestro of comedies. Sally Eilers and I were the last of his bathing beauties to get somewhere. His plans changed dramatically after when his father died when Ronald was sixteen, and when he left school in he had to go to work to contribute to the family finances. He worked for five years in the accounts department of the British Steamship Company.
During this time he developed a love for acting and the theater and performed in various shows for the local Amateur Dramatic Society. He also joined the London Scottish Regiment as a part time Territorial soldier. First World War In August. In October, at the first Battle of Messines, he was hit in the leg by shrapnel and invalided home. He recovered after a period on crutches but for the rest of his life he walked with a slight limp. Upon his recovery he made the decision to make acting his career.
He continued to appear in a variety of roles, becoming increasingly well known. The future stage diva, Gladys Cooper, was at the time co-manager of the Playhouse Theatre in London and she recognised quality in the good looking but inexperienced young actor and gave him roles in many productions at the theater.
Ronald Colman - Hollywood's Tragic Hero
He worked with great actors such as Gerald du Maurier and his time at the Playhouse proved an invaluable apprenticeship. Colman began his movie career in in a comedy short 'The Live Wire' and for three years he continued making films, in addition to his stage appearances, enjoying the extra income it provided. His first feature film appearance was in 'The Toilers' infilmed in Cornwall. He also worked on numerous occasions with director Cecil Hepworth, an early British film pioneer, at his Walton-on-Thames studios.
America With the future uncertain in postwar-depressed England, Colman made the decision to travel to America to improve his prospects and he arrived in New York in He was virtually penniless, without contacts and he found life very tough at first.
He survived by taking menial jobs and by knocking on many doors in order to obtain a foothold in the fiercely competitive world of American acting. Finally, after several small roles, he landed a part in Fay Bainter's revival of her hit East Is West and went out on a national tour with her. This took him all across the country, eventually landing in Los Angeles.
I was just on the outside. I was vastly impressed by what I saw and heard there: That first sight of Hollywood gave me ambition. I inquired of a passerby about agents, and sought one out.
He was at his desk, leaning back, reading a film magazine and steadily thickening the air with cigar smoke. I told him what I had done and I remained standing there, fumbling with my hat. He did not look up from his magazine. Just that, nothing more, and I walked out. King and his wife were scheduled to see another actor that same night, but King's wife wanted to see La Tendresse all the way through, rather than leaving in the middle. King agreed to stay and in the second act, Colman appeared onstage.
King later remembered, "The curtain went up, and Ruth Chatterton came on stage with a young man.
They played an act that ran about forty minutes and finally a knock came at the door. She raised the window to let the young man out and then opened the door to Henry Miller, who was playing her husband, and the curtain went down. My wife said, 'There's the man you want for Giovanni! I have been told both in London and New York that I don't photograph well, and I've decided that I'm through with them.
I'm going to stay in the theater where I know my way, and apparently I don't know my way in pictures. Getting Colman to relax was the key, as well as King re-combing Colman's hair to get rid of his high forehead and drawing on a moustache with a makeup pencil.
The next day, when the test had been screened, King knew he had his man and Colman got the part. The film, which was shot in Italy, was important for Colman for two reasons - it secured his future in films and it marked the end of his brief marriage to Thelma Raye, an actress. Raye had begun an affair with Colman a few years before, living with him in London until her husband sued her for divorce. Colman had never wanted to marry Raye but agreed.
It was a bad marriage from the start. Raye had had success in the theater, but Colman's rising star brought out her jealousy and instability. During production of The White Sister she traveled with him to Italy where she made scenes and once knocked him unconscious during a fight.
That ended their living together but it would be over a decade before he was able to pay her off. She would show up from time to time in Hollywood and threaten to tell the press. It was the most carefully guarded secret of his life. Hardly anyone in Hollywood knew he was married - both for personal and professional reasons - and he conducted himself with the utmost privacy. He would later divorce Raye in the s and marry actress Benita Hume, with whom he had a daughter, Juliet, and a happy marriage until his death.
His handsome features and natural style of acting landed him a long-term contract with Samuel Goldwyn. During the silent era, Colman was teamed on-screen with some of Hollywood's most beautiful women, and the partnership he had with Vilma Banky in several films proved exceedingly popular with fans. Still, Colman resented the publicity machine that Goldwyn and all the studios created to promote their stars. Stories had been placed in fan magazines that he and Banky were a couple off-screen, which was completely untrue.
For many silent film actors, the transition to sound films ended their careers. For Ronald Colman, it only enhanced his. Blessed with a speaking voice so rich and beautiful it was compared to crushed velvet, Colman's first sound film, Bulldog Drummond sealed the deal. It is apparent that comedy will be his forte, as well as drama, from this initial adventure.