Ronald Colman - Vocal Velvet
A Tribute


Meredy's Thoughts on RC


After some stage and film experience in England, Ronald Charles Colman moved to the United States in 1920. Though a formidable romantic lead in the silent era, it was with the sound film that Colman best asserted himself. His suavity and exceptional good looks coupled with his engaging, beautifully modulated, crushed velvet voice made him the perfect hero of many adventure movies, though he was also adept at comedy and romantic drama. He played sophisticated thoughtful characters of integrity with enormous aplomb, and swashbuckled expertly when called to do so in films like The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).


He was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award four times, winning once for his splendid portrayal of a tormented actor in A Double Life. He won a Golden Globe for the same role.


Much of his later career was devoted to The Halls of Ivy, a radio show that later was transferred to television. He continued to work until nearly the end of his life, which came in 1958 after a brief lung illness. He was survived by his second wife, actress Benita Hume, and their daughter Juliet.


I thoroughly enjoy all of Ronald Colman's films, but my absolute favorite is Random Harvest. The ultimate tearjerker, this 1942 romance classic directed by Mervyn LeRoy (based on a novel by James Hilton) stars Ronald Colman as a British army officer suffering from amnesia after World War I. After falling in love with and marrying a dance hall singer (Greer Garson), Colman's happy character begins a career as a writer and doesn't seem to mind that he doesn't remember who he is. A car accident changes all that, however, causing the hero's memory to return and making him forget all about his lovely cottage and bride. LeRoy modulates the obvious suspense element in the story (for example, is Colman going to remember Greer or not?) extremely well, building ever-so-deliciously slowly toward a huge payoff.




Click here to listen to
Ronald Colman and Greer Garson perform
Random Harvest on Lux Radio Theater on January 31, 1944.


Hope you enjoy your visit to my tribute
Ronald Colman - Vocal Velvet.


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