Bonar Colleano (14 March 1924 – 18 August 1958) was an American stage and film actor based in the United Kingdom.
Bonar William Sullivan
14 March 1924
New York City, U.S.
|Died||18 August 1958 (aged 34)|
(m. 1946; div. 1951)
Susan Shaw (m. 1954)
|Children||2, including Robbie McIntosh|
He moved to the United Kingdom when he was 12 so his family could appear at the London Palladium. He spent several years performing in music halls. When war broke out in 1939, he began entertaining troops in Britain and was not called up for either nation's military forces. In 1941 he was in a revue Piccadixie.
Colleano's first important role came with the popular wartime drama The Way to the Stars (also known as Johnny in the Clouds, 1945), playing an American soldier.
Colleano played an Italian in One Night with You (1948), and was in Good-Time Girl (1948) and Sleeping Car to Trieste (1948). He worked regularly in radio, appearing in a revue Navy Mixture, and had a lead part in Once a Jolly Swagman (1949).
Colleano's reputation shot up when cast in the role of Stanley Kowalski in the original English stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire (1949) at the Aldwych Theatre, London, directed by Laurence Olivier and co-starring Vivien Leigh.
It led to lead roles in films starting with Pool of London (1951) and A Tale of Five Cities (1952). The latter enabled him to display some of his circus skills. He went to the US and starred in a Hollywood production, Stanley Kramer's Eight Iron Men (1952).
Colleano had another Hollywood role, a support, in Flame and the Flesh (1954), shot in England and Italy.
Warwick Productions used him in Zarak (1956). They liked his work and kept him on for Interpol (1957), Fire Down Below (1957), No Time to Die (1958) and The Man Inside (1958). He was also in Death Over My Shoulder (1958).
He was from a well known Australian circus family and was a nephew of Con Colleano, the first tightrope walker to perform a forward somersault on the wire. In 1946, he married actress Tamara Lees, but the couple divorced in 1951. His second wife was actress Susan Shaw, who descended into alcoholism after his death. Their son Mark Colleano is also an actor. In 1950, while living in the U.K., he fathered future Average White Band drummer, Robbie McIntosh. Colleano was not married to McIntosh's mother.
Colleano died in 1958 at the age of 34, when he crashed his sports car (a Jaguar XK140) in Birkenhead shortly after leaving the Queensway Tunnel. He was driving back from Liverpool's New Shakespeare Theatre, where he had been appearing in a stage production of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. His passenger, fellow actor and friend Michael Balfour, required 98 stitches, but eventually recovered.
|1945||The Way to the Stars||Joe Friselli||known as Johnny in the Clouds in the USA|
|1946||Wanted for Murder||Cpl. Nick Mappolo|
|A Matter of Life and Death||An American Pilot||Alternative title: Stairway to Heaven|
|1947||While the Sun Shines||Joe Mulvaney|
|One Night with You||Piero Santellini|
|Good-Time Girl||Micky Malone|
|Sleeping Car to Trieste||Sergeant West|
|1949||Maniacs on Wheels||Tommy Possey||Alternative title: Once A Jolly Swagman|
|Give Us This Day||Julio|
|1951||Pool of London||Dan MacDonald|
|A Tale of Five Cities||Bob Mitchell||Alternative title: A Tale of Five Women|
|1952||Eight Iron Men||Pvt. Collucci|
|1953||Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?||Cmdr. Laurie Vining|
|Escape by Night||Tom Buchan|
|1954||Flame and the Flesh||Ciccio|
|Time Is My Enemy||Harry Bond|
|The Sea Shall Not Have Them||Sgt. Kirby|
|1956||Stars in Your Eyes||David Laws|
|Fire Down Below||Lt. Sellars|
|1958||Them Nice Americans||Joe|
|Death Over My Shoulder||Joe Longo|
|No Time to Die||The Polish POW||Also known as Tank Force|
|The Man Inside||Martin Lomer|
|1946||In the Zone||Davis||TV Film|
|1957||ITV Television Playhouse||Sam Pickens||Episode: The Confidence Man|
|1958||East End, West End||1 episode|
|Doomsday for Dyson||Jackston||TV Film|
- "STARS OF TIGHTROPE". Cairns Post (13, 867). Queensland. 13 August 1946. p. 4. Retrieved 27 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- ""POOL OF LONDON"". Western Herald. New South Wales. 10 April 1953. p. 10. Retrieved 27 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Williams, Tony. "The Importance of Being Bonar". The November 3rd Club. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- EDINBURGH THEATRES: LYCEUM: "Smilin' Through" The Scotsman 26 Aug 1941: 3.
- "No title". The National Advocate. New South Wales. 18 September 1947. p. 5. Retrieved 27 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "A Streetcar Named Desire". The Sun (2430). New South Wales. 6 November 1949. p. 5. Retrieved 27 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "CIRCUS STAR IN FIRST FILM". Singleton Argus. New South Wales. 14 May 1951. p. 3. Retrieved 27 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Over There Horton, Robert. Film Comment; New York Vol. 54, Iss. 5, (Sep/Oct 2018): 18-19.
- "1958: Film stars raise cash for Colleano". BBC News. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- "Bonar Colleano". Entertainment Calendar. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2016.