"Over-paid, over-sexed and over here" was the famous phrase that summed up the wave of American soldiers billeted in Britain waiting to start the liberation of Europe, and Bonar Colleano was the actor who embodied that phrase. Good looking, brash, cocky - he epitomised the glamour of the Yank invasion.
He was born Bonar Sullivan and first came to Britain in the mid-30s as part of the family circus act. His first substantial film role, in The Way to the Stars, instantly established his screen persona. He may have been type-cast from then on, but there was plenty of work for a real Yank.
Of course, being "over here" he had to steal our most attractive girls. His first wife was starlet Tamara Lees. They divorced in the early 50s. In 1954 he married Susan Shaw.
As the 50s wore on, the quality of the film work he was offered declined, but he kept busy with television, theatre and personal appearances. This hectic work schedule was the death of him. He crashed his car just outside the Mersey Tunnel on his way back from a performance of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
After his death, he was found to owe a fortune to the Inland Revenue. His widow found it difficult to cope with bringing up their three year old son alone and sunk into an alcoholic decline from which she never recovered.
|1944||Starlight Serenade (short)|
|1945||The Way to the Stars|
|1946||Wanted for Murder|
|1946||A Matter of Life and Death|
|1947||While the Sun Shines|
|1948||One Night With You|
|1948||Good Time Girl|
|1946||Sleeping Car to Trieste|
|1949||Once a Jolly Swagman|
|1949||Give Us This Day|
|1951||A Tale of Five Cities|
|1951||Pool of London|
|1952||Eight Iron Men|
|1953||Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?|
|1953||Escape By Night|
|1954||Flame and the Flesh|
|1954||Time is My Enemy|
|1954||The Sea Shall Not Have Them|
|1956||Stars in their Eyes|
|1957||Fire Down Below|
|1958||Them Nice Americans|
|1958||No Time to Die|
|1958||The Man Inside|
Bonar Colleano at Amazon UK
Bonar Colleano at Amazon US