Star Archive

Bonar Colleano (1924 - 1958)

"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.

Photo of Bonar ColleanoStill of Bonar Colleano in Joe Macbeth


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 Merry-Go-Round
1948 Broken Journey
1948 One Night With You
1948 Good Time Girl
1946 Sleeping Car to Trieste
1949 Once a Jolly Swagman
1949 Give Us This Day
1950 Dance Hall
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
1955 Joe Macbeth
1956 Stars in their Eyes
1956 Zarak
1957 Fire Down Below
1957 Interpol
1958 Them Nice Americans
1958 No Time to Die
1958 The Man Inside

 Bonar Colleano at Amazon UK

 Bonar Colleano at Amazon US