Vanity Fair – FEBRUARY 1927
A New Hero of the Films—Ronald Colman
The Young English Actor, First Sponsored Here by Henry Miller, Has Become a Popular Screen Star
AFTER a brief apprenticeship on the London stage, Ronald Colman came to „ America some six years ago to act in the spoken drama and failed to make any impression whatever on New York playgoers. Appearing in a hit on the stage of the Empire Theatre with the late Henry Miller and Ruth Chatterton in Henri Bataille’s La Tendresse, he did not “take” the managers, the press, or the public.
It remained for motion pictures to discover him. Henry King, the film director, introduced Mr. Colman to the screen in a picture featuring Lillian Gish—The White Sister—and again with Miss Gish in Romola, made from the George Eliot novel. After five years as a leading man who helped a dozen famous stars of the cinema out of their motor cars and into their sables, Ronald Colman became a motion picture idol. He became in turn the screen lover of almost every personable lady of the films; of Norma Talmadge, May McAvoy, Blanche: Sweet, Constance Talmadge, Marie Prevost, among others.
But time proved him to be more than a foil for celluloid sentiment. He had a curious method of acting that was both restrained and adroit. Then came Stella Dallas—a lachrymose and shopworn opus dedicated to mother love and adultery, which, strangely, made three stars—Lois Moran, Belle Bennett and Mr. Colman himself. He became,, after this, a hero to the multitude, who was also admired by the discriminating. His sponsors have given him the implausible appellation of “the man you love to love”, which phrase has unbelievably enough added to his popularity. Abovehe appears as a Spanish bandit in his latest picture, A Night of Love, in which the final close-up leaves him draped in the arms of the fair Vilma Banky.