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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    One of the - unjustly - forgotten actors of Dad's Army,he is listed in IMDB as still alive,but does anyone know if he is still with us and if so,what is he doing?

    Ta Ta

    MArky B

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    He's one of the stalwarts of the Dad's Army team, attending the fan gatherings together with other survivors, such as Bill Pertwee (president of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society), Pamela Cundell, Ian Lavender and Frank Williams.



    Redirect

  3. #3
    Member Country: New Zealand
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    Colin is alive and still does voice work for radio, or was doing so till recently at least, but he's been very troubled for many years with rheumatoid arthritis and no longer gets around too well. He no longer treads the boards or does TV work. He doesn't drive either so doesn't stray from his home in Wigan too often. He's a great chap, a longtime friend, and still very enthusiastic to meet Dad's Army fans and tell them stories of his time with the show.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Homewood
    Colin is alive and still does voice work for radio, or was doing so till recently at least, but he's been very troubled for many years with rheumatoid arthritis and no longer gets around too well. He no longer treads the boards or does TV work. He doesn't drive either so doesn't stray from his home in Wigan too often. He's a great chap, a longtime friend, and still very enthusiastic to meet Dad's Army fans and tell them stories of his time with the show.
    Thanks Dave .... pass on our best wishes to him.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Homewood
    Colin is alive and still does voice work for radio, or was doing so till recently at least, but he's been very troubled for many years with rheumatoid arthritis and no longer gets around too well. He no longer treads the boards or does TV work. He doesn't drive either so doesn't stray from his home in Wigan too often. He's a great chap, a longtime friend, and still very enthusiastic to meet Dad's Army fans and tell them stories of his time with the show.
    Pass on my best wishes,Dave.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Wales David Challinor's Avatar
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    Sadly Colin Bean, Private Sponge in Dad's Army, has died.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England faginsgirl's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this, often wondered why he didn`t push himself forward for a bigger part in Dads army, but still, his character fitted in nicely!



    Thanks Colin



    xx

  8. #8
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    He may have been a small part,but he was still vital to a wonderful series.

    Colin Bean .

    Mark

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I met him once .... a very nice man and justifiably proud of his time in Dad's Army.



    RIP sir.

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    From The Times

    June 24, 2009

    Colin Bean: Private Sponge in Dad's Army















    John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley, Arthur Lowe, Colin Bean and Clive Dunn




    Colin Bean was a cameo specialist; one of those vital actors who drop in to programmes playing customers, taxi drivers, vicars and other passing roles. To fans of the classic sitcom Dad’s Army he was familiar as Private Sponge, a sheep farmer, who formed part of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard’s back row before being promoted to join Jones, Frazer and Pike at the front after the death of James Beck, who played the spiv Joe Walker.



    When the first series of Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s programme was shown, Bean was paid six guineas an episode. He appeared in the first episode, The Man and the Hour, transmitted on July 31, 1968. Clocking up 76 appearances during the show’s nine-year run, he became the longest serving member of the platoon’s back row.



    Colin Bean was born in Wigan in 1926. After school he had walk-on parts with Frank Fortescue’s Famous Players at Wigan Hippodrome, beginning with the melodrama The Face at the Window. On being called up in 1944 he completed his National Service with the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces, which gave him the chance to make the occasional stage appearance with the Forces’ own acting group while based in Japan. He also gained his first taste of broadcasting, contributing sketches and compering the hour-long Saturday night radio shows for the troops.



    After demobilisation in 1948 he joined Southport Repertory Company for a few months, making his “real” professional debut in The Man from the Ministry, before enrolling at a theatre school in Bradford. He graduated in 1952, and, after a year teaching, he joined a repertory company in Sheffield as assistant stage manager.



    Bean’s early career was dominated by the theatre, including four years with the Court Players and five with the Victor Graham Players, while his first speaking role on television was playing a yeoman in Richard the Lionheart (1961), with Richard Greene. He was also seen as an antiques dealer in Z Cars and a policeman in No Hiding Place before joining Dad’s Army.



    Bean was proud to have been associated with the comedy, and about his role he said: “Jobs such as those in the back row of the platoon wouldn’t have been of much interest to younger aspiring actors, but a godsend to older actors who may not have worked for some time, or those making a career out of extra and walk-on work.”



    Other small screen credits included playing a customer in Are You Being Served?, a policeman and a soap-box orator in The Liver Birds, policemen in The Goodies and The Harry Worth Show, 13 episodes of Michael Bentine Time in 1973, roles in The Gnomes of Dulwich, a supporter in Fallen Hero and the penultimate episode of Hi-De-Hi!, in 1988, as the verger alongside Frank Williams (as the vicar) at Gladys’s wedding, his final television role.



    Working for Jimmy Perry at the Palace Theatre, Watford, in 1962 not only led to the role of Private Sponge, for which he is best remembered, but also 20 years of playing a pantomime dame.



    In later years arthritis restricted Bean’s work largely to radio, although he gained a master’s degree in speech and projection during the 1980s via a correspondence course and, in 1998, published his autobiography, Who Do You Think YOU ARE KIDDING! Though wheelchair-bound, he continued making occasional stage appearances in his native North West, discussing his extensive career, and turned out for regular events organised by the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society.



    Bean was single.



    Colin Bean, actor, was born on April 15, 1926. He died on June 20, 2009, aged 83

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England mallee59's Avatar
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    RIP Colin

    And thanks for being part of one of my favourite shows, always used to watch it with my Grandad

    Mallee

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Bean’s early career was dominated by the theatre, including four years with the Court Players and five with the Victor Graham Players, while his first speaking role on television was playing a yeoman in Richard the Lionheart (1961), with Richard Greene.


    Ahem!



    Has anyone read his autobiography? He seems to have had an interesting career.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England mallee59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett
    Ahem!

    Has anyone read his autobiography? He seems to have had an interesting career.
    will have to look out for it Captain



    found it listed on Amazon with a good review









    5.0 out of 5 stars "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?" autobiography by Colin Bean, 4 Jun 2009

    By Linda C. Wood (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews

    (REAL NAME)



    For anyone with an interest in British theatre in the second half of the 20th century, this autobiography by Colin Bean is essential reading. Colin's work in rep theatre in Scotland (Ayr Civic Theatre) and the North and South of England is impressive. Colin's main claim to television fame was the role of "Private Sponge" in "Dad's Army", to which there are many fond references and anecdotes. Colin also specialised in panto dames and he writes warmly of all the experiences and fun he had. He also directed many plays. Highly recommended.

  15. #15
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    R.I.P Colin Bean

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    Rip Col



    (see my clerihew)

  17. #17
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    RIP Colin.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    The Indpendent Obit



    Colin Bean: Actor best known for playing Private Sponge in ‘Dad’s Army’





    Monday, 29 June 2009



    The character actor Colin Bean was a familiar face to viewers of the classic television sitcom Dad’s Army, initially taking his place in the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard’s back row as Private Sponge, in charge of the platoon’s second section. He had few lines in the role and lined up behind Clive Dunn, as Lance Corporal Jones – until the death of James Beck, who played the spiv Private Walker.



    Bean then stepped forward to the front row, joining Dunn, Arnold Ridley (as Private Godfrey), John Laurie (as Private Frazer) and Ian Lavender (as Private Pike), with Arthur Lowe (as the pompous, grammar-school educated Captain Mainwaring) and John Le Mesurier (as the public-school educated Sergeant Wilson) providing the class joke that ran throughout Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s much-loved comedy series.



    However, before his “promotion”, Bean – whose character was a sheep farmer in civilian life – provided the inspiration for one of the writers’ storylines.



    He suggested that the platoon should harvest a wheat crop, as he had seen Home Guard members doing when he was young. The result was the 1972 episode “All is Safely Gathered In”, most memorable for the overenthusiastic Jones’s skills with a threshing machine.



    Private Sponge himself was asked to provide a ram as a mascot for “The Big Parade” story about Spitfire Week celebrations, but it proved difficult for the platoon to catch because, he explained, it was a time of year when they were “a bit funny”.



    In all, Bean appeared in 76 of Dad’s Army’s 80 episodes (1968-77). He had happy memories, even of some of the challenges he faced during location filming in Norfolk. “Some of the things I had to do weren’t too pleasant at the time, but never fail to amuse me in recollection,” he said. “On one occasion I had to lie face-down in a muddy pond while Arthur [Lowe] used me as a rescue pad to help slowly sinking Pike out of the water. Wardrobe were standing by with warmed bath towels and a generous tot of whisky.”



    Born in Wigan in 1926, Colin Bean was the son of a footballer who played for Wigan Borough, a team in the Football League’s Third Division North.



    Bean caught the acting bug after appearing as a shepherd in a school play at the age of five and later – like Ian McKellen – was a regular in the audience at the Wigan Hippodrome.



    On leaving Wigan Grammar School, he was spotted hanging around backstage at the Hippodrome by Arthur Leslie, who ran the Frank H. Fortescue Players there and later played the Rovers Return publican Jack Walker in Coronation Street. As a result, Bean was given a walk-on role in a melodrama The Face at the Window (1944). He also appeared at Wigan Little Theatre.



    On reaching the age of 18, he was called up for wartime service in the Army (1944-48), eventually joining the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan after the Second World War. While there, he had the chance to perform in shows and on Forces radio.



    On demobilisation in 1948, Bean continued his stage career at Southport Repertory Company, where he made his professional début in The Man from the Ministry, before getting formal training at Bradford Civic Theatre School and taking part in Northern Children’s Theatre tours. There followed many years with repertory companies, in Dewsbury, Bradford, Skipton, Sheffield and York and, in 1962, at the Palace Theatre, Watford, where Jimmy Perry was actor-manager.



    He also spent 20 years as a pantomime dame, chaired music-hall shows and, after returning to live in Wigan, ran the Bijou Theatre.



    Bean made his television début as a yeoman in Richard the Lionheart (1961), an adventure series starring Dermot Walsh as the crusading king. He then appeared in Z Cars (1963) and No Hiding Place (1966), before he was offered the role of Private Sponge in Dad’s Army, which he also took in the 1971 film version.



    The actor also played both a gnome and the bust of Beethoven in The Gnomes of Dulwich (1969, written by Jimmy Perry, starring Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd, and the first sitcom to be made in colour), Lord Russell in The First Churchills (1969) and a centurion in Up Pompeii (1970), as well as taking bit-parts in The Liver Birds (1971, 1972), Are You Being Served? (1973), Cribb (1981, as a police constable) and Hi-de- Hi! (1988, as a verger).



    He was a regular at Dad’s Army fan conventions until last year despite suffering arthritis, which left him wheelchair- bound. Bean's autobiography, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding! was published in 1998.



    Anthony Hayward



    Colin Bean, actor: born Wigan, Lancashire 15 April 1926; died Wigan 20 June 2009.

  19. #19
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    RIP Colin.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: England faginsgirl's Avatar
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    They have dedicated tonights Dads army to his memory.



    xx

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