Who was… Frank Colson

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Here’s another in our list of American actors who ended up making films in Italy. Now, I’m guessing you’ve never heard of Frank Colson?  Well, that’s no great surprise… he was only in a handful of films, they were made before the period most fans of Italian cinema are really interested in and his roles in them were tiny.  Also, after a bit of research, I’ve been able to uncover absolutely no information about him whatsoever.  I’m guessing he was not the Frank Colson who’s now a respected sculptor and artist  and judging from his limited activity in the cinema world he might well have had a day job doing something else in Rome, possibly as a journalist or diplomat, appearing in films for a bit of extra cash or pure enjoyment?  Who knows.

Anyway,his first credited role was in Giorgio Pastina’s hoary melodrama Alina (50), starring Gina Lollobrigida and Amedeo Nazzari.  He’s credited as ‘the American’, although from what I could see there isn’t actually a character called ‘The American’ (unless he plays one of the customers at a casino, which is quite likely).  In the same year he was way down the credits in Luigi Zampa’s Twelve Hours to Live (È più facile che un cammello… ), playing Mr. Travers (another American, presumably).  He actually had quite a prominent role on the early Alberto Sordi commedy Mamma mia, che impressione! (51), receiving fourth billing in the credits, before playing a Brigadier in Auguri e figli maschi! (51) and appearing uncredited in Quo Vadis (51).  Then there was a short break before another uncredited appearance in Helen of Troy (56) and, finally, he popped up as another American in Montecarlo (57), starring Marlene Dietrich and Vittorio De Sica (which was partially filmed in Italy).

After that, he disappeared from Italian cinema and I’m guessing he moved back to the Sates (?)

If anyone does know anything at all about Mr. Colson, please get in touch!

About Matt Blake 873 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

1 Comment

  1. Hi. Frank Colson was my grandfather. He was an opera singer who moved with his family to Rome from L.A. in the early 50’s, with the hope of launching his singing career. Instead he ended up acting in a handful of films. Frank Colson the sculptor is his son, my mother’s half brother. Please let me know if you’re interested in knowing more, and I’ll put you in touch with my mother.

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