Kevin Colson

Kevin Colson (28 August 1937 - 18 April 2018) was an Australian stage, film and television actor. He is known for playing Sir George Dillingham in the musical Aspects of Love, for which he received a Tony nomination, and Cliff in the original London production of Cabaret opposite Judi Dench.[1] Colson was a television presenter and stage actor in Sydney before moving to London. He left acting for 16 years from 1969, but returned to the stage in 1985.[2]

Kevin Colson
Born(1938-08-28)August 28, 1938
DiedApril 18, 2018(2018-04-18) (aged 80)
OccupationStage actor, film and television actor
Years active1960-9, 1985-2018


Early career

Colson began his career as a television announcer on a religious programme on Sundays, and then became the Seven Network station compère[1][3] and hosted Room for Two in 1959.[4] His first theatre role was as a rancher in The Pleasure of His Company at the Theatre Royal in 1960,[1][5] and he had a part in the Glass Menagerie for the Elizabethan Theatre Trust in Sydney in 1961.[3] He starred in French musical Irma La Douce with Judy Bruce from May 1961 as her young boyfriend.[6] It was his first professional musical role, having previously played straight theatre roles.[3] In October 1962, he starred as the hero in Carnival at Her Majesty's Theatre,[7][8] and in 1963 he played the juvenile lead in Noël Coward's Sail Away at Her Majesty's Theatre; Coward oversaw the rehearsals.[1][9] In 1964, appearances with the Union Theatre Repertory Company – later the Melbourne Theatre Company – were his Hamlet, Nick in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in the Australian premiere of the Arthur Miller play After the Fall[10][11] and a role in And The Big Men Fly as the hero's neighbour.[12]

West End and Broadway

In 1965, Colson moved to London to train, but was immediately offered the part of Robert Browning (replacing Keith Michell) in Robert and Elizabeth, which he performed for a year and a half at the Lyric Theatre. He then played Cliff Bradshaw to Judi Dench's Sally Bowles in the original London production of Cabaret at the Palace Theatre .[1] He retired from acting in 1969.[13]

Later career

From 1970 and 1985, he ran an oil business and a TV production company, both ultimately unsuccessful.[1] After the oil business ended in 1985 he appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Follies, and then as CIA agent Walter DeCourcey in the original London production of Tim Rice's musical Chess.[13]

In 1989, Colson starred in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Aspects of Love with Ann Crumb. Colson was originally the understudy for actor Roger Moore in the part of George Dillingham, but Moore had reservations over his own singing voice and pulled out a month before the opening.[14] He was nominated for a Tony Award in June 1990 when the play reached Broadway.[13] In 1991 he played Noah in Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre in London,[15] and in 1998 he was a supporting lead in Maddie[16] and he played Daddy Warbucks in Annie.[17] He played Joey Bishop in Rat Pack Confidential at the Whitehall Theatre in 2003,[1] followed by The Woman in White with Roger Allam in 2003[18] and Murderous Instincts as the butler Adolfo at the Savoy Theatre in 2004.[19][20] In 2006 he played the leads in Dominic Mitchell's Acquaintances.[21] He has appeared in many productions at the Finborough Theatre, London, including The Destiny of Me (2002), Allport’s Revenge (2004), Van Badham's The Gabriels.[22] (2006), Blackwater Angel (2006), Mass Appeal (2006), The Beautiful People (2008) and His Greatness (2010). He was Rodion in 2007's Old World.[23]. He appeared in 2014 in The Last Confession in Sydney Australia.

Personal life

Colson comes from Sydney, and his father and brother were taxi drivers. He was previously married, shortly after he took a break from acting in 1969. The Australian singer-songwriter Sia is his niece, the daughter of his brother, Phil B. Colson, who is a singer, guitarist & composer.[1][13]

Film and television roles


Khartoum, Star, Nightwatch, and Trapped in Space.[1]


Man at the Top, Spytrap, First Among Equals, The Woman He Loved, Poor Little Rich Girl, Executive Stress, and Crossroads.[1]



  1. Kennedy, Hannah (15 September 2003). "20 Questions With...Kevin Colson". What's On Stage. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  3. "Smiling stars here for lively musical". The Age. 15 June 1961. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  4. "New form for program". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 December 1958. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  5. "Cyril Richard in New Comedy at Theatre Royal". Sydney Morning Herald. 3 October 1960. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  6. "French Musical is Brilliantly Funny". The Age. 19 June 1961. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  7. "Quartet". The Age. September 1962. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  8. Hutton, Geoffrey (22 October 1962). "Happy Christmas Touch in New Musical". The Age. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  9. Hutton, Geoffrey (27 May 1963). "Musical Cruise Goes At Lively Speed". The Age. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  10. "Premiere Of Miller Play". The Age. 6 October 1964. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  11. Radic, Leonard (9 September 1964). ""Virginia Woolf" is Tender, Powerful". The Age. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  12. "Football Comedy Revived". The Age. 12 May 1964. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  13. Nemy, Enid (6 July 1990). "Catching Up With a Faster Pace". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  14. "Roger Moore pulls out of Weber musical play". Ocala Star-Banner. 18 March 1989. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  15. Associated Press (6 January 1991). "New Musical's Opening Is Off Off Off Broadway". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  16. Mandelbaum, Ken (22 March 1998). "Ken Mandelbaum's MUSICALS ON DISC: Sounds From Abroad". Playbill. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  17. "Annie Turns 21 with West End Revival". What's On Stage. 30 June 1998. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  18. "Lloyd Webber's Musical in Progress, Woman in White, Gets UK Presentation". Playbill. 17 July 2003. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  19. Nathan, John (2 August 2004). "Murderous Instincts Heads to London in October with McAuliffe and Colson". Playbill. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  20. Cripps, Charlotte (6 September 2004). "Murderous desire to dance the salsa". The Independent. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  21. Thaxter, John (30 October 2006). "Acquaintances/National Amnesty". The Stage. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  22. Smith, Alistair (9 January 2006). "The Gabriels". The Stage. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  23. McEvoy, William (29 October 2007). "Old World". The Stage. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
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