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Colin Bean (15 April 1926 – 20 June 2009) was an English actor best known for his role as Private Sponge in the Second World War sitcom Dad's Army from 1968 to 1977, appearing in 76 of Dad’s Army’s 80 episodes.Born in Wigan, Lancashire, Bean's father played football for local side Wigan Borough, and he attended Wigan Grammar School. Bean's first appearance had been as a shepherd in a school play, and much against paternal intentions, he took up acting professionally until being called up for national service. He served for four years, spending some time in Japan, and taking the opportunity to continue his acting by joining the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). After graduating from drama school in 1952, he joined the Sheffield Rep as assistant stage manager; regular theatre work followed.His work in Dad's Army came as a result of working at Watford Rep in 1962 under series co-writer Jimmy Perry as the company's actor/manager, in addition to almost 20 years of playing a pantomime dame. His TV appearances were varied, including Z-Cars, The Gnomes of Dulwich, The Liver Birds, 13 episodes of Michael Bentine Time, Are You Being Served?, and the penultimate episode of Hi-de-Hi! (1988).Due to his arthritis, in his later years he concentrated on his radio work. He wrote his autobiography, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding!, which was published in 1998 and went into two editions.Though using a wheelchair in his latter years, he continued to make sporadic appearances on stage in the North West of England discussing his long acting career. He was also a regular at Dad's Army reunions. He continued to live in the Scholes area of his native Wigan until his death. He died aged 83, in Wigan Infirmary, on 20 June 2009. Wikipedia

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Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hi-de-Hi!1988TV SeriesVerger
Jossy's Giants1986TV Series
Ladykillers1981TV SeriesClerk of Court
Cribb1981TV SeriesPolice Constable
Dad's Army1968-1977TV SeriesPrivate Sponge
Potter's Picture Palace1976TV SeriesVicar
Potty Time1973TV Series
Casanova '731973TV SeriesCoffee-stall proprietor
Are You Being Served?1973TV Seriesthe Leatherette Gloves
Comedy Playhouse1973TV SeriesNewsboy
The Liver Birds1971-1972TV SeriesFirst Speaker / Police Constable
Now, Take My Wife1971TV Series
Dad's Army1971Platoon
Up Pompeii!1970TV SeriesCenturion
Broaden Your Mind1969TV SeriesVarious Characters
The First Churchills1969TV Mini-SeriesLord Russell
The Gold Robbers1969TV SeriesPrisoner
The Gnomes of Dulwich1969TV SeriesGnome
No Hiding Place1966TV SeriesDet. Sgt. Parsons
Z Cars1963TV SeriesMr. Cowper

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Comedy Connections2007TV Series documentaryPte. Sponge
Selection Box1997TV SeriesPte. Sponge
Omnibus1995TV Series documentaryPte. Sponge

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#Fact
1Wigan, England
2Served in the British Army (1944-48) and was part of the British Occupation Force in Japan after the war. First performed in shows and for allied forces radio.
3British comedy actor, the son of a footballer for regional team Wigan Borough. He was best known for playing Private Sponge in 76 of the 80 episodes of TV's Dad's Army (1968). His first regular theatrical work was with the Southport Repertory Company in 1948, after finishing his military service. He completed his acting training with the Bradford Civic Theatre School. Colin made his TV debut in 1961.
4For some time managed the Bijou Theatre in Wigan.
5Worked as a stage manager and actor in repertory companies.
6Later worked primarily in radio after crippled by arthritis.
7Autobiography entitled "Who Do You Think You're Kidding!" published in 1998.


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