Colin Bean (15 April 1926 – 20 June 2009) was a British 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.
Bean's first appearance was 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).
Born in Wigan, Lancashire, Bean's father played football for local side Wigan Borough. He attended Wigan Grammar School and 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 have been varied, including Z-Cars, The Liver Birds, Are You Being Served?, the penultimate episode of Hi-de-Hi!, The Gnomes of Dulwich and 13 episodes of Michael Bentine Time.
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 three editions.
Though using a wheelchair for mobility in his latter years, he continued to make sporadic but popular 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Colin Bean: Actor best known for playing Private Sponge in ‘Dad's Army'". The Independent (London). 29 June 2009. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/colin-bean-actor-best-known-for-playing-private-sponge-in-lsquodadrsquos-armyrsquo-1723089.html. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- ↑ "Dad's Army actor Colin Bean dies, 82". wigantoday.net. 2009-06-22. http://www.wigantoday.net/wigannews/Dads-Army-actor-Colin-Bean.5388095.jp. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- ↑ http://www.dadsarmy.co.uk/othercharacters.html#Bean
- ↑ http://www.lastingtribute.co.uk/tribute/bean/3101081
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