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Colin Welland (born 4 July 1934) is an English actor and screenwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his script for Chariots of Fire (1981). Born in Leigh in Lancashire, Welland grew up as a child in Liverpool before moving to Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire. His parents were Jack and Nora Williams. As an actor, Welland appeared as PC David Graham in the BBC Television series Z-Cars, and in films, including Kes (1969), before also concentrating on screenwriting. He also appeared in the film Dancin` Thru the Dark in 1990.
Welland`s writing credits include the 1979 film Yanks, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Gere, and directed by John Schlesinger. The same year he appeared as an actor in Dennis Potter`s Blue Remembered Hills, playing the character of Willie. Welland won the award for Best Original Screenplay for Chariots of Fire at the 1982 Academy Awards, and his acceptance speech famously included the phrase: "The British are coming!" (a quotation from Paul Revere). In the film Chariots of Fire, the sign outside the Church of Scotland in Paris shows the preacher for the 9 am worship to be "CM Welland"; he also played a vicar in Straw Dogs (1971). In Kes (1969), Welland had played an English schoolteacher, an occupation in which (like fellow Kes actor Brian Glover and its writer Barry Hines) he had been employed, teaching art at Manchester Road Secondary Modern school in Leigh, where he was known as "Ted" Williams because of his Teddy Boy curly hair style. Amongst his pupils was the future author of Psychic Pets and numerous other books on the paranormal, John G. Sutton, who was once "slippered" by "Ted" for talking during school meals.
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Colin Welland (4 July 1934 – 2 November 2015), born Colin Edward Williams, was a British actor and screenwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his script for Chariots of Fire (1981). He won a BAFTA Award for his performance as the empathetic teacher Mr Farthing in the 1969 film Kes.
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