Colman was born in Portland, Oregon, and got his start in show business as a child actor in local theater performances. He later attended the University of Washington and the University of Michigan, where he launched a radio career. He had a knack for languages and spoke five fluently.
As a young man, Colman studied acting under Maurice Evans, who played Dr. Zaius in the Planet of the Apes films. Colman later took on the role of Dr. Zaius for the Planet of the Apes television series.
In 1983 Colman played Professor Hector Jerrold in General Hospital, and appeared as Dr. Felix Burke on The Young and the Restless in 1986
His prolific television career included roles in Mannix, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Star Trek, The Waltons, I Dream of Jeanie, Frasier and many more.
His film credits included Big Sky, Them!, World Without End, Julius Caesar, Mary Jane, The Errand Boy, Wild on the Beach and Norma Rae.
On Broadway, Colman worked alongside Basil Rathbone, Fredric March and Charlie Chaplin Jr.
Between film and television appearances, Colman remained active in theater work. He particularly enjoyed playing Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a performance he repeated more than 500 times since 1981 at the Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester, Michigan
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the Actors Fund of America, National Federation for the Blind or United Jewish Appeal. Memories of Colman can be shared with the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.