14 June 1952|
Shirebrook, Derbyshire, England, UK
|Died||26 January 2012
|Cause of death||Suicide stab wounds self-inflicted|
Early life and career
Tarrant was born in 1952 in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, and studied for a degree in English and Drama at Exeter University, then at the cutting edge of dramaturgy. He briefly worked as a teacher before taking up acting, first at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter and then with Medium Fair Community Theatre Company, Exeter 1975-77 (a company developed from the university drama department). After leaving Medium Fair he was part of Peter Cheeseman's company at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. He worked with Foco Novo, Shared Experience, the RSC and the Leicester Phoenix Arts Centre. His first major television role was that of Will Brangwen in the BBC's adaptation of The Rainbow in 1988, playing opposite Imogen Stubbs. A twelve-year run in The Bill followed between 1990 and 2002, after which he made many appearances on other television programmes as well as returning to the theatre.
In June 2005, he played Brian Clough in the Nottingham Playhouse's production of Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man. The play returned several times to the Nottingham Playhouse and played in other venues across England. He followed this with the role of the vagrant Davies in a Nottingham Playhouse production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, his performance described by The Stage as "brilliant - wild-eyed, twitchy, aggressive, over-defensive and ungrateful". He starred as the 'Old Gent' in a new adaptation of The Railway Children at the National Railway Museum. In 2009 he starred with Stephanie Turner in Honeymoon Suite at the New Vic in Basford. Tarrant performed in a nationwide tour of Calendar Girls which began in Chichester in January 2010.
Tarrant also taught at secondary schools between acting roles.
Tarrant suffered from depression and died on 26 January 2012 in the Bristol Royal Infirmary from stab wounds self-inflicted at his home in Bristol. He is survived by his girlfriend and sons. In April 2012, Tarrant's death was ruled a suicide by Flax Bourton Coroner's Court.
- "Bill Legend Colin Tarrant Suicide Shock", The People, 29 January 2012
- "Inspectors recall how love changes with passing years Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.", thisisstaffordshire.co.uk, 3 April 2009, retrieved 2012-01-29
- Dunnett, Roderic (2005) "Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man, Playhouse, Nottingham Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.", The Independent, 20 June 2005, retrieved 2012-01-29
- "That's the spirit Cloughie", Wandsworth Guardian, 16 March 2006, retrieved 2012-01-29
- Asworth, Pat (2006) "The Caretaker", The Stage, 3 November 2006, retrieved 2012-01-29
- Boys, Cecily (2008) "The Railway Children", British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 30 Jan 2012
- Peake, Alex (2012) "Bill star dies: Actor Colin Tarrant in suspect suicide", The Scottish Sun, 28 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Suicide tragedy of Bill star Colin Tarrant
- Former Bill actor Colin Tarrant killed himself
- "Colin Tarrant dies, aged 59", telegraph.co.uk, 29 January 2012, retrieved 2012-01-29