John Ronane, 85, of Eureka, passed away at 7:49 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at his home with his family by his side.
He was born December 11, 1933, in London, England, son of John and Josephine Botchett Ronane. He married Carole Bullock on March 13, 1992, in Eureka. She survives.
Also surviving are four children: Rebecca (Alain Poirot) Ronane of Provence, France; Louise (James Brockbank) Ronane, Jessica (Jack Brough) Ronane, and Patrick Ronane all of London, England; three grandchildren (Poppy, Louis, Elodie); sister Eileen Walker of Teddington, England; and brother Patrick (Madeleine) Ronane of Thame, England. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Richard.
He had a varied and fascinating career, starting in the repertory theatres of England, moving on to the stage (including London’s West End), television, radio and film—including Hollywood. Along the way he acted with some greats, like Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotton, Albert Finney, George Peppard, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Diana Rigg, Glenda Jackson, etc. He originated the role of Bill Lloyd in Nobel Prize-winner Harold Pinter’s The Collection, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He had a tv series on Granada (Strangers), besides guest-starring in many acclaimed British tv series like All Creatures Great and Small, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, The Persuaders, The
Avengers, The Saint, among others. He came to Hollywood when he was cast in King Rat, based on James Clavell’s novel, and starred in the Emmy-nominated film A War of Children. He was a standard player in BBC productions.
He also wrote screenplays and drama, one of his plays (Words and Pictures) being given a workshop at Illinois Central College, and later was produced as a play there, with Ronane directing and starring. He wrote action-adventure-romance novels like Influences and Gone for a Soldier, and a comedy set in the 1950s, Hank Goes Dancing. His final book was a memoir of his acting career, called Rubber-Soled Shoes.
Ronane taught as an artist-in-residence at the University of Illinois, taught at Illinois Central College, and gave private acting lessons. He acted in some locally-produced films, encouraging local talent to pursue their dreams of film acting and directing. For a time he was a tour guide in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain and Italy. In retirement, he deeply enjoyed wintering in Vero Beach, FL.
He was a proud member of British Equity, the British Royal Air Force, SAG, and the “Old Farts” golf league at Kaufman Golf Course.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Cremation rites have been accorded. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 3pm Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Five Points Washington. Family will receive friends at an English Tea following the service. Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory in Washington is serving the family.
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