Colin Welland is a British actor and screenwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his script for Chariots of Fire.
Born in Leigh, Lancashire, Welland grew up as a child in Kensington, 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 as well as a villain in the 1970s drama The Sweeney. In films, he appeared in Kes and Sweeney! as Frank Chadwick, an editor of a newspaper, before also concentrating on screenwriting. He also appeared in the film Dancin' Thru the Dark in 1990. He also appeared in the 1980 series 'Cowboys' with Roy Kinnear, a comedy about a dodgy builder.
Welland's writing credits include the 1979 film Yanks, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Gere, and directed by John Schlesinger. Welland also wrote the screenplay for the 1985 film Twice in a Lifetime, starring Gene Hackman, Ellen Burstyn and Ann-Margret. In 1979, Welland 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!". 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 "C.M. Welland"; he also played a vicar in Straw Dogs. Welland worked with producer David Puttnam twice. They first worked together on the Academy Award winning Chariots of Fire, and again on War of the Buttons.