Bruno Coleman was born on November 15, 1946, to John and Virginia Coleman. After his mother died from complications during an unusually difficult first labor, his father never remarried and Bruno remained an only child.
Upon graduating high school, Bruno entered the booming construction business. In the following years, he quickly worked his way up to foreman, earning large bonuses for exceeding his employers’ expectations, until a back injury forced a career change. Bruno set his sights on selling real estate, much of which had he built.
Friends say Bruno's first major sale was stolen at the last minute by Philip Fontaine, another recent addition to the sales staff. Bruno complained to his boss, claiming that Fontaine had used a drunken orgy with women imported from a New Orleans gentleman's club to convince the clients to switch their allegiance. The boss let the deal stand, and the commission went to Fontaine.
Several evenings later, police responded to a disturbance call behind The Roadhouse. The officers arrived to find Bruno and Fontaine bloody and bruised but still throwing punches. Both men were held overnight, but no charges were filed.
Bruno quit the following Friday and opened his own company. His first goal was to woo a group of speculators into developing a rival property whose construction he oversaw. Within six months, Bruno's project was more successful. His ex-employer was forced to shut its doors due to their investment losses, but Fontaine emerged unscathed.
Bruno and Philip Fontaine continued to compete and clash over the years, although they never again traded physical blows. One Fontaine neighbor suggested that Bruno and Fontaine's second wife, Serena, once had an affair, but the neighbor later recanted and no one else would comment on this rumor.
On Christmas Day 1990, Bruno had his first heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. Fontaine visited him the following day, but no one knows what transpired.
Once Bruno recuperated, he purchased the land that had driven his former employer out of business and built a fake plantation called Fontaine's Folly. Legal action by Fontaine resulted in Bruno renaming the tourist attraction Serenity Manor. Another round of legal action failed to force a second name change. Serenity Manor was then plagued by vandalism and employment difficulties until Bruno donated the property to University of Mississippi.
Soon afterwards, word leaked out that Bruno had changed his will to name Grant Fontaine as his sole beneficiary. Neither Bruno nor his lawyer would comment on the allegation.
In the intervening years, Bruno suffered two additional heart attacks but appears in excellent health today. His home boasts a weight room and boxing ring where he spars with employees of a health club in which he is a silent partner. Acquaintances describe Bruno as both driven and frustrated by injustice of any kind. He is a faithful friend to those who are loyal to him and a vigorous enemy to those who are not.
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