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Stanley Augustus Holloway was born on 1 October 1890 in London, England. He began his professional career at the turn of the twentieth century, aged ten as Master Stanley Holloway-The Wonderful Boy Soprano touring with concert parties, before going to Milan to study at the age of 23. His intention at the time was to become an opera singer.

During the first world war Holloway served in the Connaught Rangers, and after leaving the services at the end of the war, he played the music halls as a comedian and singer and made his debut in musicals on the London stage, playing Captain Wentworth in Kissing Time at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1919.

Roles in A Night Out, Hit The Deck, Song Of The Sea, and Coo-ee followed during the 1920's and Holloway was very well received by critics in the Co-Optimists shows throughout the decade. These were revues which played at various London theatres, beginning with the Royalty in London in 1921, and toured the provinces. He made his film debut in 1921 I a comedy, The Rotters.

Holloway was also a very popular radio performer, particularly known for the monologues he performed wrote himself - doggerel verse charting the adventures of characters such as Albert (a young boy, who amongst other things, is eaten by a lion at a zoo - but he recovers), his family, the Ramsbottoms, who are 'salt of the earth' Yorkshire types, stolid in the face of Albert's various mishaps, providing it doesn't cost them money. Another regular character was Sam Small, a soldier, brave, but stubborn. Holloway was to create this character for the screen in a number of films.

Throughout the 1930s and 40s he continued to appear in the West End in revues and musicals and worked occasionally in straight dramatic theatre. He also made several films and gave particularly good performances in This Happy Breed, and The Way Ahead, in 1944 and in the 1945 classic Brief Encounter. After the war, he was a key player in the Ealing comedy team starring in films such as Passport to Pimlico and The Titfield Thunderbolt.

It was during a run of A Midsummer Night's Dream in New York, playing Bottom the Weaver, that Holloway was offered the role for which he is best remembered - that of Alfred P. Doolittle, father of Eliza, dustman, and later philosopher, in My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

The show opened on Broadway in March 1956, and Holloway's performance earned him a Tony nomination. He played the role again in the 1958 London production with Julie Andrews. He was awarded the OBE in 1960, and gained fame in the US in 1962 playing the eponymous character, in the TV comedy Our Man Higgins, in which he starred as a butler coming to terms with the American lifestyle.

In 1964 he again reprised his role of Alfred Doolittle, in the film version of My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

He continued to perform until the mid seventies, both on film and in the Theatre, and died on 30 January 1982 at Littlehampton, Sussex at the age of 92. According to his son, his only regret was that he hadn't been asked to do the voiceovers for the series of TV advertisements for Mr Kipling's cakes.

Filmography from the IMDB

  1. Journey Into Fear (1975)
  2. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973) (TV)
  3. Up the Front (1972)
  4. Flight of the Doves (1971)
  5. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes(1970)
  6. Run a Crooked Mile (1969) (TV)
  7. "Thingumybob" (1968) TV Series
  8. Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968)
  9. "Blanding's Castle" (1967) TV Series
  10. The Sandwich Man (1966)
  11. Ten Little Indians (1966)
  12. That Swinging City (1966)
  13. In Harm's Way (1965)
  14. My Fair Lady (1964)
  15. "Our Man Higgins" (1962) TV Series
  16. No Love for Johnnie (1961)
  17. On the Fiddle (1961)
  18. The Mikado (1960) (TV)
  19. Alive and Kicking (1958)
  20. Hello London (1958)
  21. No Trees in the Street (1958)
  22. An Alligator Named Daisy (1955)
  23. Jumping for Joy (1955)
  24. The Beggar's Opera (1953)
  25. A Day to Remember (1953)
  26. Fast and Loose (1953)
  27. Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953)
  28. The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)
  29. The Happy Family (1952)
  30. Meet Me Tonight (1952
  31. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
  32. The Magic Box (1951)
  33. One Wild Oat (1951)
  34. Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)
  35. Midnight Episode (1950)
  36. Passport to Pimlico (1949)
  37. The Perfect Woman (1949)
  38. Another Shore (1948)
  39. Noose (1948)
  40. Hamlet (1948)
  41. The Winslow Boy (1948)
  42. Snowbound (1948)
  43. One Night with You (1948)
  44. Meet Me at Dawn (1947)
  45. Nicholas Nickleby (1947)
  46. Caesar and Cleopatra (1946)
  47. Carnival (1946)
  48. Wanted for Murder (1946)
  49. Brief Encounter (1946)
  50. The Way to the Stars (1945)
  51. Champagne Charlie (1944)
  52. This Happy Breed (1944)
  53. The Way Ahead (1944)
  54. Salute John Citizen (1942)
  55. Major Barbara (1941)
  56. Cotton Queen (1937)
  57. Sam Small Leaves Town (1937)
  58. Song of the Forge (1937)
  59. The Vicar of Bray (1937)
  60. Play Up the Band (1935)
  61. Squibs (1935)
  62. D'Ye Ken John Peel? (1934)
  63. Lily of Killarney (1934)
  64. Love at Second Sight (1934)
  65. Road House (1934)
  66. Sing As We Go (1934)
  67. Sleeping Car (1933)
  68. The Girl from Maxim's (1933)
  69. The Co-Optimists (1930)

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