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June 26, 1954|
Hot Springs, Arkansas
|Died||July 21, 2001
He won a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in theater, dance and singing, appearing in over 30 productions with the University of Texas and with the Ballet of Austin. Barton graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he now has an endowed Presidential Scholarship named after him, and went to Europe, getting his first job at St. Gallen, Switzerland, and then playing in major Swiss, German and Austrian theater companies.
He played leading roles in West Side Story, Godspell, Romeo and Juliet, The Fantasticks, The Threepenny Opera, Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Guys and Dolls, and Camelot, before playing the role of Munkustrap in the original Vienna cast of Cats, at the Theater an der Wien. At the Theater des Westens in Berlin, he played roles in Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar (as Jesus), La Cage aux Folles (as both Jean Michel and Albin/Zaza) and was playing Robert in Company when he had an audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in London, where he originated the role of Raoul.
Barton was married to, but later separated from, swing dancer and choreographer Denny Berry, (Dance Supervisor for the North American productions of The Phantom of the Opera), whom he met at college. A son, Edward, was born in Vienna in 1984. Barton had a Presidential Scholarship at the University of Texas named for him. He has also been named an Honorary Chairperson of the Steadman/Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation and was an honorary member of the Board of Education at the University of Texas in Austin.
In 1996, Barton returned to Vienna, where he took over the part of the Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He originated Graf von Krolock in Roman Polanski's Tanz der Vampire, (Music: Jim Steinman, Lyrics: Michael Kunze), a role which brought him in 1998 an IMAGE (International Music Award Germany). He played Graf von Krolock until January 17, 1999, in Vienna. In 1997, Barton celebrated his 30-year onstage anniversary during his run as von Krolock. Tanz der Vampire was also the last musical in which Barton appeared on a stage.
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Barton died of heart failure on July 21, 2001 in Bremen, Germany at the age of 47. According to original statements by those who found Barton’s body, he was lying in bed with empty bottles of blood-pressure medication on his bedside table. This, along with the fact that he was believed to have suffered from bipolar disorder, led to his death being ruled a suicide. However, Barton’s autopsy report revealed no substances in his bloodstream other than a minimal maintenance dosage of anti-depressants and a normal daily dosage of high-blood pressure medication; furthermore, the autopsy report makes no mention of the empty bottles supposedly found by Barton’s body, making his death unlikely to have been a suicide. His ashes were buried in the countryside in Texas in August 2001. The Broadway magazine/website Playbill reported "(t)he July 21 death of actor Steve Barton is being attributed to heart failure, according to obituary information released by the press office for the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera".
- The Phantom of the Opera, 1990 and 1991, Los Angeles, (as Raoul)
- Anastasia: The Musical, 1991 and 1992, (as Prince Paul)
- Six Wives, 1993, (as Henry VIII)
- Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, 1993, (as Quasimodo)
- Kiss Me, Kate, 1994, (as Fred Graham and Petruchio), Goodspeed Opera House, CT
- Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, (as Sweeney Todd), Jan. and Feb. 1996, in Pittsburgh
- Let's Do It, a new A. R. Gurney Show with Cole Porter music and lyrics which workshopped at the Long Wharf Theater, New Haven, CT, USA, April and May 1996, (as Nick Cameron, alias the Count of Luxemburg).
Television guest roles
- Tatort, 1992, guest role as FBI Agent Mike Haller, ORF, Austria
- The Young and the Restless, 1994, guest role and Another World, 1994, guest role as Bailey Thompson
- 1983: Cats, Original Vienna Cast Recording, as Munkustrap, in German language
- 1987: Highlights from The Phantom of the Opera, Original London Cast, as Raoul
- 1987: The Phantom of the Opera, Original London Cast Recording, as Raoul
- 1988: Show Boat, as Steve Baker
- 1998: Anastasia - The Musical, as Prince Paul
- 1998: Tanz der Vampire – Die Höhepunkte der Welturaufführung, Original Vianna Cast, as Graf von Krolock, in German language
- 1998: Tanz der Vampire – Die Gesamtaufnahme, Original Vienna Cast Recording, as Graf von Krolock, in German language
- 1985: Angelika Milster - Meisterstücke, 2 duets
- 1998: Paul Schwartz's Aria, Vol. 2 - New Horizon, vocals on Leiermann
- 2002: Sarah Brightman - Encore, duet on "Think of Me"
- 1991: Cole Porter Centennial Gala Concert
- 1995: Living Water, duets with Mother Teresa and Brian Sutherland
- 1999: Danke - Songs und Lieder zum Kirchentag 1999, includes the song "Reach Out", a duet with Brian Sutherland
- 2002: Steve Barton – Memorial Concert, "Simply Flying" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"
- 2004: Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms, "I've Got You Under My Skin"
- 2009: Only for a While, compilation
- 2010: Encore: The Private Collection, compilation of outtakes, demos and rehearsals
- Steve Barton at the Internet Movie Database
- Steve Barton on Ovrtur.com *the* international database of musical theatre. http://www.ovrtur.com/biography/10128888?
- In Memory of Steve Barton (in German and English)
- Steve Barton on broadwaystars.com
- Steve Barton on findagrave.com
- International Steve Barton Club As of January 1, 2005, the Steve Barton Society has ceased all activities.
- Steve Barton Tribute (Russian and English)
- Steve Barton A Life Dedicated to the Stage
- The Steve Barton Musical Theatre Project