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Steve Barton in 1997
June 26, 1954|
Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States
July 21, 2001 (aged 47)|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, stage director, teacher|
He won a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin (UT), where he majored in theater, dance and voice, and appeared in over 30 productions with UT and the Ballet of Austin. A UT endowed Presidential Scholarship is now named for him. After graduation he went to Europe and landed his first professional role in St. Gallen, Switzerland, then performed in several 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 Robert in Company. In 1986 he originated the role of Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in London, and in 1988 reprised that role in the original Broadway cast.
Barton was married to swing dancer and choreographer Denny Berry, who served as 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; the couple separated at an unspecified later date. He was an Honorary Chairperson of the Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation and an honorary member of the UTA Board of Education.
In 1996 Barton returned to Vienna, where he took over the part of the Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. In his final project, he originated the role of Graf von Krolock, a vampire in Jim Steinman's Tanz der Vampire, for which he won an IMAGE (International Music Award Germany) in 1998. Barton celebrated his 30-year onstage anniversary in 1997 during his run as von Krolock.
Barton died on July 21, 2001 in Bremen, Germany at the age of 47. While his death was initially attributed to heart failure, according to obituary information released by the press office for the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera, it was later ruled a suicide by the district attorney in Bremen.
- 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 -- Actor, 47". The New York Times. July 28, 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Report: Phantom Actor Steve Barton's Death Was a Suicide". Playbill. 3 August 2001. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.