WALTER PASSMORE (1867 - 1946)

Walter Passmore made his debut at the Savoy Theatre in "Jane Annie" in 1893, and was principal comedian there from 1894 to 1903.

He created the title role in "The Grand Duke" and appeared in "The Chieftain", "The Beauty Stone" and "The Rose of Persia". Although Passmore was generally regarded as George Grossmith's successor, Gilbert cast him as the Sergeant of Police in "The Pirates of Penzance" and The Grand Inquisitor in "The Gondoliers".

Sullivan was fond of Passmore. After seeing him in "The Lucky Star" he noted in his diary, "The fun of the whole piece lies in Passmore. Take him out and nothing's left. He worked splendidly and carried the opera through. I wish though he could drop his 'cockney' accent and manners at times."

When the D'Oyly Carte Company left the Savoy to tour in 1903, Walter Passmore remained in London where he commenced a career in musical comedy which lasted twenty-five years. He appeared in such important West End productions as "The Earl and the Girl", "The Talk of the Town" and "Madame Pompadour". He was married to Agnes Fraser who frequently appeared with him on stage.

His theatrical performances were largely visual. George Baker remembers his Sergeant of Police as being "obstreperously funny".

Passmore created the role of Walter Wilkins in "Merrie England" in 1903 and toured in it in 1911.

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