- July 21
) was an actor
, stage director
Steven Neal Barton
was born on June 26
in Hot Springs
, United States, as youngest from 3 children of Tom and Mary Barton. He grew up in Nederland, Texas
Later 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 dropped out of school 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 got the audition news for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in London, where he originated the role of Raoul.
Steve Barton was formerly married but separated for long to swing dancer and choreographer Denny Berry, (Dance Supervisor for the North American productions of The Phantom of the Opera), who he met at college. They have a son, Edward, who was born in Vienna in 1984. Steve had a Presidential Scholarship at the University of Texas named for him. Steve Barton has also been named an Honorary Chairperson for 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 Steve Barton returned to Vienna, where he took over the part of the Beast in Disney's Die Schöne und das Biest. 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 Steve Barton celebrated his 30-year onstage anniversary during his run as von Krolock. Tanz der Vampire was also the last musical in which Steve Barton stood on a stage.
He died on July 21, 2001 at the age of 47 years in Bremen, Germany because of heart failure -some sources claim it was a suicide since Steve Barton was falsely known to suffer from bipolar disorder, but sources also claim there was no autopsy report, which is also false - When looking at the autopsy report, there were no empty bottles of heart medication nearby. There were heart and painkiller medication bottles, none of them empty, and none of them had anything to do with his death, as stated in the autopsy forensic blood tests, which confirm there was no alcohol or drugs in Steve Barton's blood when he died. All that was discovered was a minimal maintenance dose of depressant and the daily normal dose of high blood pressure and painkiller medication he took the day he died. His ashes were buried in his native country in Texas, USA, in August 2001. He is survived by his ex-wife Sallie Ann (known as Denny Berry) and her son Edward, and his brother and sister, Tom Barton and Betty Barton-Gambrell, both of Texas.
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".
- Cats, 1983 and 1984, in Vienna, Austria, (as Munkustrap/Dance Capitan)
- Phantom of the Opera, 1986, in London, UK, (as Raoul)
- Anastasia - The Musical, 1991 and 1992, (as Prince Paul)
- Six Wives, 1993, (as Henry VIII)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1993, (as Quasimodo)
- Die Schöne und das Biest, 1996/97 in Vienna, Austria, (as Biest)
- Tanz der Vampire, 1997 - 1999 in Vienna, Austria, (as Graf von Krolock)
- Phantom of the Opera, 1990 and 1991, Los Angeles, (as Raoul)
- 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
- 1983: Cats, Original Vienna Cast Recording, as Munkustrap, in German
- 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
- 1998: Tanz der Vampire – Die Gesamtaufnahme, Original Vienna Cast Recording, as Graf von Krolock, in German
- 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"