Stanley Holloway

Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE (1 October 1890 – 30 January 1982) was an English stage and film actor, humourist, singer, poet and monologist. He was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, especially that of Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady. He was also renowned for his comic monologues and songs, which he performed and recorded throughout most of his 70-year career.

Born in London, Holloway pursued a career as a clerk in his teen years. He made early stage appearances before infantry service in the First World War, after which he had his first major theatre success starring in Kissing Time when the musical transferred to the West End from Broadway. In 1921, he joined a concert party, The Co-Optimists, and his career began to flourish. At first, he was employed chiefly as a singer, but his skills as an actor and reciter of comic monologues were soon recognised. Characters from his monologues such as Sam Small, invented by Holloway, and Albert Ramsbottom, created for him by Marriott Edgar, were absorbed into popular British culture, and Holloway developed a following for the recordings of his many monologues. By the 1930s, he was in demand to star in variety, pantomime and musical comedy, including several revues.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Holloway made short propaganda films on behalf of the British Film Institute and Pathé News and took character parts in a series of war films including Major Barbara, The Way Ahead, This Happy Breed and The Way to the Stars. After the war, he appeared in the film Brief Encounter and made a series of films for Ealing Studios, including Passport to Pimlico, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Titfield Thunderbolt.

In 1956 he was cast as the irresponsible and irrepressible Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, a role that he played on Broadway, the West End and in the film version in 1964. The role brought him international fame, and his performances earned him nominations for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In his later years, Holloway appeared in television series in the UK and the US, toured in revues, appeared in stage plays in Britain, Canada, Australia and the US, and continued to make films into his eighties. Holloway was married twice and had five children, including the actor Julian Holloway.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 1st, 1890 (London), Died January 30th, 1982 (Littlehampton)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1928 - 1963

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, narrator, author, speaker


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-046172 10-in. 1/5/1940 Old Sam (Sam, pick oop tha' muket) Cyril Smith Recitation, with piano author  
Brunswick DB11 10-in. approximately Sept. 1928 A Dinder courtship Stanley Holloway Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Brunswick DB12 10-in. approximately Sept. 1928 Looking at the sky Stanley Holloway Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Brunswick DB13 10-in. approximately Sept. 1928 Pass, everyman Stanley Holloway Tenor vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Brunswick DB14 10-in. approximately Sept. 1928 [Unknown title(s)] Stanley Holloway Tenor vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Brunswick DB15 10-in. approximately Sept. 1928 Onaway! Awake, beloved! Stanley Holloway Tenor vocal solo, with piano vocalist  
Decca 82621 4/4/1952 Lambert the sheepish lion: Part 1 Stanley Holloway narrator  
Decca 82622 4/4/1952 Lambert the sheepish lion: Part 2 Stanley Holloway narrator  
Decca 113137 2/14/1963 Going to the Derby Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113138 2/14/1963 My Lord Tomnoddy Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113139 2/14/1963 Act on the square, boys! Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113140 2/14/1963 If I had a donkey (Wot wouldn't go) Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113141 2/14/1963 The workhouse boy Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113142 2/14/1963 Married to a mermaid Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113143 2/14/1963 A motto for every man Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113144 2/14/1963 Hey! Betty Martin Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113145 2/14/1963 Shelling green peas Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113146 2/14/1963 All 'round my hat Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113147 2/14/1963 Poor old horse Stanley Holloway vocalist  
Decca 113148 2/14/1963 Champagne Charlie Stanley Holloway vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Holloway, Stanley," accessed July 26, 2021,

Holloway, Stanley. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 26, 2021, from

"Holloway, Stanley." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 26 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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