George Grossmith, Jr.

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b. 11 May 1874, London, England, d. 6 June 1935, London, England. Following in the footsteps of his father, George Grossmith Snr. , he was first on the London stage in Haste To The Wedding (1882), a musical…
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b. 11 May 1874, London, England, d. 6 June 1935, London, England. Following in the footsteps of his father, George Grossmith Snr. , he was first on the London stage in Haste To The Wedding (1882), a musical play written by his father in collaboration with W.S. Gilbert. During the next few years he played minor roles in musical comedies such as The Baroness (1892), Morocco Bound (1893), and The Shop Girl (1894). For the remaining years of the nineteenth century he was mainly in non-musical productions. He then returned to musicals, including Great Caesar (1899), The Gay Pretenders (1900, which he wrote and in which co-starred his father), The Toreador (1901, contributing lyrics to some of Paul Rubens’ songs), and The School Girl (1903, with which he went to the USA). Chiefly in these years, although Grossman made stage appearances he was deeply involved off-stage as writer or lyricist or producer with Gaiety Theatre productions, among which were The Spring Chicken (1905), The Girls Of Gottenberg (1907), Havana (1908), and Peggy (1911).

Grossmith was attuned to new developments in the theatre and worked on several London revues. After leaving the Gaiety in 1913, he continued to perform, in London and in New York, notably in a production of The Girl On The Film, but involved himself more with production in both cities. He was back at the Gaiety for Theodore & Co, (1916), which had music by Jerome Kern and Ivor Novello. In the 20s Grossmith produced and/or performed in shows such as The Cabaret Girl (1922), The Beauty Prize (1923), both with songs by Kern and P.G. Wodehouse, Primrose (1924), with songs by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, and he played Billy Early in the original London production of No, No, Nanette (1925). By the late 20s, he was involved much less in production but continued to perform, including appearing in New York in My Sister And I/Meet My Sister (1930). He took this show to London where it was a flop.