Stanley Augustus Holloway, OBE was an English stage and film actor, comedian, 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.