|Year of Birth:||1919|
|Year of Death:||2009|
Ian Bryce Wallace OBE (10 July 1919 – 12 October 2009) was an English bass-baritone opera and concert singer, actor and broadcaster of Scottish extraction.
His family intended him for a career in the law, but he was attracted to the stage. Originally an actor in non-musical plays, he was persuaded to try opera and made an immediate success. He played a range of buffo parts in operas, at Glyndebourne and internationally. Wallace maintained a simultaneous career in revue, straight theatre, and broadcasting. He appeared in pantomime and at the Royal Variety Performance. As a broadcaster, he was a long-time panellist on the BBC radio panel game My Music, and he presented a television series of introductions to operas in the 1960s, as well as appearing in light entertainment shows singing a range of songs from ballads to comedy numbers. He performed his one-man show for many years. Flanders and Swann wrote several songs for him, and their best-known novelty song, "The Hippopotamus", became indelibly associated with him.
Wallace was born in London, the only son of a Liberal Member of Parliament, Sir John Wallace and his wife Mary Bryce Wallace (née Temple). He was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read law and joined the Cambridge Footlights. During his World War II service in the Royal Artillery, he organised and starred in troop shows. Wallace was invalided out of the Army in 1944, after he contracted spinal tuberculosis, and decided that his career lay in entertainment rather than the law.