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|Year of Death:||1951|
Leo Sheffield (15 November 1873 3 September 1951), born Arthur Leo Wilson, was an English singer and actor best known for his performances in baritone roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
He made his first stage appearances under the direction of W. S. Gilbert in 1906, remaining with the D'Oyly Carte company for three years. After touring in musical theatre for the next five years with other managements, he rejoined D'Oyly Carte from 1915 to 1928 in the principal baritone roles, appearing in London seasons and on tour in Britain and, in one of his last seasons, Canada. He recorded many of these roles.
After leaving D'Oyly Carte, Sheffield worked in a wide variety of theatre, including musical comedy, straight plays, pantomime, and in radio and films. He continued to tour during the Second World War while in his seventies.
Sheffield was born Arthur Leo Wilson and raised in Malton, Yorkshire. His father was James Walker Wilson (18391907), a painter and later a vocalist, and his mother was Alice, née Sheffield (18441911). His brothers, Edward Sheffield Wilson (18641903) and Robert Thorpe Wilson (18661908) appeared under the stage names Wilson and Thorpe Sheffield with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in the 1890s.
Sheffield joined D'Oyly Carte in 1906, appearing at the Savoy Theatre under the direction of W. S. Gilbert in the first repertory season of Savoy Operas. During this season, he played the roles of Second Yeoman and then Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Annibale and later Luiz in The Gondoliers. From 1907 to 1909, he toured with D'Oyly Carte, playing the Counsel for the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Boatswain in H.M.S. Pinafore, Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, Archibald Grosvenor in Patience, Strephon in Iolanthe, Arac in Princess Ida, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, Sergeant Meryll in Yeomen, and Luiz. In the second repertory season at the Savoy, from April 1908 to March 1909, he played Pish-Tush, the Boatswain, Private Willis in Iolanthe, Samuel, Luiz and the Lieutenant, and Owen Rhys in A Welsh Sunset a short sentimental piece which was given as a curtain raiser.