Farewell to actress Mary Millar, 62, who originated the role of Mme. Giry in the London Phantom of the Opera. Millar died of ovarian cancer Nov. 10, according to her agent, Penny Harrison.
Millar, who played in Phantom for four years, is also identified with Stephen Sondheim's Follies; she starred as Sally in the show's European premiere in Manchester. Her husband, photographer Prince Raphael, told Playbill On-Line Millar was offered the Sally role in the West End Follies mounting, but she was already ensconced in Phantom of the Opera, "which she very much loved."
Millar also appeared in the original workshop production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love and in the workshop of a failed Sondheim show, "Maxie" (later renamed Maddie).
Millar's first West End show was Lock Up Your Daughters. Other West End credits for Millar included Pal Joey, Ann Veronica and Popkiss. Other UK roles include The King And I in Ipswich, and various English Panto roles in the mid-1990s. Millar's most recent role (to Feb. 1998) was Mrs. Potts in Beauty And The Beast at the Dominion Theatre.
She went on to be standby for Julie Andrews' Guenevere in the original Broadway production of Camelot. BBC Britcom fans also know Millar from her celebrated role as "Rose" on "Keeping Up Appearances." As husband Raphael put it, "Mary hasn't stopped working for twenty years." -- By David Lefkowitz