George Grossmith (December 9, 1847 - March 1, 1912) was an English actor and comic writer, best remembered for his work with Gilbert & Sullivan and for writing the comic novel Diary of a Nobody.
George Grossmith was born in London, the son of a lecturer of the same name. After working some time as a legal reporter and a journalist with no great success, Grossmith took to the stage in 1870. He soon became well known in London as a comedian. He was noted for his ability to get laughs, often improvising comic business in roles - although he sometimes tended to do this too often, even at the expense of portions of productions that were supposed to be serious, and the main criticism often directed at Grossmith was that he seemed unable to content himself with playing any scene straight.
George Grossmith became a regular member of Richard D'Oyly Carte's Savoy Theatre company, and created most of the lead comic light baritone roles in Gilbert & Sullivan's famous operettas. He also toured with the D'Oyly Carte Company around Britain and the United States of America. The actor is depicted both on and off stage in the acclaimed film, Topsy Turvy.
Grossmith first retired from the stage in 1891, returned from 1894 to 1897, and made two more short stage appearances before his final retirement in 1900.
His son, also named George, continued the family tradition, being the first to introduce cabaret into Britain and also appearing in the original production of No, No, Nanette in 1925.
George Grossmith wrote numerous humourous pieces for the magazine Punch, as well as three books, The Reminiscences of a Society Clown (1888), Diary of a Nobody (featuring illustrations from his brother Weedon Grossmith, 1892), and Piano & I (1910).
George Grossmith died in Folkestone, Kent.