Steve Barton, 47, who played Raoul in the original production of "The Phantom of the Opera," died Saturday of sudden heart failure in Bremen, Germany, where he was making a recording.
As Raoul, Barton played the young aristocrat who vies with the Phantom for the hand of Christine in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. He appeared in the London premiere in 1986 and again in the New York premiere in 1988. He also briefly played the role in 1991 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, temporarily replacing an injured actor.
In 1990, Barton took over the musical's title role for nine months on Broadway.
Born in Arkansas, Barton attended the University of Texas but spent most of his pre-"Phantom" career in Europe. He played the lead in a short-lived Jule Style musical, "The Red Shoes," on Broadway in 1993.