Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance

The Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance was an annual award presented by The Society of London Theatre in recognition of achievements in commercial British theatre. The awards were established as the Society of West End Theatre Awards in 1976, and, renamed in 1984 in honour of English actor Lord Olivier.

Laurence Olivier Award
for Best Comedy Performance
Awarded forBest Comedy Performance
Location United Kingdom
Presented byThe Society of London Theatre
Currently held byNiall Buggy for Dead Funny (1995)

Winners and nominees


Year Actor Musical Character
Penelope Keith Donkeys' Years Lady Driver
Peter Barkworth Crown Matrimonial Edward VIII
Richard Beckinsale Funny Peculiar Trevor Tinsley
Geraldine McEwan Oh, Coward! Performer
Denis Quilley Privates on Parade Terri Dennis
Jane Carr Once a Catholic Mary Mooney
Joan Hickson Bedroom Farce Delia
Leslie Phillips Sextet Unknown
Ian McKellen The Alchemist Face
Sheila Hancock Annie Miss Hannigan
Geraldine McEwan Look After Lulu! Lulu
Donald Sinden Shut Your Eyes and Think of England Performer
Barry Humphries A Night with Dame Edna Dame Edna Everage
Richard Griffiths Once in a Lifetime George Lewis
Oscar James Gloo Joo Meadowlark Warner
Maureen Lipman Outside Edge Maggie


Year Actor Musical Character
Beryl Reid Born in the Gardens Maud
Edward Duke Jeeves Takes Charge Jeeves
Ben Kingsley The Merry Wives of Windsor Ford
Julie Walters Educating Rita Rita
Rowan Atkinson Rowan Atkinson in Revue Himself
Georgina Hale Steaming Josie
Donald Sinden Present Laughter Garry Essendine
Angela Thorne Anyone for Denis? Margaret Thatcher
Geoffrey Hutchings Poppy Lady Dodo
Jane Carr A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia
Paul Eddington Noises Off Lloyd Dallas
Bill Paterson Schweik in the Second World War Schweyk
Griff Rhys Jones Charley's Aunt Lord Fancourt Babberley
Susan Colverd The Provok'd Wife Lady Brute
Michael Hordern The Rivals Sir Anthony Absolute
Peter Ustinov Beethoven's Tenth Ludwig van Beethoven
Maureen Lipman See How They Run Miss Skillon
Lavinia Bertram Intimate Exchanges Various Characters
Leonard Rossiter Loot Truscott
Michael Williams Two into One George
Michael Gambon A Chorus of Disapproval Dafydd Llewellyn
Roger Rees Love's Labours Lost Berowne
Griff Rhys Jones Trumpets and Raspberries Antonio Berardi / Agnelli
Maggie Smith The Way of the World Mrs. Millamant
Bill Fraser When We Are Married Gerald Forbes
Brian Cox Misalliance John Tarleton
Nigel Hawthorne The Magistrate Posket
Paul Scofield I'm Not Rappaport Nat
John Woodvine The Henrys Falstaff
Frank Ferrante Groucho: A Life in Revue Groucho Marx
Geoffrey Hutchings Three Men on a Horse Irwin
Les Marsden Groucho: A Life in Revue Harpo Marx
Alex Jennings Too Clever by Half Gloumov
Kenneth Branagh As You Like It Celia
Lesley Sharp A Family Affair Lipochka
Sian Thomas Countrymania Vittoria
Michael Gambon Man of the Moment Douglas Beechey
Alex Jennings The Liar Dorante
Alfred Molina Speed-the-Plow Fox
Peter O'Toole Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell Jeffrey Bernard


Year Actor Musical Character
Alan Cumming Accidental Death of an Anarchist The Madman
Richard Briers The Wind in the Willows Rat
Griff Rhys Jones The Wind in the Willows Mr. Toad
Joseph Maher What the Butler Saw Dr. Rance
Desmond Barrit The Comedy of Errors Antipholus of Ephesus / Syracuse
Robin Bailey Black Snow Ivan Vassilevich
Alan Cumming La Bête Valere
Lia Williams The Revengers' Comedies Karen
Simon Cadell Travels with My Aunt Henry Pulling
Sara Crowe Hay Fever Sorel Bliss
Guy Henry The Alchemist Ananias
Robert Lindsay Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac
Griff Rhys Jones An Absolute Turkey Redillon
Ken Campbell Jamais Vu Performer
Nicholas Le Prevost An Absolute Turkey Pontagnac
Maggie Smith The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell
Niall Buggy Dead Funny Brian
Nigel Hawthorne The Clandestine Marriage Lord Ogleby
Tony Slattery Neville's Island Gordon
Debra Gillett The Country Wife Mrs. Pinchwife


    • London Theatre Guide (2008). "The Laurence Olivier Awards: Full List of Winners, 1976-2008" (.PDF). 1976-2008. The Society of London Theatre: 20. Retrieved 2008-08-30. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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