|Birth: ||Sep. 13, 1918|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Death: ||Mar. 29, 1980|
Los Angeles County
Actor, Entertainer. A baritone singer, he became a vocalist in a number of big bands, worked in Hollywood, on radio and films, and was one of the most popular vocalist of the 1940s and 1950s. Born Richard Benjamin Haymes to Scottish/Irish parents in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he came to the US with his family as an infant. His mother became a vocal coach and instructor in order to provide a living. A music gig in 1931 caught the eye of a local band leader and he started to move up, but it was slow-going. In 1939, while trying to pitch his songwriting talents to band leader Harry James, he ended up as his featured vocalist. In 1942 he replaced Frank Sinatra as the singer for Tommy Dorsey's band and teamed with singer Helen Forrest for many hit duets during World War II, including "Together," "I'll Buy That Dream," and "Long Ago and Far Away." He co-starred with Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews in the musical "State Fair" (1945). In 1947 he appeared in the film "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim" with Betty Grable and recorded two songs on the Decca label from the film with Judy Garland. The same year, he joined Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) for an historic session for the Billboard hit "There's No Business Like Show Business", as well as "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)". He paired often with the Andrews Sisters on a dozen or so Decca collaborations, including the Billboard hit "Teresa," "Great Day," "My Sin," and a masterful 1952 rendering of the dramatic ballad "Here in My Heart." A non-US citizen, he asserted his "resident alien" status during World War II. He was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. He was nearly deported to Argentina in 1953 when he travelled to Hawaii (a US territory at that time) and failed to notify immigration authorities of his leaving the country. He experienced serious alcohol and financial problems later in life and at one point was forced into bankruptcy and by the 1960s his life was all but ruined. He managed to travel to Europe and picked up the remnants of his career. His reputation had not tarnished there, and he enjoyed some renewed popularity but never regained the foothold in the business that he once had. During his career, he recorded around 10 albums and appeared in 17 films. He had three #1 hits on the US Charts with "It Can't Be Wrong" (1943), "You'll Never Know" (1943), and "I'll Get By" (1944). He was married six times, most notably to actresses Joanne Dru (1941 to 1949), Rita Hayworth (1953 to 1955), and Fran Jeffries (1958 to 1964). He was also married to Nora Eddington (1949 to 1953), a former wife of actor Errol Flynn. He died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 61. (bio by: William Bjornstad)
Cause of death: Cancer
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered in the Hollywood Hills of Southern California.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Ron Moody
Record added: Nov 27, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 6001207
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What an amazing smooth clean beautiful voice and man! (Would that all men had a voice like that!) Just saw "Do You Love Me?" 1946 (my birth year) with Maureen O'Hara and the Harry James band -this all happened before my time really but I love it when I fi...(Read more)|
Added: Jul. 9, 2014
I remember "I'll Buy That Dream" &"Long Ago & Far Away""--beautiful songs & beautifully sung---you had a great voice--God Bless & RIP!!|
Added: Apr. 15, 2014
Added: Apr. 11, 2014
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