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Tony Martin

Tony Martin

Show Count: 10
Series Count: 2
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: December 25, 1913
Old Time Radio, San Francisco, California
Died: July 27, 2012, Los Angeles, California

Tony Martin (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012), born Alvin Morris, was an American actor and singer who was married to performer Cyd Charissefor 60 years.

Life and career

Martin was born in San Francisco, the son of Hattie (née Smith) and Edward Clarence Morris. His family was Jewish, and all of his grandparents had emigrated from Eastern Europe. He received a saxophone as a gift from his grandmother at the age of ten.

In his grammar school glee club, he became an instrumentalist and singer. He formed his first band, named "The Red Peppers", when he was atOakland Technical High School, eventually joining the band of a local orchestra leader, Tom Gerun, as a reed instrument specialist, sitting alongside the future bandleader Woody Herman. He attended Saint Mary's College of California during the mid-1930s. After college, he left Gerun's band to go toHollywood to try his luck in films. It was at that time that he adopted the stage name of Tony Martin. His The Tony Martin Show, a 15-minute variety program, aired on NBC from 1954 to 1956 prior to the evening newscast. One of his guests was Dinah Shore, soon cast in her own hour-long NBC variety program.

He was a featured vocalist on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program. On the show Allen playfully flirted with Tony, often threatening to fire him. She'd say things like, "Oh, Tony, you look so tired, why don't you rest your lips on mine?"

In films, he was first cast in a number of bit parts, including a role as a sailor in the movie Follow the Fleet (1936), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He eventually signed with 20th Century-Fox and then Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in which he starred in a number of musicals. Between 1938 and 1942, he made a number of hit records for Decca. Martin was featured in the 1941 Marx Brothers film The Big Store, in which he played a singer and performed the now infamous (at least with Marx Brothers fans) Tenement Symphony, which was written by Hal Borne, who became his long-time musical director.

In World War II, he first joined the United States Navy, but as a result of rumors that he had gotten an officer's commission through bribery he left the navy and joined the United States Army Air Forces. As a corporal he was assigned to Capt. Glenn Miller's band, then was promoted to technical sergeant in the Air Transport Command and stationed in India, where Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner, commanding the Hump Airlift, put him to work as an entertainer, forming a troupe of amateur talent from the command and taking it around the various bases to perform. He eventually signed with Mercury Records, then a small independent run out of Chicago, Illinois. He cut 25 records in 1946 and 1947 for Mercury, including a 1946 recording of "To Each His Own" which became a million-seller. This prompted RCA Victor records to offer him a contract, which he signed in 1947 after satisfying his contract obligations to Mercury.

He appeared in film musicals in the 1940s and 1950s. His rendition of "Lover Come Back To Me" with Joan Weldon in Deep in My Heart - based on the music of Sigmund Romberg and starringJosé Ferrer - was one of the highlights of that film. He also starred as Gaylord Ravenal in the Show Boat segment from the 1946 film Till the Clouds Roll By.

In a seemingly unlikely pairing, Martin recorded for the Motown Records label in the mid-1960s, scoring a minor hit with the record "Talkin' To Your Picture." He was one of a number of more traditional vocalists signed to the label during the decade.

Martin died on the evening of July 27, 2012, of natural causes. He was 98.

Family

In 1937, he married Alice Faye, with whom he had appeared in several films. They divorced in 1941. Martin remarried, to actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, in 1948.

They remained married until her death in 2008. They had one son together, Tony Martin, Jr. (August 28, 1950 – April 10, 2011), who predeceased his father. Martin adopted Charisse's son, Nicky, from her first marriage.

Source: Wikipedia

Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 161
Broadcast History: 15 February 1932 to 13 June 1934, 19 September 1934 to 24 March 1937, 12 April 1937 to 1 August 1938, 30 September 1938 to 23 June 1939, 4 October to 1939 to 26 June 1940, 1 July 1940 to 24 March 1941, 7 October 1941 to 30 June 1942, 6 October 1942 to 25 June 1945, 20 September 1945 to 23 June 1949 and 21 September 1949 to 17 May 1950
Sponsor: Robert Burns Panatella, White Owl Cigars, Campbell Soups, Grape Nuts, Chesterfield Cigarettes, Hinds Cream, Hormel Meats, Lever Brothers, Swan Soap, Maxwell House Coffee Time, Block Drugs
Cast: Gracie Allen, George Burns, Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Margaret Brayton, Sara Berner, Clarence Nash, Elliott Lewis, Mary Lee Robb, Richard Crenna, Joseph Kearns, Eric Snowden, Bea Benaderet, Hal March, Gerald Mohr, Marvin Miller, Wally Maher, Doris Singleton, Dawn Bender, Tommy Bernard, Gale Gordon, Hans Conried
Director: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Producer: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Texaco Star TheaterTexaco Star Theater
Show Count: 2
Broadcast History: 1938 to 1949
Cast: Fred Allen, Ed Wynn, James Melton
Director: William A. Bacher
Host: Adolphe Menjou, Ken Murray, John Barrymore
Broadcast: 22nd July 1949
Added: Sep 03 2013
Broadcast: August 21, 1949
Added: Aug 04 2018
Broadcast: 1st December 1938
Added: Dec 01 2006
Broadcast: 30th April 1948
Starring: Bill Stern, Tony Martin
Added: Apr 30 2011
Broadcast: 8th December 1938
Added: Dec 04 2008
Broadcast: 21st June 1949
Added: Dec 24 2007
Broadcast: November 12, 1950
Added: Nov 10 2018