TONY MARTIN — STAR OF RECORDS, RADIO, TV & MOVIES — DEAD AT 98
Tony Martin, the handsome singer/actor who was frequently cast as the leading man during the golden age of the Hollywood musical, whose recordings are among the classics of the ’40s and ’50s, and who became one of the most familiar celebrity faces on television in the 1950s and ’60s, has died in Los Angeles at age 98 of natural causes. Teamed with composer/conductor Ray Noble, Martin had his first recording success in the late 1930s with such hits as “The Moon of Manakoora” and “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You.”He appeared in several films featuring his then-wife, Alice Faye, whom he married in 1937 and divorced in 1941. His recording and movie career was interrupted by World War II, but once the war ended, it skyrocketed. He was a frequent guest on comedy and variety radio shows and was one of the first performers to star on television shows that originated in Hollywood in the early 1950s. NBC cast him in 1954 on the 15-minute The Tony Martin Show, which aired nightly preceding the network’s newscast from 1954 through 1956. He and actress/dancer Cyd Charisse, whom he married in 1948, became the Brangelina of their day — rarely leaving each other’s side, and after the Hollywood musical was laid to rest in the mid ’60s, they became a much-in-demand nightclub act. Their marriage lasted 60 years until her death in 2008 of an apparent heart attack at age 86.