Jul 30, 2012
Tony Martin was a pop music star, movie star, TV star and radio star, widely covered by magazines, gossip columnists and celebrity tabloids. If the Internet existed in his day, he would have been all over cyberspace too.
Martin became a star during The Great Depression of the 1930s, famous for such megahit songs as "Begin the Beguine," "Fools Rush In," "There's No Tomorrow," "To Each His Own," and "Lover Come Back to Me."
A pop superstar, Tony Martin climbed the music charts 45 times with hit-after-hit while contracted with Decca Records, Mercury Records and RCA Records over several decades.
As an acclaimed actor, Martin was featured in numerous Hollywood movies as the dashing romantic lead, attracting millions of female fans and two wives who were box-office stars themselves, Alice Faye and Cyd Charisse.
A native lifelong Californian, Tony Martin was born Alvin Morris on December 25, 1913 in San Francisco to an Eastern European Jewish family. He attended Oakland Technical High School and was an alumnus of St. Mary's College of California.
After becoming a popular voice on radio, Martin was cast in the 1936 movie, Sing Baby Sing. He changed his name to Tony Martin and signed a movie contract with Twentieth Century Fox, then later with MGM Studios.
Martin was also a television star in the 1950s with his own TV variety show, NBC's "The Tony Martin Show," on which he helped launch the television career of Dinah Shore.
Tony Martin married actress and dancer Cyd Charisse in 1948 and adopted her son, Nicky. The couple had another son, Tony Martin Jr. in 1950. After 60 years of marriage, Charisse died in 2008. Tony, Jr. died last year, after which the senior Martin's health began to decline.
The late Tony Martin is remembered as a talented musician, singer, actor and celebrity by fans around the world, as well as a devoted father, husband, friend and colleague by those who knew him, loved him, and today mourn the death of Tony Martin.
Tony Martin 1913-2012