Romantic crooner Tony Martin dies at 98

3:04 PM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
Tony Martin, 1954
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Tony Martin, the romantic singer who appeared in movie musicals from the 1930s to the 1950s and sustained a career in records, television and nightclubs from the Depression era into the 21st century, has died. He was 98.

Martin died of natural causes Friday evening at his West Los Angeles home, his friend and accountant Beverly Scott said Monday.

A peer of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Martin sang full voice in a warm baritone that carried special appeal for his female audience. Among his hit recordings were "I Get Ideas," ''To Each His Own," ''Begin the Beguine" and "There's No Tomorrow."

"He's the ultimate crooner who outlasted all is contemporaries," musician and longtime friend Gabriel Guerrero said from his Oregon home. Martin recently sang to Guerrero over the telephone.

"He has truly remained the butterscotch baritone until he was 98," Guerrero added.

Although he never became a full-fledged movie star, he was featured in 25 films, most of them made during the heyday of the Hollywood musicals. A husky 6 feet tall and dashingly handsome, he was often cast as the romantic lead.

He also married two movie musical superstars, Alice Faye and Cyd Charisse, and the latter union lasted 60 years, until her death in 2008.

The Associated Press

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