Dick Haymes

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Richard Benjamin Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980) was an Argentinian-American actor and singer. He was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes who was an actor, television host, and songwriter.

Haymes was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1918.[1][2] His mother, whom Haymes predeceased, was Irish-born Marguerite Haymes (1894–1987), a well-known vocal coach and instructor of English descent. His father worked as a rancher and was of English descent. The Haymeses traveled extensively before settling in the United States when Haymes was an infant.

At the age of 17, Haymes moved to Los Angeles where he initially worked as a stunt man and film double. At the age of 19, he moved to New York City where he worked as a vocalist in a number of big bands.[4] On September 3, 1942, Frank Sinatra introduced Haymes on radio as Sinatra's replacement in the Tommy Dorsey band.[5][6] Prior to joining Dorsey's group, Haymes sang with the Harry James orchestra.[7]

In 1945, Haymes co-starred with Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews and Vivian Blaine in the musical State Fair. He teamed with female vocalist Helen Forrest for many hit duets during World War II, including "Together," "I'll Buy That Dream," and "Long Ago and Far Away"; he sang with Judy Garland on two Decca recordings of songs from the film The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, in which he appeared with Betty Grable.

From 1944 to 1948, he had his own radio program, The Dick Haymes Show, first on NBC and later on CBS.

Haymes experienced serious financial problems later in life, by the early 1960s declaring bankruptcy with $500,000 in debts.[11]

He appeared as unscrupulous doctor Elroy Gantman in a 1974 episode of the TV show Adam-12.

Through his mother's nationality, Haymes spent his last years as an Irish citizen.

Haymes was married six times, including to film actresses Joanne Dru (1941–1949), Rita Hayworth (1953–1955), and Fran Jeffries (1958–1964). He was also married to Nora Eddington (1949–1953), a former wife of Errol Flynn. Haymes had a total of six children—three with Joanne Dru, one with Fran Jeffries, and two with his sixth and final wife, British model Wendy Smith.

On March 28, 1980, Haymes died from lung cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 61 years old.