Crooner Tony Martin, best known for his romantic ballads and roles in movie musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, has died, according to multiple reports. His manager says Martin passed away peacefully of natural causes on Friday. He was 98. One of the high points of his career was a number staged by Busby Berkeley in MGM’s Ziegfield Girl in 1941, serenading Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner as they floated down a staircase. Martin also was featured in the 1941 Marx Brothers film The Big Store, in which he played a singer and performed Tenement Symphony, written by his long-time musical director Hal Borne. For a time in the 1950s he was the host of The Tony Martin Show, a 15-minute television variety series. His biggest hits as a singer came in 1950 with There’s No Tomorrow, Stranger In Paradise (1954) and Walk Hand In Hand (1956). He married his first wife Alice Faye in 1937 and they divorced in 1940. He married his second wife, dancer Cyd Charisse in 1948 and stayed with her until her death in 2008. In 1976, Martin and Charisse co-authored The Two Of Us with Dick Kleiner, a book that chronicled their lives together as performers and business partners. Martin’s movie and music career faded in the 1960s, but friends say he continued performing into his 90s.
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