MARTIN, TONY (Alvin Morris ; 1912– ), U.S. actor and singer. Born in San Francisco, Martin sang over a national radio network in 1932, and was signed for the popular radio show of George Burns and Gracie Allen. His lilting tenor and good looks led to film contracts.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Martin enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving first in the Navy and then with the Army in the Far East. He also sang for a time with the Army Air Forces Training Command Orchestra directed by Glenn Miller. He received several military honors, including the Bronze Star.
Martin combined his singing with acting, notably in the film Casbah (1948), in which he played Pepe Le Moko, the jewel thief. Some of Martin's other films include Followthe Fleet (1936), Banjo on My Knee (1936), Sing and Be Happy (1937), Kentucky Moonshine (1938), Ziegfeld Girl (1941), Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), Two Tickets to Broadway (1951), Easy to Love (1953), Here Come the Girls (1953), Deep in My Heart (1954), and Let's Be Happy (1957).
Martin had a successful recording career as well. His biggest hit song was "There's No Tomorrow" (adapted from the classic Italian song "O Sole Mio"). Some of his other popular hits include "South of the Border," "It's a Blue World," "Tonight We Love," "To Each His Own," "It's Magic," "La Vie En Rose," "I Get Ideas," "Domino," "Kiss of Fire," "Stranger in Paradise," and "Walk Hand in Hand."
Martin was active on radio from the 1930s to the 1950s on shows such as Walter Winchell's Lucky Strike Hour, along with his own programs. He then moved to television, where he appeared on variety shows and hosted The Tony Martin Show (1954–56). In 1955 he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Male Singer.
Martin married actress Alice Faye in 1936; they divorced in 1940. He married dancer/actress Cyd Charisse in 1948. He formed a nightclub act with Charisse in 1964, and for many years the couple performed on the cabaret circuit in the u.s. and abroad.
[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]