Dick Haymes

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Dick Haymes
Dick Haymes in State Fair trailer.jpg
Haymes in State Fair (1945)
Born Richard Benjamin Haymes
(1918-09-13)September 13, 1918
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died March 28, 1980(1980-03-28) (aged 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death lung cancer
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1935–1978
Spouse(s) Edith Harper
(1939; annulled)
Joanne Dru (3 children)
Nora Eddington
Rita Hayworth
Fran Jeffries (1 child)
Wendy Smith (his death) (2 children)
Children Stephanie (w/Fran Jeffries) (b. 1959)
Dick Haymes Jr. (w/Joanne Dru) (b. 1942)
Sean Patrick (w/Wendy Smith) (b. 1966)
Samantha (w/Wendy Smith) (b. 1968}

Richard Benjamin "Dick" Haymes (September 13, 1918 – March 28, 1980) was an Argentine 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, 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. Dick Haymes became a vocalist in a number of big bands, worked in Hollywood, on radio, and in films throughout the 1940s/1950s.

Though never achieving the immensely popular status of fellow baritone crooners like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, or Perry Como, Haymes was nonetheless just as respected for his musical ability. On September 3, 1942, Sinatra introduced Haymes on radio as Sinatra's replacement in the Tommy Dorsey band.[3][4] Prior to joining Dorsey's group, Haymes sang with the Harry James orchestra.[5]

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 Two, 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.

He paired repeatedly with the Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on a dozen or so Decca collaborations, including the Billboard hit "Teresa," "Great Day," "My Sin," and a 1952 rendering of the dramatic ballad "Here in My Heart," backed by the sisters and Nelson Riddle's lush strings. His duets with Patty Andrews were also well received, both on Decca vinyl and on radio's Club Fifteen with the sisters, which he hosted in 1949 and 1950. He also joined Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters for 1947 session that produced the Billboard hit "There's No Business Like Show Business," as well as "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)." His popular renditions of tender ballads such as "Little White Lies" and "Maybe It's Because" were recorded with celebrated arranger Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra and chorus.[6]

World War II

Haymes's birth in Argentina to non-U.S. citizens meant he was not an American citizen. In order to avoid military service during World War II, Haymes asserted his nonbelligerent status as a citizen of Argentina, which was neutral at that time. Hollywood-based columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper questioned Haymes' patriotism, but the story had little effect on his career. About that time, he was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. As part of his draft examination, he was confined for a short period to a hospital on Ellis Island, which confirmed his hypertension.[7]

In 1953, Haymes went to Hawaii (then a territory and, technically, not part of the United States) without first notifying immigration authorities. On returning to the mainland United States, he was nearly deported to Argentina, but won his battle to remain in the United States.

Later years

Dick Haymes in 1966

He experienced serious financial problems later in life, by the early 1960s declaring bankruptcy with $500,000 in debts.[8]

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


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, a former wife of Errol Flynn. Haymes had a total of six children—three (Richard, Helen, and Barbara) with Joanne Dru, one (Stephanie) with Fran Jeffries, and two (Sean and Samantha) with his last wife, British model Wendy Smith. His daughter Stephanie was married for a time to songwriter Bernie Taupin.


Dick Haymes died from lung cancer in Los Angeles in 1980. He was 61 years old.


78rpm albums

Dick Haymes Sings – Carmen Cavallaro at the Piano – Irving Berlin Songs (1948 Decca Record)

Original LPs

LP compilations

Live LP albums

Selected CD compilations

  • (1990) Richard the Lion-Hearted – Dick Haymes that is! (1990) re-issue of the vinyl album
  • Imagination (1992)
  • The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 1 (1997)
  • The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 2 (1997)
  • The Complete Columbia Recordings – with Harry James and Benny Goodman (1998)
  • Little White Lies: 25 Original Mono Recordings 1942-1050. Living Era. ASV Mono. CD AJA 5387 (2001)
  • Christmas Wishes (2002, radio transcriptions)
  • Golden Years of Dick Haymes (2003)
  • The Complete Capitol Collection (2006)


Hit records

Year Single Chart positions
U.S. U.S.
1941 "A Sinner Kissed an Angel"(with Harry James) 15
1942 "The Devil Sat Down and Cried"(with Harry James & Helen Forrest) 15
"Idaho"(with Benny Goodman) 4
"Take Me"(with Benny Goodman) 10
"Serenade In Blue"(with Benny Goodman) 17
1943 "It Can't Be Wrong" 1 2
"In My Arms" 3
"You'll Never Know" 1 1
"Wait For Me, Mary" 6
"I Never Mention Your Name" 11
"I Heard You Cried Last Night" 13 8
"Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey" 5
"For the First Time" 13
1944 "I'll Get By"(with Harry James) 1
"Long Ago (and Far Away)"(with Helen Forrest) 2
"How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You" 27
"How Blue the Night" 11
"It Had To Be You"(with Helen Forrest) 4
"Together"(with Helen Forrest) 3
"Janie" 26
1945 "Laura" 9
"The More I See You" 7
"I Wish I Knew" 6
"Till the End of Time" 3
"Love Letters" 11
"I'll Buy That Dream"(with Helen Forrest) 2
"Some Sunday Morning"(with Helen Forrest) 9
"That's For Me" 6
"It Might As Well Be Spring" 5
1946 "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"(with Helen Forrest) 7
"It's a Grand Night For Singing" 21
"Oh! What It Seemed To Be"(with Helen Forrest) 4
"Slowly" 12
"Come Rain or Come Shine"(with Helen Forrest) 23
"In Love In Vain"(with Helen Forrest) 12
"You Make Me Feel So Young" 21
"Why Does It Get So Late So Early"(with Helen Forrest) 22
"On the Boardwalk" 21
1947 "For You, For Me, Forevermore"(with Judy Garland) 19
"How Are Things In Glocca Mora" 9
"Mam'selle" 3
"There's No Business Like Show Business"(with Bing Crosby & Andrew Sisters) 25
"Ivy" 19
"Naughty Angeline" 21
"I Wish I Didn't Love You So" 9
"And Mimi" 15
1948 "Teresa"(with Andrews Sisters) 21
"Little White Lies"(gold record) 2
"You Can't Be True, Dear" 9
"Nature Boy" 11
"It's Magic" 9
"Ev'ry Day I Love You" 24
1949 "Bouquet of Roses" 22
"Room Full of Roses" 6
"Maybe It's Because" 5
"The Old Master Painter" 4
1950 "Roses" 29
"Count Every Star"(with Artie Shaw) 10
"Can Anyone Explain" 23
1951 "You're Just In Love"(with Ethel Merman) 30
"And So To Sleep Again" 28
1956 "Two Different Worlds" 80

Musical theatre

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1948 Lux Radio Theatre Irish Eyes Are Smiling[10]
1948 Screen Guild Players Up in Central Park[11]
1953 Suspense Pigeon in the Cage[12]

See also


  1. Prigozy, Ruth (June 2006). The Life of Dick Haymes: No More Little White Lies. University Press of Mississippi.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. See also Social Security Death Index for Richard Haymes (SS#113-05-9919). His birthdate is frequently incorrectly given as 1916
  3. Jonathan Schwartz program. August 31, 2013. WNYC-FM.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Tape 1, side A.
  5. "Orchestra Notes" (PDF). Billboard. January 3, 1942. Retrieved February 2, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Sforza, John: "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story;" University Press of Kentucky, 2000; 289 pages
  7. Prigozy, The Life of Dick Haymes, op cit, p. 48
  8. Prigorzy, The Life of Dick Haymes, op cit, p. 177. "By the early sixties I was a desperate alcoholic. I had been forced into bankruptcy with a half million dollars in debts and no assets." "The Life of Dick Haymes, (search for 'alcoholic' in the search box)".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. The 16 minute film, I Am an American, was featured in American theaters as a short feature in connection with "I Am an American Day" (now called Constitution Day). I Am an American was produced by Gordon Hollingshead, written and directed by Crane Wilbur. Besides Haymes, it featured Humphrey Bogart, Gary Gray, Danny Kaye, Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Knute Rockne, and Jay Silverheels. See: I Am An American at the TCM Movie Database and I Am an American on IMDb .
  10. "'Irish Eyes'". Harrisburg Telegraph. March 13, 1948. p. 22. Retrieved August 8, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read
  11. "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 40 (1): 32-39. Winter 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Kirby, Walter (May 24, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 28, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read

Further reading

  • Prigozy, Ruth (June 2006). The Life of Dick Haymes: No More Little White Lies. University Press of Mississippi.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links