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Bing Crosby

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (May 3, 1903 - October 14, 1977) was a very popular American singer and actor. His biggest hit was his recording of the Irving Berlin song "White Christmas", which became one of the biggest-selling recordings of all time. He had 21 other gold records; some of these include "I'll be home for Christmas", "Too-Ra-Lo-Ra-Loo-Ral" and "Swinging on a Star". He appeared in dozens of movies from the 1930s - 1960s.

Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington and grew up with Al Rinker[?], the younger brother of singer Mildred Bailey[?]. Crosby and Rinker used Bailey's connections and joined Paul Whiteman's Rhythm Boys almost straight from school. He came to national attention while with the popular Whiteman Orchestra, with whom he made his film debut in The King of Jazz[?] (1930). From then on he was a top stage and radio performer and a top-selling record artist.

Crosby's films included (an imcomplete listing):

Crosby also appeared in the comedy "Road" pictures, with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, including:

Crosby also had regular radio shows from the 1930s-1950s, hosted a network television show in 1964-1965, and made numerous short films and television appearances.

Crosby was a keen amateur golfer, who appeared in many charity events. It was after a round of golf in Spain in 1977 that he collapsed and died from a massive heart attack. Crosby had been married twice (his second wife, actress Kathryn Grant[?], being considerably younger), and effectively had two families, his children from the marriages being of different generations. After his death, his eldest son from his first marriage wrote a controversial memoir depicting him as an autocratic and abusive father.

There is some uncertainty about the year in which Bing Crosby was born. Most reference works give his year of birth as 1903, but his gravestone—on the instructions of his family—gives his birth year as 1904.

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