Born and raised in the Rhode Island area
After parents' divorce, moved with mother to Philadelphia
Worked as a telephone operator, a classified ad salesman, advertising copywriter
Won competition to join Philadelphia Civic Opera
Pro debut as opera singer in "Aida" (Philadelphia Civic Opera)
Made New York debut at Met when Philadelphia Civic Opera visited there wtih "Pagliacci"
Gave first concert recital in Philadelphia
First appearance in film as singer in "Broadway to Hollywood" (sang one song)
Film acting debut in "Naughty Marietta" (with Jeanette MacDonald); achieved instant star status
First starring role sans MacDonald, "Rosalie", co-starring Eleanor Powell
Contract dropped by MGM after "I Married an Angel", his last film opposite MacDonald
Played the romantic lead in Universal's remake of the silent classic, "Phantom of the Opera", with Claude Rains in the title role
Provided several voices for the Disney animated feature, "Make Mine Music", most notably for the title character in the delightful episode, "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met"
Last film, "Northwest Outpost", a modestly budgeted musical operetta made at Republic Studios and featuring his "Balalaika" (1939) co-star, Ilona Massey