Bing Crosby


Actor, Singer
Bing Crosby

About

Also Known As
Harry Lillis Crosby
Birth Place
Tacoma, Washington
Born
May 03, 1903
Died
October 14, 1977
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

With his remarkably smooth and velvety baritone voice, Bing Crosby rose from obscurity to become the most popular singer in the world, dominating the record and singles charts for a 20-year stretch and enjoying a more than respectable popularity for the rest of his life. He also became an extremely successful actor, appearing in 70+ films, and charmed moviegoers everywhere with his relax...

Photos & Videos

Robin and the 7 Hoods - Movie Posters
High Society - Publicity Stills
High Society - Grace Kelly Behind-the-Scenes Stills

Family & Companions

Dixie Lee
Wife
Actor. Married on September 29, 1930; died of cancer in 1952.
Joan Caulfield
Companion
Actor. Co-starred together in "Blue Skies" (1946) and "Variety Girl" and "Welcome Stranger" (both 1947).
Grace Kelly
Companion
Actor. Had relationship during filming of "The Country Girl".
Inger Stevens
Companion
Actor. Had relationship c. 1955-56.

Bibliography

"Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams -- The Early Years 1903-1940"
Gary Giddens, Little, Brown (2001)
"Bing Crosby: A Discography, Radio Program List and Filmography"
Timothy A Morgereth, McFarland (1987)
"Call Me Lucky"
Bing Crosby and Pete Martin, Simon & Schuster (1952)

Notes

"I don't think I would have been believable as Scrooge for a minute. Everybody knows I'm just a big good-natured slob." --Bing Crosby quoted in his The New York Times Obituary, October 15, 1977.

Acquired nickname, "Bing-o" when he was seven or eight years old, because of his fondness for a comic strip called "The Bingville Bugle". An alternate story is that Crosby annoyed at teacher with a wooden gun while shouting "Bing-Bing!" and the teacher began calling him "Bing-Bing" [Source: The New York Times obituary, October 15, 1977.

Biography

With his remarkably smooth and velvety baritone voice, Bing Crosby rose from obscurity to become the most popular singer in the world, dominating the record and singles charts for a 20-year stretch and enjoying a more than respectable popularity for the rest of his life. He also became an extremely successful actor, appearing in 70+ films, and charmed moviegoers everywhere with his relaxed performing style. Following a string of early hit singles, Crosby was recruited by Paramount Pictures and enjoyed a long-time partnership with Bob Hope on the highly popular series of "Road" movies, which served up endearing cocktails of humor and song. He was also highly impressive in many of his solo efforts, most notably "Going My Way" (1944), for which Crosby won the Best Actor Academy Award, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court" (1949) and "The Country Girl" (1954). Crosby’s reign as one of the leading pop culture figures in America was dampened somewhat by the rise of rock-n-roll, but he maintained a huge fanbase and songs like "White Christmas," "I’ll Be Seeing You" and "Swinging on a Star" were unmistakably his. However, there was much discord in his personal life, including alcoholism and accusations of child abuse, which surfaced in detail after his passing. Although his image as America’s greatest father figure was tarnished, Crosby’s success across multiple mediums was truly remarkable and he was arguably the leading entertainment figure of the 20th century.

One of seven children, Harry Lillis Crosby was born on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, WA. He earned the nickname "Bing" while a student at Webster School in Spokane, due to his enthusiasm for The Bingville Bugle, a weekly satirical newspaper supplement. A graduate of the Jesuit-run Gonzaga High School, Crosby played in the school band and worked numerous odd jobs to make ends meet. During his time as a student at Gonzaga University, where he excelled at diction and debating, Crosby became part of a six-piece combo called The Musicaladers, which eventually began landing paid gigs. It was hoped that Crosby would become a lawyer, but by now, the youth was convinced showbiz lay in his future. Making his way out to Los Angeles with fellow Musicalader Al Rinker, the pair were enlisted to perform at The Boulevard Theater and eventually played other venues. They then became part of The Morrissey Music Hall Revue and were put under contract by top jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman. With singer-songwriter Harry Barris joining them, Crosby and Rinker became The Rhythm Boys; Crosby handled the solos and recorded his first song "Muddy Water" in 1927. In addition to touring for Whiteman, the trio also appeared in the movies, "King of Jazz" (1930), "Two Plus Fours" (1930) and "Confessions of a Co-Ed" (1931).

Around this time, he married fellow singer Dixie Lee; the couple would have four sons together. The group split from Whiteman and enjoyed a spectacularly successful run at The Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, which grabbed Hollywood’s attention. The group eventually broke up, allegedly due, in part, to Crosby’s drinking, which had previously resulted in a drunk-driving arrest. Now on his own, Crosby enjoyed one hit single after another. Boasting a unique voice that stood out from the preponderance of tenors during that era, Crosby was among the first performers to use microphones to their best advantage for both projection and subtlety in his voice, something he picked up from working in radio, a medium on which he had quickly become popular following his 1931 debut. Crosby became friends with several major singers, including Louis Armstrong, whose voice he deeply admired, and on more than one occasion, he indulged in some marijuana with Armstrong, a recreational practice that was still permissible at the time. Strangely, considering his late-in-life image as a square, Crosby would advocate for the legalization of pot throughout his life. He went on to score his first film lead role essentially playing himself in "The Big Broadcast" (1932), which was a major success, and he alternated between features and a half dozen two-reel musical shorts for Paramount Pictures, working almost exclusively for that studio during the next 20-something years.

While they showcased Crosby’s superb voice, most of his movies during this decade were pleasant but unremarkable, save for "Anything Goes" (1936), which paired him with powerhouse Ethel Merman, "Pennies from Heaven" (1936) and "Sing You Sinners" (1938). The most interesting aspect of these early pictures was how Crosby’s persona differed so greatly from how he would be remembered by future generations; although he often played drunks onscreen during this time, Crosby had put the reins on his personal excesses and maintained a very regimented and work-oriented lifestyle. The 1940s saw Crosby’s movie career really take off, beginning with finding himself one-half of a particularly beloved comic partnership that would endure for the rest of his life. "Road to Singapore" (1940), the first of six "Road" comedies Crosby made with comic Bob Hope, cemented his warm, relaxed style of performing, which made for a wonderful contrast with Hope’s more scheming and animated persona. In between the numerous tours on which he entertained U.S. military troops and frequent trips to recording studios, Crosby continued to resonate with moviegoers and the "Road" pictures – which also often starred "Sarong Girl" Dorothy Lamour – were guaranteed moneymakers.

"Holiday Inn" (1942) introduced Crosby’s biggest hit, "White Christmas" and paired the world’s premier crooner with Fred Astaire, its premier hoofer. "Going My Way" (1944) netted Crosby a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as young Catholic priest sent to take over a financially troubled parish and ease a cantankerous older father (Barry Fitzgerald) out the door. Crosby and Fitzgerald proved to have wonderful chemistry and the film was a major success, winning six other Oscars, including Best Picture, and resulting in a sequel, "The Bells of St. Mary’s" (1945), the following year. The year 1945 also found him establishing Bing Crosby Productions, with the company’s first effort being the drama "The Great John L." (1945). While never a hugely lucrative enterprise for Crosby, BCP would later be responsible for a handful of highly successful movies and TV series. He also founded The Crosby Research Foundation, which was instrumental in the development of audio tape as a way of recording his radio programs for rebroadcast, rather than having to stage them a second time; Crosby’s Oct. 4th, 1947 show was the very first to be pre-recorded. The company also originated other technical practices that would become industry standards, including the audience laugh track for situation comedies on television. Paramount did its best to recreate the "Going My Way" magic by re-teaming Crosby and Fitzgerald as doctors in "Welcome Stranger" (1947), and also in "Variety Girl" (1947) and "Top o’ the Morning" (1949), but Crosby’s best film during this period was "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court" (1949), a lively and amusing adaptation of Mark Twain’s novel. A personality poll taken in America during the 1940s ranked Crosby as the most popular person, finishing ahead of even General Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Harry Truman and the Pope.

Long plagued by battles with the bottle, Crosby’s wife Dixie Lee died in 1952 of ovarian cancer at the young age of 40. His cinematic output slowed a bit that decade, but Crosby still appeared in a number of gems, including Frank Capra’s "Riding High" (1950) and the hugely successful "White Christmas" (1954), with its titular song becoming his all-time best seller. He teamed with Grace Kelly for "The Country Girl" (1954), which was noteworthy in the way that it allowed Crosby to display his dramatic credentials, playing a singer who devolves into a hopeless alcoholic following a family tragedy. The two began seeing each other off-screen during that time and were reunited for "High Society" (1956), in which Crosby was joined by America’s other favorite crooner, Frank Sinatra. After splitting from the much younger Kelly – who already had more than her fair share of famous suitors – Crosby wed Kathryn Grant, a pretty Columbia Pictures contract player who was over 30 years his junior. The couple would have three more children, including Mary Crosby, the only girl among Crosby’s seven offspring, who would go on to be a successful actress, famous for shooting J.R. on "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991).

In the 1960s, Bing Crosby Productions scored two big television successes, first with the legal drama "Ben Casey" (ABC, 1961-66) and a few years later, the World War II comedy "Hogan’s Heroes" (CBS, 1965-1971), while Crosby served as a regular guest host on the popular ABC series, "Hollywood Palace" (1964-1970). His film career came to a close with some fairly unremarkable vehicles, save for the Rat Pack caper comedy "Robin and the Seven Hoods" (1964). His film career came to a close with some fairly unremarkable vehicles, save for the Rat Pack caper comedy "Robin and the Seven Hoods" (1964), leaving him plenty of free time to play golf. Crosby’s last theatrical feature was a poorly received remake of "Stagecoach" (1966), but he made a rather grand exit as an actor via an uncharacteristically dark and dramatic turn as the villain of the made-for-TV feature, "Dr. Cook’s Garden" (ABC, 1971). Meanwhile, Bing Crosby Productions was ramping up its film productions for both theaters and television, and had a big hit with the horror film "Willard" (1971), which inspired the sequel, "Ben" (1972), the following year. The modestly budgeted crime drama "Walking Tall" (1973) also proved to be a major success, with two follow-ups of its own. The remainder of BCP’s films were also-ran "B" titles like "Terror in the Wax Museum" (1973) and "Mean Dog Blues" (1978), though its final production, "The Great Santini" (1979) was among the most critically acclaimed pictures of the year.

In 1974, Crosby developed a serious lung infection that required several months of recovery time. However, he was soon back recording and even went on tour, giving his first performances before paying audiences in decades. Golf was the great love of Crosby’s life; ironically, he died of a heart attack on Oct. 14, 1977, right after finishing 18 holes on a course outside of Madrid, Spain. His special, "Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas" (CBS, 1977) aired six weeks after his death. Filmed in Britain, the program included David Bowie among its guests and while in that country, Crosby did a concert tour with all proceeds going to local charities. Plans had just been finalized to reunite Crosby, Hope and Lamour for one more "Road" picture, "The Road to the Fountain of Youth," which would have been the eighth in the series and the first in 15 years. Crosby’s family experienced a number of trials and tribulations following his death. The actor’s eldest son, Gary, wrote the 1983 book Going My Own Way in which he greatly criticized his father for violent, abusive behaviour, with the publication drawing comparisons to Mommie Dearest, Christina Crawford’s tell-all about her adopted mother Joan Crawford published five years earlier. Son Phillip disputed Gary’s account of their father and vehemently denounced his older brother’s book; Gary would admit in later years to exaggerating the severity of certain incidents. Two other Crosby sons, Lindsay and Dennis, committed suicide in December 1989 and May 1991, respectively. Both were long-term victims of depression and alcohol abuse, and both used firearms to kill themselves. Regardless of the tragedy surrounding his life, Crosby’s legacy as one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century was well assured.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Waikiki, in the Wake of Dreams (2001)
Himself
Entertaining the Troops (1989)
Himself
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Himself
It's Showtime (1976)
Himself
That's Entertainment! (1974)
Narrator
Cancel My Reservation (1972)
Dr. Cook's Garden (1970)
Dr Leonard Cook
Cinerama's Russian Adventure (1966)
Narrator
Stagecoach (1966)
Doc Boone
Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)
Allen A. Dale
The Road to Hong Kong (1962)
Harry Turner
Pepe (1961)
Let's Make Love (1960)
Himself
High Time (1960)
Harvey Howard
Say One for Me (1959)
Father John Conroy
Alias Jesse James (1959)
The Heart of Show Business (1957)
Man on Fire (1957)
Earl Carleton
Anything Goes (1956)
Bill Benson
High Society (1956)
C. K. Dexter-Haven
The Country Girl (1955)
Frank Elgin
White Christmas (1954)
Bob Wallace
Off Limits (1953)
Himself, singer on TV
Scared Stiff (1953)
Himself
Road to Bali (1953)
George Cochran
Little Boy Lost (1953)
Bill Wainwright
Just for You (1952)
Jordan Blake
Son of Paleface (1952)
Man driving car
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Himself
Angels in the Outfield (1951)
Here Comes the Groom (1951)
Peter Garvey
Mr. Music (1950)
Paul Merrick
Riding High (1950)
Dan Brooks
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)
Hank Martin [also known as Sir Boss]
Down Memory Lane (1949)
Top O' the Morning (1949)
Joe Mulqueen
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
Relating the Story of Ichabod Crane
The Emperor Waltz (1948)
Virgil H. Smith
Variety Girl (1947)
My Favorite Brunette (1947)
Executioner
The Road to Hollywood (1947)
Bing Crosby
Road to Rio (1947)
Scat Sweeney
Welcome Stranger (1947)
Jim Pearson
Road to Utopia (1946)
Duke Johnson
Blue Skies (1946)
Johnny Adams
The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Father O'Malley
Duffy's Tavern (1945)
The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
Commoner
Here Come the Waves (1944)
Johnny Cabot
Going My Way (1944)
Father Charles Francis Patrick O'Malley
Dixie (1943)
Daniel Decatur Emmett
Star Spangled Rhythm (1943)
Himself, Old Glory number
Holiday Inn (1942)
Jim Hardy
Road to Morocco (1942)
Jeff Peters
My Favorite Blonde (1942)
Man outside Union Hall
Birth of the Blues (1941)
Jeff Lambert
Road to Zanzibar (1941)
Chuck [Reardon]
If I Had My Way (1940)
Buzz Blackwell
Road to Singapore (1940)
Josh Mallon
Rhythm on the River (1940)
Bob Summers
The Star Maker (1939)
Larry Earl
East Side of Heaven (1939)
Denny [Martin]
Paris Honeymoon (1939)
"Lucky" Lawton
Sing You Sinners (1938)
Joe Beebe
Doctor Rhythm (1938)
Dr. [William] Remsen
Waikiki Wedding (1937)
Tony Marvin
Double or Nothing (1937)
Lefty Boylan
Anything Goes (1936)
Billy Crockett
Pennies From Heaven (1936)
Larry Poole
Rhythm on the Range (1936)
Jeff Larrabee
The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935)
Mississippi (1935)
Tom Grayson
Two for Tonight (1935)
Gilbert Gordon
Here Is My Heart (1934)
[J.] Paul Jones
She Loves Me Not (1934)
Paul Lawton
We're Not Dressing (1934)
Stephen Jones
Going Hollywood (1933)
Bill Williams
Too Much Harmony (1933)
Eddie Bronson
College Humor (1933)
Professor Danvers
The Big Broadcast (1932)
Himself
Confessions of a Co-ed (1931)
Reaching for the Moon (1931)
King of Jazz (1930)

Music (Feature Film)

Black Christmas (2019)
Song Performer
Shazam! (2019)
Song Performer
Breathe (2017)
Song Performer
Deadpool (2016)
Song Performer
Brooklyn (2015)
Song Performer
Krampus (2015)
Song Performer
Ginger & Rosa (2012)
Song
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
Song Performer
The Big Year (2011)
Song Performer
A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas (2011)
Song Performer
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)
Song Performer
Run, Fat Boy, Run (2008)
Song Performer
Four Christmases (2008)
Song Performer
Pride and Glory (2008)
Song Performer
Halloween (2007)
Song Performer
Martian Child (2007)
Song Performer
Confetti (2006)
Song Performer
Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
Song Performer
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Song Performer
The Polar Express (2004)
Song Performer
Duplex (2003)
Song Performer
My House in Umbria (2003)
Song Performer
Bad Santa (2003)
Song Performer
Big Fish (2003)
Song Performer
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Song Performer
Hollywood Ending (2002)
Song Performer
Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
Song Performer
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Song Performer
End of Days (1999)
Song ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman (Traditional)")
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Song Performer ("Mele Kalikimaka")
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Song ("Winter Wonderland")
Oscar (1991)
Song Performer
29th Street (1991)
Song Performer
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Song
Lost Angels (1989)
Song Performer
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Song Performer
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Song Performer
Lady in White (1988)
Song
Radio Days (1987)
Song Performer
Tough Guys (1986)
Song Performer
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
Song Performer
Racing With The Moon (1984)
Song Performer
A Christmas Story (1983)
Song Performer
Some Kind Of Hero (1982)
Song Performer
Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Song Performer ("Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?")
F.I.S.T. (1978)
Song Performer
The Brink's Job (1978)
Song Performer
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Song Performer
Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975)
Song Performer
A Millionaire for Christy (1951)
Composer
Down Memory Lane (1949)
Composer
The Road to Hollywood (1947)
Composer
The Big Broadcast (1932)
Composer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Torch Singer (1933)
Technical Advisor

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Abie's Irish Rose (1946)
Company
The Great John L. (1945)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Waikiki, in the Wake of Dreams (2001)
Other
Entertaining the Troops (1989)
Other
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Other
It's Showtime (1976)
Other
Out of This World (1945)
Singing voice for Eddie Bracken

Cast (Special)

More of the Best of the Hollywood Palace (1993)
Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas (1977)
Bing!... A 50th Anniversary Gala (1977)
Jubilee (1976)
Host
Swing Out, Sweet Land (1976)
Bing Crosby's White Christmas (1976)
Merry Christmas From the Crosbys (1975)
Host
Bob Hope Special: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television (1975)
Christmas With the Bing Crosbys (1974)
Host
Bing Crosby and His Friends (1974)
Host
Bing Crosby's Sun Valley Christmas Show (1973)
Bing Crosby -- Cooling It (1973)
Host
Christmas With the Bing Crosbys (1972)
Bing Crosby and His Friends (1972)
Host
Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas (1971)
Ver-r-r-ry Interesting (1971)
Monsanto Presents Mancini (1971)
The Bing Crosby Springtime Special (1962)
Host
Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank (1957)
Himself
High Tor (1956)
Van Dorn
You're the Top (1956)
Guest

Music (Special)

Twas the Night (2001)
Song Performer
Irving Berlin: An American Song (1999)
Song Performer
Bing! His Legendary Years (1993)
Song Performer
The Magic of Bing Crosby (1992)
Song Performer
Bob Hope's 1990 Christmas Show From Bermuda (1990)
Song Performer

Cast (Short)

Just One More Time (1974)
Himself
That's Entertainment! (Gala Premiere) (1974)
Himself
Lineup for Today: Ted Williams and Friend (1957)
Himself
Screen Actors (1950)
Himself
The Road to Victory (1944)
Himself
Hollywood Handicap (1938)
Himself
Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (1934)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Short)

The Cinematographer (1951)
Archival Footage

Life Events

1925

Formed "Two Boys and a Piano" with piano player Al Rinker and left Spokane for Los Angeles

1927

Hired with Rinker as a singing act for Paul Whiteman's band; later joined by Harry Barris and act called "The Rhythm Boys"

1930

Film debut in "King of Jazz", spotlighting the Paul Whiteman Orchestra; Crosby appeared as one of the "Rhythm Boys"

1931

Signed to CBS radio contract by William S. Paley when Paley heard record of Crosby singing, "I Surrender, Dear"

1931

Made radio debut with Gus Arnheim's orchestra at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub

1932

Appeared in film which made him a star, "The Big Broadcast"

1940

Appeared in first of seven "Road" comedies opposite Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, "The Road to Singapore"

1944

Enjoyed two of the biggest hits of his film career in the role of a priest, Father Chuck O'Malley, "Going My Way" and its sequel, "The Bells of St. Mary's"

1952

Last "Road" film for a decade, "Road to Bali"

1962

Reunited with Bob Hope and (in a cameo) Dorothy Lamour for a seventh "Road" picture, "Road to Hong Kong"

1966

Last feature film, "Stagecoach"

1968

Offered role of TV sleuth Columbo but turned it down

1977

Collapsed and died of heart attack on golf course after a round of golf outside of Madrid

Photo Collections

Robin and the 7 Hoods - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters from Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), starring Frank Sinatra and members of the Rat Pack. Included is a rare British Quad poster.
High Society - Publicity Stills
Here are several Publicity Stills from High Society (1956). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
High Society - Grace Kelly Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are several photos of Grace Kelly taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's High Society (1956), costarring Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and directed by Charles Walters.
High Society - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release movie posters for High Society (1956), starring Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Grace Kelly.
The Bells of St. Mary's - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Going My Way - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters for Paramount's Going My Way (1944), starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald.
Road to Utopia - Lobby Cards
Here are some Lobby Cards from Paramount's Road to Utopia (1946), starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Road to Morocco - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Paramount's Road to Morocco (1942), starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Sing You Sinners - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of Sing You Sinners (1938), starring Bing Crosby and a young Donald O'Connor.
Holiday Inn - Lobby Cards
Here are some Lobby Cards from Holiday Inn (1942). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Going Hollywood - Bing Crosby Publicity Still
Here is a photo of Bing Crosby, taken to help publicize Going Hollywood (1933).

Videos

Movie Clip

Pennies From Heaven (1981) - Did You Ever See A Dream, Walking? Working his east-central Illinois sheet-music sales territory, Arthur (Steve Martin) haggles with shopkeeper Barrett (Raleigh Bond) then sees Eileen (Bernadette Peters) for the first time, miming the Bing Crosby recording of the song by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon, in Pennies From Heaven, 1981.
King Of Jazz (1930) - So The Bluebirds And The Blackbirds Got Together Another event in the revue, this time Bing Crosby in his first on camera appearance in his first movie, with his then-colleagues with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, The Rhythm Boys, Al Rinker on vocals and Harry Barris, also a composer of their song, on piano, in the Universal two-strip Technicolor showcase King Of Jazz, 1930.
College Humor (1933) - Play Ball! Opening the picture with Bing Crosby’s first appearance in his first movie playing someone other than himself, with colleagues Jimmy Conlin, James Burke and James Donlan and an un-credited song, as professor Danvers, in Paramount’s not just comedy feature College Humor, 1933, with Jack Oakie and Mary Carlisle.
College Humor (1933) - Down The Old Ox Road Joining in an already elaborate musical montage with an original song by Paramount staffers Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow, jock Barney and sorority gal Amber (Jack Oakie and Mary Kornman) on their first date eventually tumble to singing professor Danvers (Bing Crosby), in College Humor 1933.
College Humor (1933) - Going My Way? Half hour into the picture, singing Professor Danvers (Bing Crosby) has just dismissed his class and we finally meet 4th-billed Mary Carlisle as much-discussed co-ed Barbara, who toys with the professor then with waiting football star Mondrake (Richard Arlen), in Paramount’s College Humor 1933.
Holiday Inn (1942) - Be Careful, It's My Heart Jim (Bing Crosby) at his chic holiday-only nightspot unveils his Valentine for Linda (Marjorie Reynolds), only to be usurped by ex-partner and romantic rival Ted (Fred Astaire), with an Irving Berlin tune that was initially a bigger hit than White Christmas, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Holiday Inn (1942) - You're Easy To Dance With Another Irving Berlin original for the film, Fred Astaire as Ted dances with Virginia Dale as Lila, in their popular New York night club act on Christmas Eve, in Holiday Inn, 1942, also starring Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds.
Holiday Inn (1942) - I'll Capture Your Heart Singing The opening scenes have established that Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) is torn between singer Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) and dancer Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), on what’s supposed to be the final appearance for their threesome, occasioning the fist Irving Berlin tune, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Holiday Inn (1942) - White Christmas The first movie placement of what is widely seen as the best-selling single of all time, by Irving Berlin, here as a duet by night-club/innkeeper Bing Crosby, with Marjorie Reynolds, (her vocal dubbed by Martha Mears), as her audition, but not the recording on the record, in Holiday Inn, 1942.
Bells Of St. Mary's, The (1945) - Was It St. Paul? Having just wisecracked about the cat, and unexpectedly met the entire faculty, when he’d just come to introduce himself to the Mother Superior and principal, Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), the new priest Fr. O’Malley (Bing Crosby) extemporizes, in The Bells Of St. Mary’s, 1945.
Bells Of St. Mary's, The (1945) - He Looked All Right When He Got Here Opening the sequel to Going My Way, 1944, Bing Crosby reprising his Academy Award-winning role as Fr. O’Malley (directed by Leo McCarey, who’d just won an Oscar for that previous film), meeting Una O’Connor as Mrs. Breen, in The Bells Of St. Mary’s, 1945, also starring 1944 Academy Award winner (for Gaslight), Ingrid Bergman.
Bells Of St. Mary's, The (1945) - The Six Senses Priest Fr. O’Malley (Bing Crosby) in a visit at the class run by Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) observes the work of Luther (Jimmy Crane) and new pupil Patsy (Joan Carroll), about whose circumstances he’s better informed, in director Leo McCarey’s The Bells Of St. Mary’s, 1945.

Trailer

Top O' The Morning (1949) -- (Original Trailer) From Paramount and Bing Crosby Enterprises, with direct reference to their earlier hits Going My Way, 1944 and Welcome, Stranger!, 1947, the trailer for Top O’ The Morning, 1949, in which Bing plays a singing insurance investigator come to Ireland following the theft of the Blarney Stone, with Barry Fitzgerald as the local cop.
High Society - (Trailer) High Society, 1956 Original theatrical trailer for High Society, 1956, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm, featuring original songs by Cole Porter.
Going My Way - (Original Trailer) Eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor went to Going My Way (1944) the story of a young singing priest (Bing Crosby) in a new parish.
That's Entertainment! - (Original Trailer) An all-star cast, including Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire, introduce clips from MGM's greatest musicals in That's Entertainment! (1974).
Princess and the Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) A cowardly knight (Bob Hope) rescues a disguised princess from pirates.
Road To Singapore (1940) - (Original Trailer) Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour star in Road To Singapore (1940), the first of their riotous "road" comedies.
Holiday Inn - (Re-issue Trailer) "White Christmas" was written for this movie where Bing Crosby sings and Fred Astaire dances at the Holiday Inn (1942).
White Christmas - (Original Trailer) Bing Crosby and the most popular song of all time in the colorful seasonal favorite, White Christmas (1954).
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (1949) - (Original Trailer) Bing Crosby brings 19th-Century know-how to Camelot in a musical version of Mark Twain's classic tale.
High Society promotional - (Original Trailer) Ed Sullivan and Bing Crosby introduce a special promotional trailer for the musical comedy.
My Favorite Blonde - (Original Trailer) Bob Hope gets mixed up with a beautiful blonde spy in My Favorite Blonde (1942), a takeoff of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935).
Welcome Stranger - (Original Trailer) Going My Way stars Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald reunite as small town doctors in Welcome Stranger (1947).

Family

Harry Lowe Crosby
Father
Bookkeeper. Worked at local brewery.
Kate Crosby
Mother
Everett Crosby
Brother
Bob Crosby
Brother
Singer, bandleader. Born on August 23, 1913; youngest brother of six siblings.
Gary Crosby
Son
Actor, author. Born in 1934; wrote autobiography "Going My Own Way" (1983), which included a less-than-flattering portrait of his father; mother Dixie Lee; died of lung cancer on August 24, 1995.
Dennis Crosby
Son
Born in 1935; twin of Phillip; mother Dixie Lee; died of self-inflicted gunshot wound to head May 6, 1991; had joined his brothers in nightclub act during the late 1950s and early 60 and later worked in production capacity for Bing Crosby Productions Inc.
Phillip Crosby
Son
Born in 1935; twin of Dennis; mother Dixie Lee.
Lindsay Crosby
Son
Script reader. Born in 1938; died on December 12, 1989 of self-induced gun shot; mother Dixie Lee.
Harry Crosby
Son
Born in 1958; mother, Kathryn Grant.
Mary Frances Crosby
Daughter
Actor. Born in 1959; mother, Kathryn Grant; best remembered for playing the woman who shot J.R. Ewing in the long-running primetime TV soap, "Dallas".
Nathaniel Crosby
Son
Born in 1961; mother, Kathryn Grant.

Companions

Dixie Lee
Wife
Actor. Married on September 29, 1930; died of cancer in 1952.
Joan Caulfield
Companion
Actor. Co-starred together in "Blue Skies" (1946) and "Variety Girl" and "Welcome Stranger" (both 1947).
Grace Kelly
Companion
Actor. Had relationship during filming of "The Country Girl".
Inger Stevens
Companion
Actor. Had relationship c. 1955-56.
Kathryn Grant
Wife
Actor. Married from 1957 until Crosby's death; born c. 1934.

Bibliography

"Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams -- The Early Years 1903-1940"
Gary Giddens, Little, Brown (2001)
"Bing Crosby: A Discography, Radio Program List and Filmography"
Timothy A Morgereth, McFarland (1987)
"Call Me Lucky"
Bing Crosby and Pete Martin, Simon & Schuster (1952)

Notes

"I don't think I would have been believable as Scrooge for a minute. Everybody knows I'm just a big good-natured slob." --Bing Crosby quoted in his The New York Times Obituary, October 15, 1977.

Acquired nickname, "Bing-o" when he was seven or eight years old, because of his fondness for a comic strip called "The Bingville Bugle". An alternate story is that Crosby annoyed at teacher with a wooden gun while shouting "Bing-Bing!" and the teacher began calling him "Bing-Bing" [Source: The New York Times obituary, October 15, 1977.

"Bing sings like all people think they sing in the shower." --Dinah Shore

Bing Crosby was the most popular film star of the 1940s. His appearances in the annual exhibitor's poll of the top 10 most popular stars are as follows: Number 7 in 1934, Number 4 in 1937, Number 7 in 1940, Number 4 in 1943, Number 1 for five years in a row from 1944 to 1948 (a feat only equalled by Burt Reynolds in 1978-82), Number 2 in 1949, Number 3 in 1950, Number 5 in 1951, Number 4 in 1952, Number 5 in 1953, and Number 8 in 1954.

As of 2000, he till held the number of most Number One hit records -- 38. (By comparison, Elvis Presley had 18 and The Beatles had 24.)

"I can't think of any better way for a golfer who sings for a living to finish the round." --wife Kathryn Crosby at news conference after Crosby's death

Received the William D. Richardson Memorial Trophy for his contributions to the game of golf (1950).

Helped establish and became president of the Del Mar race track in California (sold interest in 1946 for nearly half a million dollars).