Singer and actor Vic Damone, one of the generation of crooners that included Frank Sinatra, died Sunday in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 89. Damone died at Mount Sinai Medical Center, his family confirmed in a statement.
Born Vito Farinloa in Brooklyn, New York, Damone had roles in a number of movies, including the hit musicals Kismet and Hit the Deck, and also hosted a summer TV variety series in the early ’60s. But he was best known as a singer, scoring a dozen top 10 hits, including the 1949 chart-topper “You’re Breaking My Heart,” and his 1956 recording of the My Fair Lady song “On the Street Where You Live.” Sinatra once famously said Damone had “the best pipes in the business.”
Damone was married five times; his fourth wife was singer/actress Diahann Carroll. In his 2009 autobiography, Singing was the Easy Part, Damone said a mob boss once threatened to throw him out a hotel window because he broke off an engagement to the boss’s daughter.
Damone was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997. He suffered a stroke in 2002 and retired from performing, but came out of retirement in 2011 to play to a sold-out crowd in Palm Beach, Florida. The concert was dedicated to his six grandchildren, who had never seen him perform.
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