Romantic Baritone Tony Martin Dies at 98 [VIDEO]

on Jul 31, 2012 08:33 PM EDT

Tony Martin, the romantic baritone whose career spanned about 80 years in Hollywood and on radio and television, has died at age 98.

Friend and accountant Beverly Scott revealed Martin died of natural causes Friday evening at his home in West Los Angeles.

"He's the ultimate crooner who outlasted all is contemporaries," musician and longtime friend Gabriel Guerrero said from his Oregon home.

"He has truly remained the butterscotch baritone until he was 98," Guerrero added.

During his long life in show business that spanned from the Depression era into the 21st century, Martin was featured in 25 films, including "Follow the Fleet" (1936), "Sing, Baby, Sing" (1936), "Zeigfeld Girl" (1941), "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946), "Casbah" (1948), and "Deep in My Heart" (1954) .

Born in 1913 in San Francisco, California, Martin found his escape through music while growing up under a poor Russian Jewish parents, who wanted him to be a lawyer.

Ha married two musical movie stars Alice Faye and Cyd Charisse, and the latter union lasted for 60 years, from 1948 until her death in 2008. They had one son, Tony Martin, Jr., who predeceased his father last year.

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