US singer Tony Martin, best known for his romantic ballads in the 1950s and his 60-year marriage to actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, has died at the age of 98.
"He passed peacefully of natural causes," Stan Schneider, who was a friend and business manager of Martin's for more than 45 years, said.
Martin started his career as a saxophone player in San Francisco before leaving for Hollywood where he had roles in 25 movies - including Follow The Fleet and Casbah - often cast as a romantic lead.
But nightclubbing every night with his female co-stars took its toll on his career, he later admitted.
"I was so busy having fun that I didn't even learn my lines," Martin said in 1955. "I muffed a wonderful chance, and that was the end of me for a while."
It was as a singer he found real success with hits such as Stranger In Paradise (1954), There's No Tomorrow (1950) and Walk Hand In Hand (1956).
Musician and longtime friend Gabriel Guerrero said: "He's the ultimate crooner who outlasted all his contemporaries."
He said Martin recently sang to him over the telephone and had "truly remained the butterscotch baritone until he was 98".
In 1948 he married his second wife, Cyd Charisse. She became a star at MGM during the 1950s, dancing with Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings and Gene Kelly in Singin' In The Rain and Brigadoon.
Martin and Charisse remained together until her death in 2008.
He will be buried at a memorial park near Los Angeles that is also the resting place of Charisse and Hollywood stars such as Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson.