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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 21 June 1920Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 30 September 2009Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameByron Hunkins Palmer

Mini Bio (1)

Darkly handsome and extremely personable, actor/singer Byron Palmer's heyday was in the late 1940s and 1950s where his resonant speaking and singing voice became his primary moneymaker. The Los Angeles native was born on June 21, 1920, the second of four children of Etheleyn and Judge Harlan G. Palmer. His father was publisher of the then-Hollywood Citizen News.

Following high school, Byron attended Occidental College in the L.A. area and earned money writing up obituaries for his father's newspaper before being hired as a CBS page. Blessed with a fine speaking voice he eventually found work on both NBC and CBS radio as an announcer and actor. His career was interrupted by World War II in which he served in the Army Air Force and operated a radio station on one of the islands in the Pacific. He also performed with the Music Mates singing quartet as its tenor.

Following a gig as an emcee for the touring "Hollywood on Ice" show, he earned a second lead role as Jack Chesney opposite Ray Bolger and Allyn Ann McLerie in the huge musical hit "Where's Charley" in 1948. Among his songs were the title tune and "The New Ashmolian Marching Society..." as well as a couple of duets alongside his female second lead Doretta Morrow ("My Darling, My Darling" and "At the Red Rose Cotillion"). He earned the 1949 Theatre World Award for his efforts here. A couple of years later he returned to Broadway with a number of songs in the revue "Bless You All" in which he shared the stage with Pearl Bailey, Gene Barry, Jules Munshin and Mary McCarty.

On TV Byron hosted the program Bride and Groom (1951), which featured on-the-air weddings and doled out beautiful prizes for its televised newlyweds. Byron made his large screen debut with a strong featured role in the glossy musical bio Tonight We Sing (1953) starring David Wayne (as impresario Sol Hurok) and Anne Bancroft, while featuring the operatic talents of icons Ezio Pinza and Roberta Peters. Although Byron had a fine voice of his own, his singing was dubbed by legendary tenor Jan Peerce in this. The actor then went on to play opposite Constance Smith as a Scotland Yard inspector in the legit thriller Man in the Attic (1953) starring Jack Palance as the notorious Jack the Ripper, and also had the male second lead in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" comedic entry Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki (1955). The following year he was featured in the horse drama Glory (1956) starring a now-grown-up Margaret O'Brien and was fourth-billed in the detective drama Emergency Hospital (1956). He completed the year with a guest singing part in Gordon MacRae starrer The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956) in which he covered the tune "If I Had a Talking Picture of You".

Unable to break out of his staid second-lead movie status, Byron instead made a dent on TV. He appeared with Joan Weldon in the popular syndicated musical program This Is Your Music (1955) with the pair performing some of America's best-loved songs, including "Fools Rush In" and others, while celebrating the works of such illustrious composers as Johnny Mercer. A one-time emcee for the "Miss Universe" and "Miss International Beauty" pageants, he also showed up as a guest in episodes of "Lawman" and "Perry Mason," among others, before he dropped off the radar in the mid-1960s.

Following his divorces from JoAnn Ransom and singer/actress Ruth Hampton, who appeared in a few 1950s films, Byron found long-lasting happiness with lovely actress and former ballerina Georgine Darcy, best known for her cameo role as "Miss Torso" in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window (1954). In later years the couple performed together in a cruise-ship musical act. Their marriage lasted 30 years until her death in July of 2004. Byron died at age 89 of age-related causes on September 30, 2009, at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and was survived by daughter Linda and son Gregory.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Georgine Darcy (29 June 1974 - 18 July 2004) (her death)
Ruth Hampton (17 October 1954 - 24 February 1967) (divorced) (2 children)
JoAnn Ransom (22 March 1941 - 1 April 1953) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (3)

Son of Judge Harlan Palmer, publisher of the "Hollywood Citizen-News."
Was also a TV singer.
Mild-mannered support actor in the 1950s and 1960s on film and TV.

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