Bing Crosby

Harry Lillis Crosby (1903-1977) Singer/Actor - Films, Radio
Harry Lillis Crosby is one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th Century. Born May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington, Harry was the fourth of seven children. He recieved the nickname Bing from a friend, Valentine Hobart, because they were both interested in a comic strip, The Bingville Bugle. Bing's idol was Al Jolson, and he helped resurrect Al's career in the late '40s. After college, Bing was signed up by Paul Whiteman, and joined his band. Bing made his first record, "I've Got the Girl," in 1926. Two months later he cut a couple more records with Whiteman. Bing got started in films with the Whiteman band, in The King of Jazz. Bing was supposed to have a solo, but ended up in jail for drunken driving the night before, and so was not able to do the solo. Whiteman let go of Bing after the film was finished. Soon after, Mack Sennett, creator of the Keystone Kops, signed Bing. With Sennett he made six two-reelers. These were highly successful, and lead to Bing's first feature film, The Big Broadcast. By now Bing was an established network radio star.

Big Broadcast established Bing as a motion picture actor, and lead to more films, many of which featured lame plots, only needed to get Bing to sing. By the '40s, however, he began to get better films. By 1940, he and Bob Hope were engaged in a fictional radio feud. Paramount, which had contracts with both men, decided to team them up in Road to Singapore. The film was a huge success, and lead to the Road series, which lasted from 1940 to 1952, along with The Road to Hong Kong in 1962. In 1942, he starred in the classic musical Holiday Inn, with Fred Astaire. From 1944 to 1948, Bing was the top box-office attraction. In 1944, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in Going My Way. In 1954, Bing was again nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, for his work with Grace Kelly in The Country Girl. Two years later, Bing starred in a remake of his own earlier film, Anything Goes, first produced in 1936. Throughout this time Bing also made uncredited cameo appearences in many of Bob Hope's films. In 1964, he starred in the unsuccessful situation comedy, The Bing Crosby Show. Bing's last film appearence was as a Narrator of That's Entertainment! in 1974. After that, he made a few more albums and his yearly television special. Bing Crosby died of a heart attack on a golf course in Madrid, Spain, on October 14, 1977. At the time, he was beginning work on Road to the Fountain of Youth, with Bob Hope. What would that have been like? We can only imagine....

Portrait from Screen Album, Fall 1943

Relaxin' at the ranch
from Modern Screen, November 1951

Feature Filmography:

That's Entertainment!, [Narrator], MGM, 1974
Cancel My Reservation, [Himself], uncredited, Warner Bros, 1972
Stagecoach, [Doc Josiah Boone], 20th Century-Fox, 1966
Robin and the Seven Hoods, [Allen A. Dale], Warner Bros., 1964
The Road to Hong Kong, [Harry Turner], United Artists, 1962
High Time, [Harvey Howard], 20th Century-Fox, 1960
Let's Make Love, [Himself], uncredited, 20th Century-Fox, 1960
Pepe, [Guest Star], Columbia, 1960
Say One for Me, [Father Conroy], 20th Century-Fox, 1959
Alias Jesse James, [Cameo], United Artists, 1959
Man on Fire, [Earl Carleton], MGM, 1957
Anything Goes, [Bill Benson], Paramount, 1956
High Society, [C.K. Dexter-Haven], MGM, 1956
White Christmas, [Bob Wallace], Paramount, 1954
The Country Girl, [Frank Elgin], Paramount, 1954 (Academy Award Nomination)
Scared Stiff, [Cameo], Paramount, 1953
Little Boy Lost, [Bill Wainwright], Paramount, 1953
The Greatest Show on Earth, [Spectator], Paramount, 1952
Just for You, [Jordan Blake], Paramount, 1952
Road to Bali, [George Cochran], Paramount, 1952
Son of Paleface, [Cameo], Paramount, 1952
Here Comes the Groom, [Pete Garvey], Paramount, 1951
Angels in the Outfield, [Himself], MGM, 1951
Mr. Music, [Paul Merrick], Paramount, 1950
Riding High, [Dan Brooks], Paramount, 1950
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, [Narrator], Disney, 1949
Top o' the Morning, [Joe Mulqueen], Paramount, 1949
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, [Hank Martin], Paramount, 1949
The Emperor Waltz, [Virgil Smith], Paramount, 1948
Variety Girl, [Himself], Paramount, 1947
My Favorite Brunette, [Harry], uncredited cameo, Paramount, 1947
Road to Rio, [Scat Sweeney], Paramount, 1947
Welcome Stranger, [Dr. James Pearson], Paramount, 1947
Blue Skies, [Johnny Adams], Paramount, 1946
The Bells of St. Mary's, [Father Chuck O'Malley], RKO, 1945 (Academy Award Nomination)
Duffy's Tavern, [Guest], Paramount, 1945
Out of this World, [Herbie's singing voice], Paramount, 1945
Road to Utopia, [Duke Johnson], Paramount, 1945
Going My Way, [Father Chuck O'Malley], Paramount, 1944 (Academy Award)
Here Come the Waves, [Johnny Cabot], Paramount, 1944
The Princess and the Pirate, [Cameo], uncredited, Goldwyn, 1944
Dixie, [Dan Emmett], Paramount, 1943
Road to Morocco, [Jeff Peters], Paramount, 1942
Holiday Inn, [Jim Hardy], Paramount, 1942
My Favorite Blonde, [man giving directions], Paramount, 1942
Star Spangled Rhythm, [Himself], Paramount, 1942
Birth of the Blues, [Jeff Lambert], Paramount, 1941
Road to Zanzibar, [Chuck Reardon], Paramount, 1941
Road to Singapore, [Josh Mallon], Paramount, 1940
If I Had My Way, [Buzz Blackwell], Universal, 1940
Rhythm on the River, [Bob Sommers], Paramount, 1940
East Side of Heaven, [Denny Martin], Universal, 1939
Paris Honeymoon, ["Lucky" Lawton], Paramount, 1939
The Star Maker, [Larry Earl], Paramount, 1939
Dr. Rhythm, [Dr. Bill Remsen], Paramount, 1938
Sing You Sinners, [Himself], uncredited, MGM, 1938
Waikiki Wedding, [Tony Marvin], Paramount, 1937
Double or Nothing, ["Lefty" Boylan], Paramount, 1937
The Big Broadcast of 1936, [Guest], Paramount, 1936
Rhythm on the Range, [Jeff Larabee], Paramount, 1936
Anything Goes, [Bill Crocker], Paramount, 1936
Pennies from Heaven, [Larry], Paramount, 1936
Mississippi, [Tom Grayson], Paramount, 1935
Two for Tonight, [Gilbert Gordon], Paramount, 1935
We're Not Dressing, [Stephen Jones], Paramount, 1934
Here Is My Heart, [J. Paul Jones], Paramount, 1934
She Loves Me Not, [Paul Lawton], Paramount, 1934
Going Hollywood, [Bill Williams], MGM, 1933
Too Much Harmony, [Eddie Bronson], Paramount, 1933
College Humor, [Prof. Frederick Danvers], Paramount, 1933
The Big Broacast, [Bing Hornsby], Paramount, 1932
The King of Jazz, [Member of The Rhythm Boys], Universal, 1930

Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, CBS, November 30, 1977
The Bing Crosby White Christmas Special, CBS, December 1, 1976
Merry Christmas, Fred, from the Crosbys, CBS, December 3, 1975
Christmas with the Bing Crosbys, NBC, December 15, 1974
Bing Crosby's Sun Valley Christmas Show, NBC, December 9, 1973
A Christmas with the Bing Crosbys, NBC, December 10, 1972
Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas, NBC, December 14, 1971
Bing Crosby's Christmas Show, NBC, December 16, 1970
Bing and Carol Together Again for the First Time, NBC, December 18, 1969
The Hollywood Palace, ABC, December 21, 1968
The Hollywood Palace, ABC, December 19, 1967
The Hollywood Palace, ABC, December 24, 1966
The Hollywood Palace, ABC, December 15, 1965
The Bing Crosby Show, ABC, September 14, 1964-June 14, 1965
The Hollywood Palace, ABC, January 4, 1964
The Promise, December 24, 1963
The Bing Crosby Christmas Show, ABC, December 14, 1962
The Bing Crosby Christmas Show, ABC, December 11, 1961
The Timex Show, ABC, December 20, 1957
The Bing Crosby Show, CBS, October 10, 1958

Crosby-Clooney Show, CBS, 1960-62
Ford Road Show, CBS, 1957-59
The Bing Crosby Show, CBS, 1954-56
General Electric, CBS, 1952-54
Chesterfield, CBS, 1949-52
Philco Radio Time, ABC, 1946-49
Kraft Music Hall, NBC, 1935-46
Woodbury Soap, CBS, 1933-35
Chesterfield, CBS, 1932-33
The Cremo Singer, CBS, 1931-32
Unsponsored, CBS, 1931

Call Me Lucky, by Bing Crosby, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953
Web resources:

The Bing Crosby Internet Museum
An incredible site, with just about everything you could want, information-wise. Be sure to check out the Bing FAQs!

The Immortal Bing Crosby
Another great Bing site, with a nice layout, as well as pictures, a bookstore, and "The Ultimate List of Crosby CDs."

actors & actresses

original material ©1997,1998 Ted Nesi
Last Modified: 08/17/98 14:14:58