Known for movies

Short Info

DiedNovember 26, 1956, Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
SpousePatricia Dane
FactHe had a son, Steve, with his third wife, Jane.

Tommy Dorsey was born on November 19, 1905 in Mahanoy Plane, Pennsylvania. His parents were Thomas Francis Dorsey, Sr. and Theresa Langton Dorsey. He had four siblings: Edward, George, Joseph and Helen. Tommy Dorsey’s father was a coal miner and his mother was a music teacher. Dorsey’s interest in music began when he was a child and he took piano lessons from his mother. He started playing the trombone when he was eleven years old.

Dorsey’s musical career began when he played in the Scranton Sirens, a dance band, in 1923. He moved to New York City in 1927 and played with the New York Symphony Orchestra. In 1929, Dorsey began playing with the New York Philharmonic. He also played with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In 1935, Dorsey and his brother, Jimmy, formed the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The orchestra became one of the most popular bands of the 1930s and 1940s.

They played at the Cotton Club and at Carnegie Hall. The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra had many hit records, including “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and “Marie. ” Tommy Dorsey’s net worth was $50 million at the time of his death. He died of a heart attack on November 26, 1956 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

General Info

Full NameTommy Dorsey
DiedNovember 26, 1956, Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
ProfessionActor, Composer, Bandleader, Trumpeter, Trombonist, Song of India, I'll Never Smile Again, I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You


SpousePatricia Dane
ChildrenPatricia Dorsey, Steve Dorsey, Catherine Susan Dorsey, Song of India, I'll Never Smile Again, I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
ParentsThomas Francis Dorsey, Sr., Theresa Dorsey, Song of India, I'll Never Smile Again, I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
SiblingsJimmy Dorsey


AwardsGrammy Hall of Fame
Music GroupsThe Dorsey Brothers, The California Ramblers, Original Memphis Five, Song of India, I'll Never Smile Again, I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
MoviesA Song Is Born, The Fabulous Dorseys, Presenting Lily Mars, Upbeat in Music, Du Barry Was a Lady, Las Vegas Nights
TV ShowsStage Show

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1I wish you wouldn't make the strings such an important part of your arrangements because frankly they're only a tax dodge! - to Nelson Riddle


1A trombonist and bandleader, he appeared with his own orchestra in a few films of the 40's but is best remembered for his band's recordings - like "Marie" (sung by Jack Leonard) and "On the Sunny Side of the Street.".
2His mother died on June 22, 1968, at the age of 93.
3His brother, Jimmy, had an affair with Tommy's second wife, Patricia, before Patricia and Tommy met. Later, at one of Tommy's birthday parties, Jimmy shoved the cake in Patricia's face, leading to a fight between the two brothers.
4His daughter, Pat, got married in February 1943 to Lester Hooker, who was to become a basketball coach at William and Mary and University of Richmond. They had three children and were married until his death in 1999. Dorsey was not happy about the marriage, as Pat was only seventeen.
5His first wife obtained a divorce on the grounds of adultery.
6He had an affair with Tallulah Bankhead during his first marriage.
7His first wife was always called Toots.
8His daughter, Patricia Marie Dorsey, was born on April 11, 1925. She was called Patsy or Pat. She now goes by Pat Dorsey Hooker.
9His son, Thomas Francis "Skipper" Dorsey III, born September 9, 1930.
10Edythe Wright was his mistress from 1935 until at least 1941. She joined his band in 1935, but left in 1939 after his wife found out and insisted she leave the band.
11His two youngest children, Susan and Steve, did not attend his funeral because their mother felt that they were too young.
12He had a son, Steve, with his third wife, Jane.
13Frank Sinatra refused to be a part of his memorial show, saying, "I didn't like him. It would be inappropriate for me to appear on a memorial show." Buddy Rich refused to appear because Sinatra wouldn't appear.
14His daughter, Catherine Susan "Susie," was born in November, 1949.
15His father, Thomas Francis Dorsey, died in July 12, 1942.
16He was the uncle of Julie Lou Dorsey.
17He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Reocrding at 6675 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
18The Dorsey brothers' father, Thomas Dorsey, Sr., was a cornet-playing coal miner who also led the Shenandoah town band and gave music lessons on the side. He was his sons' first teacher. Their mother, Tess Dorsey, would outlive both her sons by several years.
19Buried at Kensico Cemetary, Valhalla, New York. His grave marker in a granite slab with the raised outline of a trombone in the middle.
20Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1981.
21Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
22Pictured with brother Jimmy Dorsey on one of a set of four 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, issued 11 September 1996, celebrating big band leaders. Other band leaders honored in this issue are Count Basie, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman.
23The first variety show on which Elvis Presley appeared was Stage Show (1954), a summer replacement for The Jackie Gleason Show (1952), hosted by Dorsey and his brother Jimmy Dorsey. Jackie Gleason, the show's producer, later apologized for putting on "a porno act" and Ed Sullivan said he would never have anything like that on his show. Sullivan later changed his mind after Elvis made another appearance on a rival TV show.
24He and his brother Jimmy Dorsey formed The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1930. Tommy, the more temperamental one, is usually blamed for igniting the long-standing feud that broke them up in 1935. Apparently an argument erupted over the tempo of one of their songs, which led to Tommy's exit. They appeared together for one film in 1947, but did not reunite until 1953, when they reformed an orchestra. The final years of their lives were spent co-hosting a musical variety show, which introduced Elvis Presley to TV for the first time (he sang "Heartbreak Hotel").
25Choked to death in his sleep after a heavy meal.
26Brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey.




Hail, Caesar!2016writer: "Song of India"
Boardwalk Empire2012TV Series 1 episode
Sparkle2012/Iwriter: "You Taught Me To Love Again"
Mildred Pierce2011TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
Mafia II2010Video Game performer: "THE DIPSY DOODLE"
Big River Man2009Documentary writer: "Take My Hand Precious Lord" - as Thomas Dorsey
Mad Men2008TV Series performer - 1 episode
Bitter & Twisted2008performer: "Song of India"
Crips and Bloods: Made in America2008Documentary performer: "Opus One" - as Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra
Cold Case2006TV Series 1 episode
Anytown, USA2005Documentary performer: "Marie"
The Human Stain2003performer: "Sleepy Lagoon" 1940
Hart's War2002performer: "Marie"
RKO 2811999TV Movie arranger: "Song of India"
Frank Lloyd Wright1998Documentary "Song of India"
President i ego zhenshchina1996music: "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You"
The Exorcist III1990performer: "Song of India"
Where the Heart Is1990performer: "A Song Of India"
Radio Days1987performer: "Opus One" 1943, "You and I" 1941, "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You" 1932
The Jewel in the Crown1984TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
WKRP in Cincinnati1981TV Series performer - 1 episode
Annie Hall1977performer: "Sleepy Lagoon" 1930
The Andy Griffith ShowTV Series lyrics - 1 episode, 1962 music - 1 episode, 1962
The George Gobel Show1955TV Series writer - 1 episode
Universal Name Band Musical 7301: Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra1951Short performer: "You Left Your Brown-Eyed Baby", "Opus No. 1", "Hucklebuck", "Boogie Woogie", "Diane"
A Song Is Born1948performer: "A Song Is Born" 1948
The Great Morgan1946performer: "I Fell in Love with the Leader of the Band"
Thrill of a Romance1945performer: "Please Don't Say No, Say Maybe", "I Should Care", "Song of India", "Opus One", "Battle of the Balcony Jive", "The Guy with the Slide Trombone Hungarian Rhapsody", "Ich Liebe Dich" - uncredited
Broadway Rhythm1944performer: "I Love Corny Music"
Girl Crazy1943performer: "Fascinating Rhythm" 1924 - uncredited
Du Barry Was a Lady1943"I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" 1932 / performer: "Friendship" 1939
Ship Ahoy1942"The Last Call for Love" 1942 / performer: "I'll Take Tallulah" 1942
Mirrors1934Short "China Boy", uncredited


Universal Name Band Musical 7301: Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra1951ShortTommy Dorsey
Disc Jockey1951Tommy Dorsey
A Song Is Born1948Tommy Dorsey
The Fabulous Dorseys1947Tommy Dorsey
Thrill of a Romance1945Tommy Dorsey
Broadway Rhythm1944Tommy Dorsey
Girl Crazy1943Tommy Dorsey
Swing Fever1943Tommy Dorsey (uncredited)
I Dood It1943Tommy Dorsey (uncredited)
Du Barry Was a Lady1943Tommy Dorsey
Presenting Lily Mars1943Tommy Dorsey
Ship Ahoy1942Tommy Dorsey
Birth of the Blues1941Tommy Dorsey
Las Vegas Nights1941Tommy Dorsey


Music on 21970TV SeriesHimself
Stage Show1954-1956TV SeriesHimself - Co-Host / Himself
What's My Line?1950-1955TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest
The Jackie Gleason Show1953-1955TV SeriesHimself - Guest Host / Himself - Guest Co-Host / Himself / ...
This Is Your Life1954TV SeriesHimself
The George Jessel Show1954TV SeriesHimself
Upbeat in Music1943Documentary shortBand Leader
High Hat1929ShortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

My Music: Starlight Ballroom2015TV MovieHimself
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l'Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz2010DocumentaryHimself
My Music: The Big Band Years2009TV MovieHimself
Biography1998TV Series documentaryHimself
This Is Elvis1981Himself (uncredited)
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHimself
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryClip from 'Girl Crazy' (uncredited)
Amigos del martes1964TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1963TV SeriesHimself, Band Leader
The Great Morgan1946Tommy Dorsey (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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