Actor and opera singer who starred in the Broadway musical Show Boat, and the musical films Bataan and Cabin in the Sky.
He attended the Eastman School of Music after earning a scholarship, and later became a concert performer at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.
He moved to Germany in 1950, where he had a successful career as a concert and opera singer, after becoming frustrated by racial tensions and prejudice in the U.S.
He is the son of a steel worker, and was born in Los Angeles, California. He died in the airplane crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 304.
He appeared with Ethel Waters in the film Cabin in the Sky.