So much has been written about Dick Haymes, unfortunately everyone always ends their sentences with, "it’s a shame, his personal life was such a mess".
You could say the same thing about most celebrities, however for some reason people tend to let Dick’s private life affect the fact that he was the consummate performer. He rarely allowed his problems to reach an audience, perhaps that is why he was so hard on himself; he never wanted to disappoint his fans with anything less than perfection. Conceivably, this maybe one of the reasons that he chose to leave the United States for Europe in the early 1960s.
If he lived today, would any of the things that made headlines in the post-war era cripple his career now? No one can really answer this question, as we know, most celebrities can only boast about a five to seven year high anyway; and Dick Haymes had that and more. The old saying, "you are only as good as your last picture" is something that stars learn to live by. The public is very fickle and can be extremely cruel.
In the 1940s, from the big bands, the soloist emerged with a need to express the feelings of the GIs and their sweethearts during one of the most romantic periods of this century, the war years. With a voice that seemed to belong to a seasoned performer, Dick surprised many when they found out that he was only in his early 20s. It took no time at all to see that Dick Haymes had what the public was looking for. Singing as the lead with the Harry James, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey Bands, he was at his best, selling beautifully written songs in his deep rich baritone by making the females in the audience swoon. His sexy masculine style of crooning made men envious but they admired his talent as well. His low notes were sumptuous, reached effortlessly, coming from the deepest part of his soul. His phrasing was impeccable, enhanced by his extraordinary breath control. Many men, who took singing lessons at this time, had hopes that they too could sound like Haymes. His fans and the competition knew that Dick Haymes was no ordinary crooner. He was a master!
It was at this same time that Mr. Haymes found himself on the big screen, with a seven-year contract offered by 20th Century-Fox. This was also the age of the musical and, of course, Dick had all of the requirements to be a leading man, good looks, stature, some acting ability, and he could sing, no dubbing required. What a treat to see him romance some of the great beauties in Hollywood, the likes of Betty Grable, June Haver, Maureen O’Hara and Vivian Blaine, to name a few.