Dick Haymes was an Argentine actor and one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, who was an actor, television host, and songwriter.
He was born Richard Benjamin Haymes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1918. His Irish-born mother, Marguerite Haymes, was a well-known vocal coach and instructor. He became the vocalist in a number of big bands, worked in Hollywood, on radio, and in many films throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
He never became a United States citizen and avoided military service during World War II by asserting his non-belligerent status as a citizen of Argentina, which was neutral. Hollywood-based columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper seized upon this at the time, questioning Haymes' patriotism; but the story had little effect on Haymes' career. About that time, he was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. As part of his draft examination, he was confined for a short period to a hospital at Ellis Island, which confirmed his hypertension. However, Haymes' decision would come back to haunt him in 1953 when he went to Hawaii without first notifying immigration authorities. Haymes was nearly deported back to Argentina.
Haymes experienced serious financial problems later in life and at one point was forced into bankruptcy.