Operatic baritone Lawrence Tibbett was one of the Metropolitan Opera's most enduring stars. Born in Bakersfield, CA, Tibbett was in his teens when he became the family breadwinner after his father, a sheriff, was shot by cattle rustlers. In his spare time, he took voice lessons and began singing in Los Angeles. In 1923, he signed a contract with the Met and would remain there for 28 years. Tibbett began appearing in musical films in the early '30s. His film debut, The Rogue Song (1930), earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
by Sandra Brennan biography