Born Bowen Tufts, Sonny Tufts wanted to be a singer from childhood, and eventually he got operatic training in New York and Paris. Auditioning at New York's Metropolitan Opera, he won a year's tuition for further voice training. In his mid 20s he got roles in two Broadway musicals and a small part in a film. He then spent several years singing in night spots before returning to films as a leading man in 1943; due to an injury he was kept out of service, while most of Hollywood's other leading men were overseas in World War Two. For several years he was a popular star, usually cast as likable, mellow, bland lead characters; he often appeared bare-chested, and for a while he was a popular pin-up. By the late '40s his popularity waned and he began appearing in secondary roles, or in leads in low-budget films. In the mid '50s he was sued by several showgirls for allegedly biting them in the thigh, and soon he became the butt of jokes; his name alone was a comic punchline on TV or in nightclubs. He appeared in only two movies in the '60s and his other attempts at a comeback failed. He died of pneumonia at 59.