Frances Langford (April 4, 1914 - July 11, 2005) was a successful singer and entertainer during the "Golden Age of Radio", who also made occasional film appearances.
Born in Lakeland, Florida, Langford originally trained as an opera singer. While a young girl she required surgery on her throat, and as a result was forced to change her vocal style to a more contemporary big band, popular music style. She began singing for radio during the early 1930s, and was heard by Rudy Vallee, who invited her to become a regular on his radio show. She was a well-known radio performer before making her film debut in Every Night at Eight in 1935, in which she introduced one of her most popular songs, "I'm In The Mood For Love". From 1935 until 1938 she was a regular performer on Dick Powell's radio show.
From then, she began appearing frequently in films such as Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), Born to Dance (1936) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) with James Cagney, in which she performed the popular song "Over There". In several of these films such as Broadway Melody she appeared as herself.
From 1941 she worked on Bob Hope's radio show, and during World War II she performed frequently with Hope entertaining troops. Her association with Hope continued into the 1980s; in 1989 she joined him for a USO tour.
She worked for several years in the late 1940s on Spike Jones' show before being teamed with Don Ameche in 1951 for a shortlived television program, The Frances Langford/Don Ameche Show. She and Ameche later enjoyed outstanding success with a comedy radio series The Bickersons.
Langford was the host of two self titled variety television programs, Frances Langford Presents and The Frances Langford Show.
She married three times. Her first husband, from 1934 until 1955, was actor Jon Hall. In 1955, she married outboard motor heir Ralph Evinrude. They moved to her estate in Jensen Beach, Florida and opened the Outrigger Resort where Langford frequently performed. Evinrude died in 1986. In 1994 she married Harold Stuart, who had been assistant secretary of the United States Air Force under President Harry S. Truman and who survives her. She had no children.
Although her greatest successes were in radio, her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street, acknowledges her contribution to Motion Pictures.
She died at her Jensen Beach, Florida home after suffering from congestive heart failure, aged 92.