At age 11 he was an emcee for a local radio station.
At age 19, he won a talent contest sponsored by Picture Magazaine, earning a two-week engagement at the New York World's Fair Outdoor Dancing Pavilion singing for Harry James and Les Brown.
Born of Scottish immigrant parents.
Ex-father-in-law of Greg Mullavey.
Had four children with Sheila MacRae: Meredith MacRae (born 1944); Heather MacRae (1946); William Gordon (1948) and Robert Bruce (1954).
Had son, Gar MacRae, with wife Sheila MacRae.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6325 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
In high school (Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY) he was quite athletic, participating in football, hockey, swimming, baseball, basketball, track, and lacrosse. The National Rifle Association awarded him a marksmanship medal.
Some of his bigger songs with Capitol Records were "A Fellow Needs a Girl" and "Body and Soul."
Suffered a stroke in 1982 but managed to tour occasionally upon his recovery. In the fall of 1985, however, he underwent a carotid artery operation. At that time he was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to retire completely.
Was supposed to co-star with Judy Holliday in the original Broadway musical production of "Bells Are Ringing" in 1956. There were contractual problems, however, and he was replaced by Sydney Chaplin.
While appearing in a nightclub act with his wife at Lake Tahoe, he received an emergency phone call to replace Frank Sinatra as "Billy Bigelow" in the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's stage hit "Carousel", after Sinatra walked out on the filming when he discovered that every scene was to be filmed twice - once for regular CinemaScope and once for CinemaScope 55. Within three days MacRae, who was already familiar with the Broadway show and had wanted to play the role, reported to the set. Ironically, the producers then discovered a way to shoot in CinemaScope 55 and then convert it to regular CinemaScope without filming the movie twice.