Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 215-216. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
Continued to work after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1985, but it then spread to his esophagus.
He and his wife Helen had one child, a daughter named Donna (born 1949).
He appeared as a guest musician on the local music program, "The Spade Cooley Show" (1958). Cooley, a white Western swing musician, hosted the show for a local Los Angeles TV station.
He is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood, California
Some sources erroneously credit him as Billie Holiday's jilting lover in the 1936 Duke Ellington one-reeler, "Symphony In Black", a role actually portrayed by Earl 'Snake Hips' Tucker. The song Billie sang was "Saddest Tale".
Was close friends with Jack Nicholson