Ex-wife Barbara Dare was a Spanish dancer.
First studied at Phillips-Exeter then broke from the banking tradition of his family by going to Yale instead of Harvard and studying opera.
Had a whole chapter of the Medved Brothers' "Golden Turkey Awards" to himself: Worst Performance by Sonny Tufts. The winning film was Government Girl (1943), probably because of the prominence of his female lead, Olivia de Havilland.
In 1950 he was sued by two women who claimed he bit them both on the thigh.
In 1959, after a year of staying sober in order to stay in contention for a prime role in John Wayne's epic The Alamo (1960), he lost the role of Jim Bowie.
The son of a prominent banker, his great-uncle, Charles Tufts, was founder of Tufts College in Boston.