b. 28 August 1895 or 1898, Greenville, Texas, USA, d. 27 February 1969, San Angelo, Texas, USA. An archetypal handsome leading man with a fine baritone voice who was in several popular movie musicals of the 30s. After graduating from the University of Texas, Boles completed military service during World War I before studying singing in Paris and New York. In the early 20s he had minor roles in several Broadway shows includingLittle Jessie James and Mercenary Mary, which was followed by a good part in Kitty’s Kisses (1926). During the late 20s he was suitably strong and manly in silent films, and, at the same time, also came into his own in a string of movie musicals that included The Desert Song, Rio Rita, The King Of Jazz, One Heavenly Night, My Lips Betray, Music In The Air, Bottoms Up, Stand Up And Cheer, Curly Top, Redheads On Parade, Rose Of The Rancho, Romance In The Dark (1938) and Thousands Cheer (1943). These films represented only a small fraction of his output which mainly comprised dramatic, non-musical roles. In the 40s and early 50s he appeared in revivals of well-known stage musicals such as Show Boat, and in 1946 co-starred with Mary Martin and Kenny Baker in the Broadway hit musical, One Touch Of Venus. After joining other veteran stars such as Paulette Goddard and Gypsy Rose Lee in the poorly received satirical picture Babes In Baghdad in 1952, he retired from showbusiness shortly afterwards.
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