A spokesman for the singer-actress said that Warren died of natural causes on her birthday, March 4, at her home in Brookfield, Conn.
A Bronx, N.Y. native, Warren (real name: Frances Wolfe) performed on a chorus line at the Roxy Theater before auditioning with Duke Ellington's big band at 16. She didn't join his band, but she started singing with bands led by Randy Brooks, Art Mooney, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Barnet and Claude Thornhill soon after. It was with Thornhill's band that she topped the charts for the time with 1947's "A Sunday Kind of Love."
She went solo the following year and reached No. 3 on the charts singing "I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Pray'rs)" with Tony Martin. Her last chart hit was in 1953 with "It's Anybody's Heart."
During the heyday of her singing career, Warren also appeared on several TV variety shows before graduating to a supporting role in the 1952 film Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd. She also co-starred in the musical comedies The Pajama Game and Finian's Rainbow.
Warren went on to tour with Harry James in the 1960s and trumpet player Joe Cabot from 1979-1982.
Warren is survived by two daughters, a son-in-law and two nieces.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Claude Thornhill
- Duke Ellington