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Al Martino
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    (October 7, 1927-October 13, 2009)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name is Alfred Cini
    Recorded 'Here in My Heart,' 'I Love You Because,' 'Painted, Tainted Rose,' 'I Love You More and More Every Day,' 'Tears and Roses,' 'Spanish Eyes,' 'Mary in the Morning,' 'Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather),' 'To the Door of the Sun' and 'Volare'
    Portrayed Johnny Fontane in 'The Godfather (1972)' and 'The Godfather: Part III (1990)'
    When the Mafia wanted to handle his career in the 1950s, he paid them $75,000 protection, then fled to England to resume recording.
    When he returned to the U.S., no record company would sign him, so he financed his own recordings.
    He maintained a professional jealousy of Frank Sinatra.
    Though some believe his 'Godfather' character was loosely based on Sinatra, others state a fading crooner seeking a movie role was a mirror image of himself.
    Francis Ford Coppola didn't want him for the role, but a Paramount Pictures bigwig and friend stepped in and got him the part.
    He released a disco version of the Italian standard 'Volare' in 1976.
    If took him 36 years after his 'Godfather' role to find another movie part other than Johnny Fontane - aging crooner Sal Stevens in the 2006 movie 'Cutout.'
    He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was wounded in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
    After his roommates Eddie Fisher and Guy Mitchell won first prize on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, he decided to try and took first place as well.
    Family friend Mario Lanza encouraged his singing and held off on recording 'Here in My Heart' so it wouldn't compete against his version.
    His recording of 'Here in My Heart' has the distinction of becoming the first #1 single in British history to be sung by an American.
    His 1965 smash hit 'Spanish Eyes' hit platinum; the album of the same title is R.I.A.A. certified gold and the song is among the 50 most-played songs worldwide.
    Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall both praised his work in 'The Godfather.'
    Billy Joel personally invited him to sing at his 50th birthday party in 1999.
    When not crooning he is a topnotch gourmet cook.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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