Ray Heatherton, a former big band singer and Broadway performer who starred with his daughter Joey Heatherton in a network summer variety series, died Aug. 15 of Alzheimer’s disease at the Actors’ Fund Nursing and Retirement Home in Englewood, N.Y. He was 88.
Heatherton’s singing career began when he was discovered by Paul Whiteman, who was the most popular orchestra leader of the 1920s.
During the 1930s, as Whiteman’s popularity began to wane, Heatherton went to work for the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. He later formed a house band for a radio show and also appeared in a few Broadway shows, including “Babes in Arms.”
During the summer of 1975, Heatherton and his daughter headlined a CBS-TV musical variety series called “Joey And Dad,” which aired for four weeks. The reviews were favorable toward the Heathertons but not the show.
Heatherton, a former president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, also served as a spokesman for Tropicana orange juice.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Dick, two grandchildren and his companion, Barbara Bowden.