Billboard -- Fran Warren, the singer and actress whose 1947 recording of "A Sunday Kind of Love" is remembered as a classic of the Big Band era, has passed away at the age of 87.
Warren was an all-rounder -- a nightclub performer, recording artist and actor whose career spanned more than 50 years.
Early in her career, she signed as a solo artist with RCA Victor and scored chart hits with the Tony Martin duet “I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Prayers)” and “Dearie” with Lisa Kirk. She then moved to MGM Records, charting with “It's Anybody's Heart.” Born Frances Wolfe in the Bronx, NY on March 4, 1926, she began singing while still in her teens, performing at local clubs and dancing in the chorus line at the Roxy Theater. She auditioned for Duke Ellington when she was 16. Although didn't land the job, she soon became vocalist for the bands of Randy Brooks, Art Mooney and Billy Eckstine. It was Eckstine who changed her name to “Fran Warren.”
She replaced Kay Starr with the Charlie Barnet band and in 1947 Warren made her first chart-splash with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra on “A Sunday Kind of Love,” for Columbia Records. After several more sessions with Thornhill, she signed the following year with RCA Victor.
Warren's film roles included the 1952 comedy "Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd” and she frequently appeared and performed on the talk shows of Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen.
Warren also recorded a string of albums, including “Mood Indigo,” “Hey There, Here's Fran Warren” with Marty Paich, “Something's Coming” with Ralph Burns and Al Cohn, “Come Into My World,” and “Fran Warren in Nashville.”
According to a statement, Warren died of natural causes on March 4 – her birthday.
Warren is survived by two daughters, a son-in-law and two nieces.