Night Court Wiki
Mel Tormé
Mel Torme portrait.jpg
Mel Tormé guest appeared in 8 episodes of "Night Court".
General Actor Information
Gender: Male
Birth name: Melvin Howard Tormé
Born: (1925-09-13)September 13, 1925
Birthplace Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died June 5, 1999(1999-06-05) (aged 73)
Death Location Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor
Years active: 1933-1996
Appearances/Series information
Appeared on: Night Court
appeared in:
8 in series
Appears as: appeared as Himself

Mel Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999) made eight guest appearances on Night Court. Mel, who was a famous jazz singer and Harry Stone's personal idol, is known for such classics as "Jeepers Creepers" and "The Christmas Song."

Mel Tormé in a courtroom scene in an episode of "Night Court".


In 1943, Tormé made his movie debut in Frank Sinatra's first film, the musical Higher and Higher. He went on to sing and act in many films and television episodes throughout his career, even hosting his own television show in 1951–52. His appearance in the 1947 film musical Good News made him a teen idol for several years.

In 1944 he formed the vocal quintet "Mel Tormé and His Mel-Tones", modeled on Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers. The Mel-Tones, which included Les Baxter and Ginny O'Connor, had several hits fronting Artie Shaw's band and on their own, including Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?" The Mel-Tones were among the first jazz-influenced vocal groups, blazing a path later followed by The Hi-Lo's, The Four Freshmen, and The Manhattan Transfer. Tormé on drums performing with Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson Later in 1947, Tormé went solo. His singing at New York's Copacabana led a local disc jockey, Fred Robbins, to give him the nickname "The Velvet Fog," thinking to honor his high tenor and smooth vocal style, but Tormé detested the nickname. (He self-deprecatingly referred to it as "this Velvet Frog voice".)

The resurgence of vocal jazz in the 1970s resulted in another artistically fertile period for Tormé, whose live performances during the 1960s and 1970s fueled a growing reputation as a jazz singer. He found himself performing as often as 200 times a year around the globe. In 1976, he won an Edison Award (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy) for best male singer, and a Down Beat award for best male jazz singer. For several years around this time, his September appearances at Michael's Pub on the Upper East Side would unofficially open New York's fall cabaret season.

Tormé wrote more than 250 songs, several of which became jazz standards. He also often wrote the arrangements for the songs he sang. He often collaborated with Bob Wells, and the best known Tormé-Wells song is "The Christmas Song" (1946), often referred to by its opening line "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire". The song was recorded first by Nat King Cole. Tormé said that he wrote the music to the song in only 45 minutes,[18] and that it was not one of his personal favorites, calling it, somewhat dismissively, "my annuity". The song's verse ("All through the year..."), which is rarely sung, was added by Tormé in 1963.


On August 8, 1996, a stroke abruptly ended his 65-year singing career. In February 1999, Tormé was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Another stroke in 1999 ended his life. Torme is buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles.

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