1 minute read

Tony Orlando: 1944—: Singer

Hit Low Point In Career

A trio of hits followed in late 1975-76, including "Mornin' Beautiful," a version of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "You're All I Need To Get By," and a cover of Sam Cook's "Cupid." But good fortune took a turn and the group began to lose the public's interest. After only two seasons, the TV show was cancelled in 1976 amidst reports that Hopkins and Vincent were dissatisfied with their contracts. Then the group disbanded the following year when Orlando suddenly announced during a performance in Colhasset, Massachusetts, that it would be his last day as a performer.

Orlando had started to experiment with cocaine shortly before his television show was cancelled. He used the drug for nine months, but it would haunt him for years to come. "What nine months of using the stuff can do is ruin my career, ruin my decision making, ruin my marriage, ruin my self respect, ruin my relationship with my audience, and I lost my television show," he told Mark Steines of Entertainment Tonight.

The announcement that he was retiring from show business came after he suffered from a complete nervous breakdown from the demands of his TV variety show. He had also had a tough year with the death of his sister and the suicide of his close friend Freddie Prinze, who starred in the sitcom Chico and the Man. "Freddie was one of those brilliant, brilliant, brilliant comedians. And to see him lose his life like that had a tremendous effect on me, when I had never seen anybody die in my own presence," he told Larry King in a CNN interview. "And there I was with his wife Kathy and his mom. And it was a horrific time. And it affected me deeply."

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Grace Napolitano: 1936—: Politician to Richard (Wayne) Peck (1934-) Biography - CareerTony Orlando: 1944—: Singer Biography - Had Short First Music Career, Teamed Up With Dawn, Released Megahit, Hit Low Point In Career