Kirby Grant

Biography: A violin student as a child, Kirby Grant made his concert debut at age 12 with the Seattle Symphony. The athletic side of the Montana-bred Grant won out during his short career as a semipro ball player, but in the early 1930s he returned to music full force as a dance band leader. Though signed to an RKO acting contract in 1937, Grant didn't make his first film, Three Sons, until 1939. In many of his earlier films (1942's Blondie Goes Latin, 1944's Ghost Catchers) he was cast to type as a bandleader, but later moved into singing-cowboy parts, as well as an above-average series of "Canadian Mountie" programmers like Yukon Territory (1949). Grant is best known for his long TV-series stint in the title role of Sky King, which led to a lucrative personal-appearance career and to his management in the 1970s of the Sky King Youth Ranch of America, a haven for homeless teenagers. A successful real estate salesman and public-relations executive in his last years, Kirby Grant was killedA violin student as a child, Kirby Grant made his concert debut at age 12 with the Seattle Symphony. The athletic side of the Montana-bred Grant won out during his short career as a semipro ball player, but in the early 1930s he returned to music full force as a dance band leader. Though signed to an RKO acting contract in 1937, Grant didn't make his first film, Three Sons, until 1939. In many of his earlier films (1942's Blondie Goes Latin, 1944's Ghost Catchers) he was cast to type as a bandleader, but later moved into singing-cowboy parts, as well as an above-average series of "Canadian Mountie" programmers like Yukon Territory (1949). Grant is best known for his long TV-series stint in the title role of Sky King, which led to a lucrative personal-appearance career and to his management in the 1970s of the Sky King Youth Ranch of America, a haven for homeless teenagers. A successful real estate salesman and public-relations executive in his last years, Kirby Grant was killed in a car accident while en route to witness a Space Shuttle launching at Cape Canaveral. Expand