Ezio Pinza was a musical comedy star and Metropolitan Opera basso.
He began his career in his native Italy in 1914 and went on to win acclaim in opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic.
Pinza successfully made the difficult transition from opera to popular music. In the Broadway musical comedy "South Pacific," which opened in 1949, he played the romantic lead opposite Mary Martin. The role made him a sex symbol to women from bobbysoxers to grandmothers.