International singing star Toni Dalli dies at his Marbella home, aged 88

Toni Dalli and his Ferrari in 2004.
Toni Dalli and his Ferrari in 2004. / JOSELE
  • Toni Dalli was a household name in the UK and United States in the 50s and 60s. He moved to the Costa del Sol in the 80s opening a restaurant where Jimmy Tarbuck and Sean Connery were regular guests

Toni Dalli, the international singing star who rose from the Yorkshire coalmines to become a household name in the UK and US in the 50s and 60s has died at his home in Marbella. He was 88.

Originally from Pescara, Italy, Toni moved to Yorkshire in the late 40s, working in the mines and steel mills.

His outstanding voice led to him singing in working men's clubs where he was spotted by Percy Livingston and Roy Holstein, who advised him to move to London.

Success soon followed and by the 50s, he was a regular on stage and TV in the UK as well as appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, Hollywood, Las Vegas and New York, where he sang at Carnegie Hall. In London one of the many highlights was performing at The Royal Albert Hall.

Toni recorded a number of best selling albums with EMI and Decca and hosted his own TV show in the US. He also toured extensively in Europe, Australia and South East Asia.

Toni (right) and Sean Connery.

Toni (right) and Sean Connery.

The 80s saw Toni move to Marbella where he opened a hugely successful restaurant on the Golden Mile; many of his friends from the entertainment and film world, including Jimmy Tarbuck and Sean Connery were regular guests. Toni was also able to enjoy his other passions – golf, being a regular sight on Marbella's many courses and Ferrari, where he was a founder member of the Andalucía Ferrari Owners Club.

Toni's main passion, however, was his family. He was married to Valerie for over 60 years and the couple had four children. Simon, Marco and Nicholas set up the hugely popular Dalli's Pasta Factory in Puerto Banús in the 80s.

A devoted family man and a much loved, husband, father and grandfather, Toni will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by his family and many friends.