Mostly Credited As: Sonny Bono
Sometimes Credited As: Sonny & Cher
Sonny and Cher
Caesar & Cleo
Birth Name: Salvatore Philip Bono
Date Of Birth: February 16, 1935 (Age 62)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan
Date Of Death: January 05, 1998
Cause Of Death: Skiing accident at South Lake Tahoe, CA
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
Sonny Bono, most famous for creating and being half of the classic musical and television duet Sonny and Cher, was born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents, Jean and Santo, had immigrated to the United States from Italy. Later in life, Sonny Bono became a two-term Republican congressman in the 44th district of California, which included Palm Springs. He helped to create the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In the early 1960s, as a talented young musician, Sonny Bono played percussion for famous record producer, Phil Spector. Working for Phil, Bono also honed his skills as a promoter and songwriter, two things which later would help to make Sonny and Cher a household term. During that time, Bono wrote the pop hit, Needles and Pins. In the mid-1960s, the pop music duet that he created with his wife, singer Cher, was catapulted to stardom with the song that Sonny wrote and produced, I Got You, Babe. More hit records by them included The Beat Goes On. CBS hired the pair for their own variety show in 1971. The Sonny and Cher Show, in which the couple did amusing stand-up comedy, performed their hits, acted in skits and hosted many popular guests, ran until 1977.
After the successful television show with his ex-wife, Cher, Sonny Bono continued his acting career in both TV and movies. On TV, his credits include episodes of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island; he appeared in Airplane II: the Sequel, and with Divine in John Waters’ film, Hairspray.
In 1994, Sonny’s pragmatic approach and affable personality got him elected to the House of Representatives, California’s 44th District. He was very popular with constituents and fellow politicians on both sides of the aisle. Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident at South Lake Tahoe in 1998. His second wife, Mary fulfilled his second congressional term, and was then re-elected to Congress.
Sonny Bono is remembered for his many talents in the entertainment business, including comedy, songwriting, producing and acting. He has become somewhat of a cult-figure following his premature departure from this world; the hit movie Men in Black included him in a list of celebrities who were suspected of being extraterrestrials. Sonny Bono was at the forefront of pop culture in the 1960s and 70s, on which he had a major influence.