Haymes was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1918. His mother, whom Haymes predeceased, was Irish-born Marguerite Haymes (1894–1987), a well-known vocal coach and instructor. His father worked as a rancher and was of English descent. The Haymes' traveled extensively before settling in the United States when Haymes was an infant.
At the age of 17, Haymes moved to Los Angeles where he initially worked as a stunt man and film double. At the age of 19, he moved to New York City where he worked as a vocalist in a number of big bands. On September 3, 1942, Frank Sinatra introduced Haymes on radio as Sinatra's replacement in the Tommy Dorsey band. Prior to joining Dorsey's group, Haymes sang with the Harry James orchestra.
In 1945 Haymes co-starred with Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews and Vivian Blaine in the musical State Fair. He teamed with female vocalist Helen Forrest for many hit duets during World War Two, including "Together," "I'll Buy That Dream," and "Long Ago and Far Away"; he sang with Judy Garland on two Decca recordings of songs from the film The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, in which he appeared with Betty Grable.
From 1944 to 1948, he had his own radio program, The Dick Haymes Show, first on NBC and later on CBS.
He paired repeatedly with the Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on a dozen or so Decca collaborations, including the Billboard hit "Teresa," "Great Day," "My Sin," and a 1952 rendering of the dramatic ballad "Here in My Heart," backed by the sisters and Nelson Riddle's lush strings. His duets with Patty Andrews were also well received, both on Decca vinyl and on radio's Club Fifteen with the sisters, which he hosted in 1949 and 1950. He also joined Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters for 1947 session that produced the Billboard hit "There's No Business Like Show Business," as well as "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)." His popular renditions of tender ballads such as "Little White Lies" and "Maybe It's Because" were recorded with celebrated arranger Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra and chorus.
Haymes's birth in Argentina to non-U.S. citizens meant he was not an American citizen. In order to avoid military service during World War II, Haymes asserted his nonbelligerent status as a citizen of Argentina, which was neutral at that time. Hollywood-based columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper questioned Haymes' patriotism, but the story had little effect on his career. About that time, he was classified 4-F by the draft board because of hypertension. As part of his draft examination, he was confined for a short period to a hospital on Ellis Island, which confirmed his hypertension.
In 1953, Haymes went to Hawaii (then a territory and, technically, not part of the United States) without first notifying immigration authorities. On returning to the mainland United States, he was nearly deported to Argentina, but won his battle to remain in the United States.
He experienced serious financial problems later in life, by the early 1960s declaring bankruptcy with $500,000 in debts.
He appeared as unscrupulous doctor Elroy Gantman in a 1974 episode of the TV show Adam-12.
Haymes was married six times, including to film actresses Joanne Dru (1941–1949), Rita Hayworth (1953–1955), and Fran Jeffries (1958–1964). He was also married to Nora Eddington (1949–1953), a former wife of Errol Flynn. Haymes had a total of six children—three with Joanne Dru, one with Fran Jeffries, and two with his sixth and final wife, British model Wendy Smith.
On March 28, 1980, Haymes died from lung cancer in at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 61 years old.
Dick Haymes Sings – Carmen Cavallaro at the Piano – Irving Berlin Songs (1948 Decca Record)Rain or Shine (1955)
Look at Me Now! (1956 or 1957)
Richard the Lion-Hearted - Dick Haymes that is! (1960)
Dick Haymes (1950s)
Little White Lies (1958)
Dick Haymes - Maury Laws Orchestra / Featuring Cy Coleman (1960s)
Love Letters (1960s)
Spotlight On – Dick Haymes Sings Romantic Ballads - Featuring Johnny Kay (1960s)
Imagination (1982) (also available on CD)
Dick Haymes Comes Home! (1973)
(2016) Dick Haymes You'll Never Know His 53 Finest 2 CDset (Retrospective)
(1990) Richard the Lion-Hearted – Dick Haymes that is! (1990) re-issue of the vinyl album
The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 1 (1997)
The Very Best of Dick Haymes, Vol. 2 (1997)
The Complete Columbia Recordings – with Harry James and Benny Goodman (1998)
Little White Lies: 25 Original Mono Recordings 1942-1050. Living Era. ASV Mono. CD AJA 5387 (2001)
Christmas Wishes (2002, radio transcriptions)
Golden Years of Dick Haymes (2003)
The Complete Capitol Collection (2006)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) – Able-Bodied Seaman (uncredited)
Dramatic School (1938) – Student (uncredited)
Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) – Singer (uncredited)
Girl Crazy (1943) – Member, The Pied Pipers (uncredited)
Four Jills in a Jeep (1944) – Lt. Dick Ryan
Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944) – Ernest R. Ball
I Am an American (1944) – Himself (uncredited)
Diamond Horseshoe (1945) – Joe Davis Jr.
State Fair (1945) – Wayne Frake
Fallen Angel (1945) – Himself – JukeBox Vocalist (voice, uncredited)
Do You Love Me (1946) – Jimmy Hale
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) – John Pritchard
Carnival in Costa Rica (1947) – Jeff Stephens
Up in Central Park (1948) – John Matthews
One Touch of Venus (1948) – Joe Grant
Words and Music (1948) – Himself
St. Benny the Dip (1951) – Benny
Hollywood Fun Festival (1952) – Master of Ceremonies
All Ashore (1953) – Joe Carter
Let's Do It Again (1953) – Singer – 'I Could Never Love Anyone But You' (voice, uncredited)
Cruisin' Down the River (1953) – Beauregard Clemment / Beau Clemment III
Adam-12 (1974) (TV) – Dr. Elroy Gantman
Betrayal (1974) (TV) – Harold Porter
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) – James Crawford
The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978) (TV – episode "Murder on the Flip Side") – Jason Lamb
Real Life (1979) – Councilman Harris (final film role)
Miss Liberty (1951, Dallas Theatre)