Tony took the last name of Fields from his stepfather Max. Tony's parents divorced when he was four. Although he was born in Stafford, Kansas, he moved to Davis, California, where his career began in gymnastics. He switched to dance training when he won scholarships to the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (studying drama and voice), and also at Roland Dupree Academy of Dance. He began touring with Debbie Reynolds in her nightclub act only 3 months after starting at Dupree. When he came to Solid Gold, he had had only 2 years of formal training. Tony appeared in numerous music videos, including Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and "Thriller" and was also featured in the "Making of Thriller" special. He also appeared in Lionel Richie's "Running with the Night." As a Solid Gold dancer, he also appeared on the Miss Teen USA pageant as an escort and entertainer, and on the home exercise video "The Solid Gold 5 Day Workout." Other early TV appearances included "Lil Abner," "Bobby Vinton Rock and Rollers," and "The John Davidson Christmas Special."