Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?". Nicknamed the "King of Cool", he was one of the members of the "Rat Pack" and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
Martin was born in Steubenville, Ohio, to Italian parents, Gaetano and Angela Crocetti (née Barra). His father was from Abruzzo, Italy, and his mother was an Italian of part Neapolitan and part Sicilian ancestry. Martin was the younger of two sons. His brother was named Bill. Martin spoke only Italian until he started school. He attended Grant Elementary School in Steubenville, and took up the drums as a hobby as a teenager. He was the target of much ridicule for his broken English and ultimately dropped out of Steubenville High School in the 10th grade because he thought that he was smarter than his teachers. He delivered bootleg liquor, served as a speakeasy croupier, was a blackjack dealer, worked in a steel mill and boxed as welterweight. He grew up a neighbor toJimmy the Greek.
At the age of 15, he was a boxer who billed himself as "Kid Crochet". His prizefighting years earned him a broken nose (later straightened), a scarred lip, and many sets of broken knuckles (a result of not being able to afford the tape used to wrap boxers' hands). Of his twelve bouts, he would later say "I won all but eleven." For a time, he roomed with Sonny King, who, like Martin, was just starting in show business and had little money. It is said that Martin and King held bare-knuckle matches in their apartment, fighting until one of them was knocked out; people paid to watch.
Eventually, Martin gave up boxing. He worked as a roulette stickman and croupier in an illegal casino behind a tobacco shop where he had started as a stock boy. At the same time, he sang with local bands. Calling himself "Dino Martini" (after the then-famous Metropolitan Opera tenor, Nino Martini), he got his first break working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra. He sang in a crooning style influenced by Harry Mills (of the Mills Brothers), among others. In the early 1940s, he started singing for bandleader Sammy Watkins, who suggested he change his name to Dean Martin.
In October 1941, Martin married Elizabeth Anne McDonald. During their marriage (ended by divorce in 1949), they had four children. Martin worked for various bands throughout the early 1940s, mostly on looks and personality until he developed his own singing style. Martin famously flopped at the Riobamba, a high class nightclub in New York, when he succeeded Frank Sinatra in 1943, but it was the setting for their meeting.
Drafted into the United States Army in 1944 during World War II, Martin served a year stationed in Akron, Ohio. He was then reclassified as 4-F (possibly because of a double hernia; Jerry Lewis referred to the surgery Martin needed for this in his autobiography) and was discharged.
By 1946, Martin was doing relatively well, but was still little more than an East Coast nightclub singer with a common style, similar to that of Bing Crosby. He drew audiences to the clubs he played, but he inspired none of the fanatic popularity enjoyed by Sinatra
A biography on Martin entitled Dean Martin: King of the Road by Michael Freedland alleged he had links to the Mafia early in his career. According to this book, Martin was given help with his singing career by the Chicago Outfit who owned saloons in the city, and later performed in shows hosted by these bosses when he was a star. The mob bosses were Tony ("Joe Batters") Accardo and Sam Giancana. Freedland suggests Martin felt little sympathy for the Mafia and did them small favors only if it was not inconvenient for him. Another book, The Animal in Hollywood by John L. Smith, depicted Martin's longtime friendship with Mafia mobsters "Handsome Johnny" Roselli and Anthony ("The Animal") Fiato. Smith suggested Fiato did Martin many favors, such as getting back money from two swindlers who had cheated Martin's ex-wife Betty out of thousands of dollars of her alimony
Martin attracted the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures, but a Hollywood contract was not forthcoming. He met comic Jerry Lewis at the Glass Hat Club in New York, where both men were performing. Martin and Lewis formed a fast friendship which led to their participation in each other's acts and the ultimate formation of a music-comedy team.
Martin and Lewis's official debut together occurred at Atlantic City's 500 Club on July 24, 1946, and they were not well received. The owner, Skinny D'Amato, warned them that if they did not come up with a better act for their second show later that night, they would be fired. Huddling together in the alley behind the club, Lewis and Martin agreed to "go for broke", to throw out the pre-scripted gags and to improvise. Martin sang and Lewis came out dressed as a busboy, dropping plates and making a shambles of both Martin's performance and the club's sense of decorum until Lewis was chased from the room as Martin pelted him with breadrolls. They did slapstick, reeled off old vaudeville jokes, and did whatever else popped into their heads at the moment. This time, the audience doubled over in laughter. This success led to a series of well-paying engagements on the Eastern seaboard, culminating in a triumphant run at New York'sCopacabana. Patrons were convulsed by the act, which consisted primarily of Lewis interrupting and heckling Martin while he was trying to sing, and ultimately the two of them chasing each other around the stage and having as much fun as possible. The secret, both said, is that they essentially ignored the audience and played to one another.
The team made its TV debut on the very first broadcast of CBS-TV network's Toast of the Town (later called The Ed Sullivan Show) with Ed Sullivan andRodgers & Hammerstein appearing on this same inaugural telecast of June 20, 1948. A radio series commenced in 1949, the same year Martin and Lewis were signed by Paramount producer Hal B. Wallis as comedy relief for the movie My Friend Irma.
Their agent, Abby Greshler, negotiated for them one of Hollywood's best deals: although they received only a modest $75,000 between them for their films with Wallis, Martin and Lewis were free to do one outside film a year, which they would co-produce through their own York Productions. They also had complete control of their club, record, radio and television appearances, and it was through these endeavors that they earned millions of dollars.
In Dean & Me, Lewis calls Martin one of the great comic geniuses of all time. But the harsh comments from the critics, as well as frustration with the formulaic similarity of Martin and Lewis movies, which producer Hal Wallis stubbornly refused to change, led to Martin's dissatisfaction. He put less enthusiasm into the work, leading to escalating arguments with Lewis. They finally could not work together, especially after Martin told his partner he was "nothing to me but a dollar sign". The act broke up in 1956, 10 years to the day from the first official teaming.
Martin's first solo film, Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), was a box office failure. He was still popular as a singer, but with rock and roll surging to the fore, the era of the pop crooner was waning.
The CBS film, Martin and Lewis, a made-for-TV movie about the famous comedy duo, starred Jeremy Northam as Martin, and Sean Hayes as Lewis. It depicted the years from 1946–1956.
Never totally comfortable in films, Martin wanted to be known as a real actor. Though offered a fraction of his former salary to co-star in a war drama, The Young Lions (1957), he was ecstatic to receive the part because it would be a dramatic showcase with the two most intriguing young actors of the period and he could learn from Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. Tony Randall already had the part, but talent agency MCA realized that with this movie, Martin would become a triple threat: they could make money from his work in night clubs, movies, and records. Martin replaced Randall and the film turned out to be the beginning of Martin's spectacular comeback. Success would continue as Martin starred alongside Frank Sinatra for the first time in a highly acclaimed Vincente Minnellidrama, Some Came Running (1958). By the mid '60s, Martin was a top movie, recording, and nightclub star, while Lewis' film career declined. Martin was acclaimed for his performance as Dude in Rio Bravo (1959), directed by Howard Hawks and also starring John Wayne and singer Ricky Nelson. He teamed up again with Wayne in The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), somewhat unconvincingly cast as brothers.
In 1960, Martin was cast in the motion picture version of the Judy Holliday hit stage play Bells Are Ringing. Martin played a satiric variation of his own womanizing persona as Vegas singer "Dino" in Billy Wilder's comedy Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) with Kim Novak, and he was not above poking fun at his image in films such as the Matt Helm spy spoofs of the 1960s, in which he was a co-producer.
As a singer, Martin copied the styles of Harry Mills (of the Mills Brothers), Bing Crosby, and Perry Como until he developed his own and could hold his own in duets with Sinatra and Crosby. Like Sinatra, he could not read music, but he recorded more than 100 albums and 600 songs. His signature tune, "Everybody Loves Somebody", knocked The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" out of the number-one spot in the United States in 1964. This was followed by the similarly-styled "The Door is Still Open to My Heart", which reached number six later that year. Elvis Presley was said to have been influenced by Martin, and patterned "Love Me Tender" after his style. Martin, like Elvis, was influenced by country music. By 1965, some of Martin's albums, such as Dean "Tex" Martin, The Hit Sound Of Dean Martin, Welcome To My World and Gentle On My Mind were composed of country and western songs made famous by artists like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens. Martin hosted country performers on his TV show and was named "Man Of the Year" by the Country Music Association in 1966. "Ain't That a Kick in the Head", a song Martin performed in Ocean's Eleven that never became a hit at the time, has enjoyed a spectacular revival in the media and pop culture.
For three decades, Martin was among the most popular acts in Las Vegas. Martin sang and was one of the smoothest comics in the business, benefiting from the decade of raucous comedy with Lewis. Martin's daughter, Gail, also sang in Vegas and on his TV show, co-hosting his summer replacement series on NBC. Though often thought of as a ladies' man, Martin spent a lot of time with his family; as second wife Jeanne put it, prior to the couple's divorce, "He was home every night for dinner."
As Martin's solo career grew, he and Frank Sinatra became close friends. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Martin and Sinatra, along with friends Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. formed the legendary Rat Pack, so called by the public after an earlier group of social friends, the Holmby Hills Rat Pack centered on Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, of which Sinatra had been a member.
The Martin-Sinatra-Davis-Lawford-Bishop group referred to themselves as "The Summit" or "The Clan" and never as "The Rat Pack", although this has remained their identity in the popular imagination. The men made films together, formed an important part of the Hollywood social scene in those years, and were politically influential (through Lawford's marriage to Patricia Kennedy, sister of President John F. Kennedy).
The Rat Pack were legendary for their Las Vegas performances. For example, the marquee at the Sands Hotel might read DEAN MARTIN---MAYBE FRANK---MAYBE SAMMY. Las Vegas rooms were at a premium when the Rat Pack would appear, with many visitors sleeping in hotel lobbies or cars to get a chance to see the three men together. Their act (always in tuxedo) consisted of each singing individual numbers, duets and trios, along with much seemingly improvised slapstick and chatter. In the socially-charged 1960s, their jokes revolved around adult themes, such as Sinatra's infamous womanizing and Martin's legendary drinking, as well as many at the expense of Davis's race and religion. Davis famously practiced Judaism and used Yiddish phrases onstage, eliciting much merriment from both his stage-mates and his audiences. It was all good-natured male bonding, never vicious, rarely foul-mouthed, and the three had great respect for each other. The Rat Pack was largely responsible for the integration of Las Vegas. Sinatra and Martin (both liberal Democrats) were active supporters of the Civil Rights Movement and refused to perform in clubs that would not allow African-American or Jewish performers.
Posthumously, the Rat Pack has experienced a popular revival, inspiring the George Clooney/Brad Pitt "Ocean's" trilogy. An HBO film, The Rat Pack, starred Joe Mantegna as Martin, Ray Liotta as Sinatra and Don Cheadle as Davis. It depicted their contribution to JFK's election in 1960.
In 1965, Martin launched his weekly NBC comedy-variety series, The Dean Martin Show, which exploited his public image as a lazy, carefree boozer. There he perfected his famous laid-back persona of the half-drunk crooner suavely hitting on beautiful women with hilarious remarks that would get anyone else slapped, and making snappy if slurred remarks about fellow celebrities during his famous roasts. During an interview he stated, and this may have been tongue-in-cheek, that he had someone record them on cassette tape so he could listen to them; this is evidenced by his comments to this effect on the British TV documentary 'Wine, Women and Song' which was aired in 1983.
The TV show was a success. Martin prided himself on memorizing whole scripts – not merely his own lines. He disliked rehearsing because he firmly believed his best performances were his first. The show's loose format prompted quick-witted improvisation from Martin and the cast. On occasion, he made remarks in Italian, some mild obscenities that brought angry mail from offended, Italian-speaking viewers. This prompted a battle between Martin and NBC censors, who insisted on more scrutiny of the show's content. The show was often in the Top Ten. Martin, deeply appreciative of the efforts of the show's producer, his friend Greg Garrison, later made a handshake deal giving Garrison, a pioneer TV producer in the 1950s, 50% ownership of the show. However, the validity of that ownership is currently the subject of a lawsuit brought by NBC Universal.
Despite Martin's reputation as a heavy drinker – a reputation perpetuated via his vanity license plates reading "DRUNKY" – he was remarkably self-disciplined. He was often the first to call it a night, and when not on tour or on a film location, liked to go home to see his wife and children. Phyllis Diller has said that Martin was indeed drinking alcohol onstage and not apple juice. She also commented that although he was not drunk, he was not really sober either, but had very strict rules when it came to performances. He borrowed the lovable-drunk shtick from Joe E. Lewis, but his convincing portrayals of heavy boozers in Some Came Running and Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo led to unsubstantiated claims of alcoholism. More often than not, Martin's idea of a good time was playing golf or watching TV, particularly westerns – not staying with Rat Pack friends Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. into the early hours of the morning.
Martin starred in and co-produced a series of four Matt Helm superspy comedy adventures. A fifth, The Ravagers, was planned starring Sharon Tate and Martin in a dual role, one as a serial killer, but due to the murder of Tate and the decline of the spy genre, the film was never made.
By the early 1970s, The Dean Martin Show was still earning solid ratings, and although he was no longer a Top 40 hitmaker, his record albums continued to sell steadily. His name on a marquee could guarantee casinos and nightclubs a standing-room-only crowd. He found a way to make his passion for golf profitable by offering his own signature line of golf balls. Shrewd investments had greatly increased Martin's personal wealth; at the time of his death, Martin was reportedly the single largest minority shareholder of RCA stock. Martin even managed to cure himself of his claustrophobia by reportedly locking himself in the elevator of a tall building and riding up and down for hours until he was no longer panic-stricken.
Now comfortable financially, Martin did not need to work as much and he began reducing his schedule. The final (1973–74) season of his variety show would be retooled into one of celebrity roasts, requiring less of Martin's involvement. After the show's cancellation, NBC continued to air The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast format in a series of TV specials through 1984. In those 11 years, Martin and his panel of pals successfully ridiculed and made fun of these legendary stars in this order: Ronald Reagan, Hugh Hefner, Ed McMahon, William Conrad, Kirk Douglas, Bette Davis, Barry Goldwater, Johnny Carson, Wilt Chamberlain, Hubert Humphrey, Carroll O'Connor, Monty Hall, Jack Klugman & Tony Randall, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Leo Durocher, Truman Capote, Don Rickles, Ralph Nader, Jack Benny, Redd Foxx, Bobby Riggs, George Washington, Dan Rowan & Dick Martin, Hank Aaron, Joe Namath, Bob Hope, Telly Savalas, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Sammy Davis Jr, Michael Landon, Evel Knievel,Valerie Harper, Muhammad Ali, Dean Martin, Dennis Weaver, Joe Garagiola, Danny Thomas, Angie Dickinson, Gabe Kaplan, Ted Knight, Peter Marshall, Dan Haggerty, Frank Sinatra, Jack Klugman,Jimmy Stewart, George Burns, Betty White, Suzanne Somers, Joan Collins, and Mr T. For nearly a decade, Martin had recorded as many as four albums a year for Reprise Records. That stopped in November 1974, when Martin recorded his final Reprise album - Once In A While, released in 1978. His last recording sessions were for Warner Brothers Records. An album titled The Nashville Sessionswas released in 1983, from which he had a hit with "(I Think That I Just Wrote) My First Country Song", which was recorded with Conway Twitty and made a respectable showing on the country charts. A followup single "L.A. Is My Home" / "Drinking Champagne" came in 1985. The 1975 film Mr. Ricco marked Martin's final starring role, and Martin limited his live performances to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Martin seemed to suffer a mid-life crisis. In 1972, he filed for divorce from his second wife, Jeanne. A week later, his business partnership with the Riviera was dissolved amid reports of the casino's refusal to agree to Martin's request to perform only once a night. He was quickly snapped up by the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and signed a three-picture deal with MGM Studios. Less than a month after his second marriage had been legally dissolved, Martin married 26-year-old Catherine Hawn on April 25, 1973. Hawn had been the receptionist at the chic Gene Shacrove hair salon in Beverly Hills. They divorced November 10, 1976. He was also briefly engaged to Gail Renshaw, Miss World-U.S.A. 1969.
Eventually, Martin reconciled with Jeanne, though they never remarried. He also made a public reconciliation with Jerry Lewis on Lewis' Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon in 1976. Frank Sinatra shocked Lewis and the world by bringing Martin out on stage. As Martin and Lewis embraced, the audience erupted in cheers and the phone banks lit up, resulting in one of the telethon's most profitable years. Lewis reported the event was one of the three most memorable of his life. Lewis brought down the house when he quipped, "So, you working?" Martin, playing drunk, replied that he was "at the Meggum" – this reference to the MGM Grand Hotel convulsed Lewis. This, along with the death of Martin's son Dean Paul Martin a few years later, helped to bring the two men together. They maintained a quiet friendship, but only performed together again once, in 1989, on Martin's 72nd birthday.
Martin was married three times. Martin's first wife, Betty McDonald, tried by all accounts to be a good wife and mother to their four children, but her efforts were ultimately undone by heralcoholism. It remains a matter of speculation whether her alcoholism led to the failure of the marriage, or whether Martin's infidelities led to Betty's alcoholism. Subsequent to their divorce, Martin gained custody of their children; Betty lived out her life in quiet obscurity in San Francisco. Their children were Stephen Craig (born June 29, 1942), Claudia Dean (March 16, 1944 - 2001 from breast cancer), Barbara Gail (born April 11, 1945) and Deana (Dina) (born August 19, 1948).
Martin's second wife was Jeanne Biegger. A stunning blonde, Jeanne could sometimes be spotted in Martin's audience while he was still married to Betty. Their marriage lasted 24 years (1949–1973) and produced three children. Their children were Dean Paul (November 17, 1951 - March 21, 1987; plane crash), Ricci James (born September 20, 1953) and Gina Caroline (born December 20, 1956).
Martin's third marriage, to Catherine Hawn, lasted three years. One of Martin's managers had spotted her at the reception desk of a hair salon on Rodeo Drive, then arranged a meeting. Martin adopted Hawn's daughter, Sasha, but their marriage also failed. Martin initiated divorce proceedings.
Martin's uncle was Leonard Barr, who appeared in several of his shows.
On December 1, 1983 while gambling at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, Martin and Sinatra intimidated the dealer and several employees into breaking New Jersey law by making the dealer deal the cards by hand instead of from a shoe. Although Sinatra and Martin were implicated as the cause of the violation, neither was fined by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The Golden Nugget received a $25,000 fine (which Sinatra paid, stating that it was his responsibility as he and Martin were the cause of the fine) and four employees including the dealer, a supervisor and pit boss were suspended from their jobs without pay.
Martin returned to films briefly with appearances in the two star-laden, yet critically panned Cannonball Run movies. He also had a minor hit single with "Since I Met You Baby" and made his first music video, which appeared on MTV. The video was created by Martin's youngest son, Ricci.
On March 21, 1987, Martin's son, Dean Paul (formerly Dino of the '60s "teeny-bopper" rock group Dino, Desi & Billy), was killed when his F-4 Phantom II jet fighter crashed while flying with the California Air National Guard. A much-touted tour with Davis and Sinatra in 1988 sputtered. On one occasion, he infuriated Sinatra when he turned to him and muttered, "Frank, what the hell are we doing up here?" Martin, who always responded best to a club audience, felt lost in the huge stadiums they were performing in (at Sinatra's insistence), and he was not interested in drinking until dawn after performances. His final Vegas shows were at Bally's Hotel in 1990. There he had his final reunion with Jerry Lewis on his 72nd birthday. Martin's last two TV appearances involved tributes to his former Rat Packmembers. On December 8, 1989, he joined many stars of the entertainment industry in Sammy Davis, Jr's 60th anniversary celebration, which aired only a few weeks before Davis died from throat cancer. In December 1990, he congratulated Frank Sinatra on his 75th birthday special.
Martin was diagnosed with lung cancer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in September 1993, and in early 1995 retired from public life. He died of acute respiratory failure resulting from emphysema at his Beverly Hills home on Christmas morning 1995, at age 78. The lights of the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed in his honor.
In the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2008, "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?" was the opening song from the show.
A compilation album called, Amore!, debuted at Number One on Billboard magazine's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in its February 21, 2009 issue.
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|Saistītās personas vārds||Saites||Apraksts|
|3||Howard Hawks||Darba biedrs|
|4||Frenks Sinatra||Darba biedrs|
|5||Audrey Meadows||Darba biedrs|
|6||Džonijs Kešs||Darba biedrs|
|7||Džoana Drjū||Darba biedrs|
|8||Polly Bergen||Darba biedrs|
|9||Eddie Albert||Darba biedrs|
|10||Laura Devon||Darba biedrs|
|11||Harry Carey junior||Darba biedrs|
|12||Džons Veins||Darba biedrs|
|13||Peter Graves||Darba biedrs|
|14||Betty Jane Baker||Darba biedrs|
|15||Jean Seberg||Darba biedrs|
|16||George Peppard||Darba biedrs|
|17||Glens Kembels||Darba biedrs|
|18||Clinton Sundberg||Darba biedrs|
|19||Bings Krosbijs||Darba biedrs|
|20||Virginia Grey||Darba biedrs|
|21||Barry Nelson||Darba biedrs|
|22||Hal B. Wallis||Darba biedrs|
|23||Sammy Davis, Jr.||Darba biedrs|
|24||Dana Wynter||Darba biedrs|
|25||Norma Zimmer||Darba biedrs|
|26||Šerona Teita||Darba biedrs|
|27||Jerry Lewis||Darba biedrs|
|28||Lee Ann Remick||Darba biedrs|
|29||Daliah Lavi||Darba biedrs|
|30||Charlie Callas||Darba biedrs|
|31||Fred Clark||Darba biedrs|
|32||Tura Satana||Darba biedrs|
|33||Edward Dmytryk||Darba biedrs|
|34||Areta Luisa Franklina||Paziņa|
|37||Sir Ken Dodd||Paziņa|
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