The great Dino Martini!! 

He was a man who made a name for himself, literally (but that comes later).  Who could forget the film, Kiss Me, Stupid!?  One of the greatest and funniest films ever made in my opinion!!  His appearance in Cannonball Run, was legendary as well!  While most knew Dean as an actor, there was more to this legend than what met the eye ... his story begins ...

Dean Martin was born, Dino Paul Crocetti, June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio.  His career in film spanned 51 movies, in which he had the lead role.  Dean's early life was full of work as a child.  Dean had one older brother, Bill.  Dean was the son of a Steubenville, Ohio, barber, Martin dropped out of school in the tenth grade and took a string of odd jobs ranging from steelworker to bootlegger; at the age of 15, he was a 135-pound boxer who billed himself as "Kid Crocetti." It was from his prizefighting years that he got a broken nose (it was later fixed), a permanently split scarred  lip, and beat-up hands. Nothing wrong with that voice though!  Eh??  He was to become king of crooners.. 2nd to Frank (o'course!)

 

For a time, he was involved with gambling as a roulette stickman and blackjack croupier. At the same time, he practiced his singing with local bands. Billing himself as "Dino Martini" (after the then-famous Metropolitan Opera tenor, Nino Martini).. He got his first break working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra. But in the early 1940s, he started singing for bandleader Sammy Watkins.

 

It was here that he changed his name to Dean Martin

 

A hernia got Martin out of the Army during World War II, and with wife and children in tow, he worked for several bands throughout the early 1940s, scoring more on looks and personality than vocal ability until he developed  his own smooth singing style...  Failing to achieve a screen test at MGM, Martin appeared permanently destined for the nightclub circuit until he met fledgling 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 ultimately forming a music-comedy team.

Martin and Lewis' official debut together occurred at Atlantic City's Club 500 on July 25, 1946, and club patrons throughout the East Coast were soon convulsed by the act, which consisted primarily of Lewis interrupting and heckling Martin while the he was trying to sing, and, ultimately, the two of them chasing each other around the stage and having as much fun as possibleA radio series commenced in 1949, bringing on the likes of Marilyn Monroe... That same year - Martin and Lewis were signed by Paramount producer Hal Wallis, after seeing them perform in Las Vegas at the Copacabana. Martin and Lewis was the hottest act in nightclubs, films, and television during the early '50s, but the pace and the pressure took its toll, and the act broke up in 1956, ten years to the day after the first official teaming. Lewis had no trouble maintaining his film popularity alone, but Martin, unfairly regarded by much of the public and the motion picture industry as something of a spare tire to his former partner, found the going rough, and his first solo-starring film (Ten Thousand Bedrooms bombed.)

In 1965, Martin successfully launched his own hit television show on NBC, quaintly called, The Dean Martin Show, which exploited his public image as a lazy, carefree boozer, even though few entertainers worked as hard to make what they were doing look so easy. It's also no secret that Martin was sipping apple juice, not booze, most of the time onstage. He stole the lovable-drunk shtick from Phil Harris; and his convincing portrayals of heavy boozers in "Some Came Running" (1958) and "Howard Hawk's Rio Bravo" (1959) led to unsubstantiated claims of alcoholism. In the late 1970s, Martin concentrated on club dates, recordings, and an occasional film, and even made an appearance on the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon in 1978.

Dean lived at 2002 Loma Vista Drive, in Beverly Hills.  All you can see from the road, is the gate in the distance & mailbox!?.. Mmmbut  thanks to Hollywood Legends.net friend realtor Brian Matouf - we get a look BEYOND the gates!  I LOVE REALITY!  First thing you see at the end of the drive, the MEGA garage.. Walk a lil left and.. It's the HOUSE.. INSIDE!!  Poolside.. Bar.. Dining.. Steam & Sauna..  Bathroom.. Bedroom.. Another pool shot.. & THEATER!  WOW!  Here is a shot from up on the hill.. BEAUTY-FULL just beautiful!!

 

His living the high life, was about to come to a low in the late eighties, In 1987, Dean's son ... Dean Paul Martin, abruptly died in a plane crash.  This was the first  in a major spiral downhill for Dean. A much-touted tour  with old pals Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra in 1989, was abruptly canceled, and the public was led to believe it was due to a falling out with Sinatra; Only intimates knew that Martin was a very sick man who had never completely recovered from the loss of his son AND who was suffering badly from emphysema. But Martin courageously kept his private life to himself, emerging briefly and rather jauntily for a public celebration of his 77th birthday with friends and family. Whatever his true state of health, he proved in this rare public appearances that he was still the inveterate showman.

 

Martin died of respiratory failure at the age of 78, on Christmas morning 1995. Martin had been told he needed major surgery on his kidneys and liver in order to prolong his life, and he had refused.  ENOUGH was ENOUGH!!  RIP Dino!! 

 

See his grave and leave your non wilting virtual flowers, & a comment here.  

TRIVIA


For three decades, Martin was among the most popular nightclub acts in Las Vegas. Although a smooth comic, he never wrote his own material. On television, Martin had a highly rated, near-decade-long series; it was there that he perfected his famous laid-back persona of the half-soused crooner suavely hitting on beautiful women with sexist remarks that would get anyone else slapped, and making snappy, if not somewhat slurred, remarks about fellow celebrities during his famous roasts. Martin attributed his long-term TV popularity to the fact that he never put on airs or pretended to be anyone else onstage, but that's not necessarily true. Those closest to him categorized him as a great enigma; for, despite all his exterior fame and easygoing charm, Martin was a complex, introverted soul and a loner. Even his closest friend, Sinatra, only saw Martin once or twice per year. His private passions were golf, going to restaurants, and watching television. He loathed parties—even when hosting them—and would sometimes sneak off to bed without telling a soul. He once said in a 1978 interview for Esquire magazine that, although he loved performing, particularly in nightclubs, if he had to do it over again he would be a professional golfer or baseball player.

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