Dean Martin

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Dean Martin

Dean Martin (born June 7, 1917 as Dino Crocetti in Steubenville , Ohio , † December 25, 1995 in Beverly Hills , California ) was an American singer , actor and entertainer of Italian descent. Martin became internationally known after the Second World War through his ten-year collaboration with comedian Jerry Lewis . After the dissolution of Martin & LewisMartin established himself as a solo artist on stage, on screen and on television. He performed regularly in Las Vegas until 1991 , sang world hits like Memories Are Made of This and Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime) and made over 50 films, including Rio Bravo and Kiss Me, Dummkopf . For a decade he presented the Dean Martin Show on television , which made him the highest paid entertainer in the world at the time. Together with Frank Sinatra , Sammy Davis Jr. and some other artists he was assigned to the so-called Rat Pack in the 1960s . Because of his relaxed appearances, he was considered the King of Cool .


Childhood and early years

Wells High School in Steubenville

Martin's father was the farm worker Gaetano Crocetti (1894–1967), who was born in Montesilvano , Italy . Gaetano Crocetti, who called himself Guy from 1914, settled in the industrial town of Steubenville in the American Rust Belt and opened a hairdressing salon. Martin's mother was Ohio-born, Italian-born Angela "Angelina" Barr, née Barra (1897–1966). They married in October 1914. One and a half years later, their first child, Guglielmo (later called William or Bill; 1916–1968), was born, and another year later, on June 7, 1917, Dino was born prematurely as the second son .

According to his own account, Dino only spoke Italian until he was five years old ; in retrospect, he himself referred to it as an "Abruzzo dialect". At first he had difficulties with the English he had learned as a second language in school and left Wells High School , which he had previously only attended irregularly, after the tenth grade. Difficulty with the English language persisted until he received language lessons from his first wife, "Betty", in the early 1940s.

As a teenager, Martin worked in various jobs. Among other things, he was a worker in one of Steubenville's steelworks, a milkman and a salesman in a supermarket. He temporarily resigned as under the name "Kid Crochet" prizefighter in the welterweight division at. Martin repeatedly came into contact with the Cosa Nostra , the local manifestation of organized crime . During Prohibition he helped smuggle alcohol , and from 1936 he worked as a dealer ( croupier ) in an illegal casino in his hometown. He often sang loudly to himself at the dealer table and friends suggested that he could earn money by singing.

After a few amateur appearances in the 1930s, Martin's career as a professional entertainer began in the fall of 1939. It ended after 52 years with his last stage appearance in Las Vegas.

Dino - Dean - Crocetti - Martini - Martin : name change

Martin's baptismal name was Dino Crocetti; At first he did not have a middle name. It was only on the occasion of his first communion in 1928 that he received the middle name Paul, which his future stage partner Jerry Lewis preferred to use to address him.

In the first years of his artistic career, Martin performed under his maiden name, Dino Crocetti. Before an engagement in Cleveland , the band leader Ernie McKay gave him the stage name Dino Martini in November 1939, which was not - as occasionally suggested - to recall the cocktail of the same name , but rather the then popular Italian opera tenor Nino Martini . In November of the following year, at the instigation of the band leader Samuel "Sammy" Watkins, it became the Americanized version of Dean Martin, which he made his name officially before the birth of his first child in 1942.


Dean Martin was married three times and had seven biological children, five of which at least temporarily also gained a foothold in show business. His family also included actor and entertainer Leonard "Bananas" Barr . He was the younger brother of Martin's mother.

Marriages and partnerships

Dean Martin's first wife was Elizabeth Anne "Betty" Martin, née McDonald (* 1923; † 1989). They married in 1941 and divorced in 1949. Two days after the divorce, Martin married Florida- born Dorothy Jane "Jeanne" (also: "Jeannie") Biegger (born March 27, 1927; † August 24, 2016). In the 1950s they separated several times for short periods, and in 1973 they divorced. During his marriage to Jeanne, Martin had numerous affairs, including with Pier Angeli , later with the beauty queen Gail Renshaw , the actress Phyllis Davis and Bing Crosby's daughter-in-law Peggy Crosby. In 1973 Martin married Catherine "Kathy" Hawn, who divorced three years later. Since the 1980s, Martin lived again with his second wife Jeanne, without, however, formally entering into the marriage again. Jeanne Martin died at the age of 89 in August 2016, two weeks after her son Ricci.


The marriage to Betty had four children:

  • Stephen Craig (* 1942),
  • Claudia (March 16, 1944 - February 16, 2001); She has played in numerous television series and occasionally in feature films since childhood.
  • Barbara Gail (* 1945) and
  • Deana (* 1948 as Dina Martin); she has been a singer and entertainer since the late 1960s.

Martin had three children with his second wife Jeanne:

  • Dean Paul (born November 17, 1951 - March 21, 1987); he founded the beat band Dino, Desi & Billy in the mid-1960s and later appeared as an actor. He was considered Martin's favorite son and died in a plane crash in 1987.
  • Ricci James (born September 20, 1953 - † August 6, 2016); He was a music producer and entertainer, also co-producer of the last three studio albums of his father and wrote a biography about him in 2002.
  • Gina (* 1956).

In 1957 Martin received sole custody of the four children from his first marriage, which until then had been their mother Betty. From 1957 they lived in a common household with his second family in Beverly Hills . Martin tried to cut off the children's contact with Betty, who had developed a severe alcohol addiction in the 1950s.

Eventually, Kathy Hawn brought a daughter into the marriage from a previous relationship, who was adopted by Martin.


One of Martin's few close confidants: Mack "Killer" Gray

Despite his jovial appearance in public, Martin was personally extremely closed. Even as a child he often withdrew. Later companions and members of his family unanimously reported that he was "himself enough" and not interested in communication; He also did not express his personal thoughts in private. A biographer called him an incommunicado . Jerry Lewis spoke of a wall that Martin built around himself. Martin declined an invitation from a film producer to get to know each other better over dinner: "Nobody gets to know me." Martin's wife Jeanne complained that she had also failed to get behind his facade: "I don't know him." He is "either the most complicated person in the world or the simplest." Martin's biographer Nick Tosches attributes this remoteness (Italian: lontananza ) to ancient Italian behavior patterns that Martin experienced and adopted as a teenager in Steubenville in his contacts with members of organized crime .

Martin was "not a person who liked to be with others" ( Daniel Mann ); he always wanted to be alone (Jerry Lewis). Martin had no close friends. The most intense relationship of trust existed with Mack "Killer" Gray , a former boxing manager and occasional actor, who from 1952 was his assistant and factotum for almost 30 years . In addition, the copywriter Sammy Cahn , the actor Stewart Granger and Frank Sinatra were to be counted among Martin's close circle, although the latter relationship was kept alive until 1988 mainly by Sinatra.

Martin felt particularly sympathetic to broken characters; his daughter Deana speaks of "underdogs." To Marilyn Monroe , with whom he worked in 1962 on the - incomplete - film Something's Got to Give , he felt personally attracted regardless of professional differences. He referred to her as a "wonderful girl" after her death and refused to comment on her lifestyle or engage in speculation about the causes of her death. He supported the mentally unstable and drug-dependent actor Montgomery Clift , who in turn admired Martin, during his difficult phases in life. When Clift became the subject of critical reporting because of his homosexuality and unstable health, Martin repeatedly appeared in his company to publicly demonstrate his solidarity with him.

Martin had been a passionate golfer since the 1930s . Whenever he could, he retired to a golf course. During the shooting of his films, he often had a makeshift driving range set up on the set, on which he practiced punches during the breaks. In later years Martin developed into an automobile lover who mainly collected American and Italian sports cars. One of the exclusive exhibits in his collection was a dual ghia , which was produced in just a few copies and which he also used as a prop in the feature film Kiss Me, Fool .

Sickness and death

Dean Martin's grave in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery

Mack Gray introduced Martin to the pain reliever and narcotic drug Percodan in the 1950s . Since the 1970s at the latest, Martin - like Jerry Lewis and Gray themselves - was dependent on the preparation; there were also alcohol problems from the end of the decade. In 1990 he attempted withdrawal.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Martin's health deteriorated noticeably. He found it increasingly difficult to remember texts. The accidental death of his son Dean Paul in 1987 triggered a lasting depression in Martin, which was expressed, among other things, in an increased indifference towards himself and the environment. Jerry Lewis was of the opinion that the death of his son had robbed Martin of his will to live ("That was the day he died"). Sinatra's 1988 Together Again Tour was an unsuccessful attempt to get Martin out of his lethargy. In the following years he still had a few appearances in Las Vegas; but they were short and last showed "a Dean Martin who could barely stand on his feet." His apathy intensified after the death of Sammy Davis Jr. in the spring of 1990. At the beginning of the 1990s, Martin developed Alzheimer's -Diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1993 .

Dean Martin died on December 25, 1995 at the age of 78 from complications from his cancer. On the day of his death, Las Vegas streets and buildings were blacked out for ten minutes. Martin was buried on December 28, 1995 in the Pierce Bros. Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles .

Career stations

Singer, entertainer, comedy partner: mural in Martin's birthplace Steubenville

Martin began his career as a singer in nightclubs in Ohio. Team Martin & Lewis , one of the most successful comedian pairings of the post-war era, which made Martin and his partner world-famous, emerged from a coincidental joint appearance with comedian Jerry Lewis . After the end of ten years of collaboration with Lewis, many media initially expected the end of Martin's career; they considered Martin without Lewis to be an at best average entertainer with little humor and limited charm. Martin himself was initially unsure too. However, with the help of his managers Mort Viner and Herman Citron, Martin succeeded in building an independent profile as a stage entertainer, actor and host of a television show, which he consolidated over three decades. Numerous record successes also helped.

The beginnings

In 1934 Martin first appeared as an amateur in Craig Beach , Ohio, where he sang an Italian standard accompanied by the George Williams Orchestra. In the following years, many more appearances followed at dance evenings and in nightclubs, which he completed in addition to his employment in a casino. Initially he asked the band leaders if he could sing a number with them; with increasing regional awareness, the band leaders approached him on their own initiative. At one of these events, Glenn Miller was among the guests; According to some sources, he found Martin's performance weak and predicted: "He will never do anything."

In November 1939 "Dino Martini" had his first professional engagement with Ernie McKay's Band of Romance , which earned him a weekly fee of US $ 40. At times he was also a member of the McKay-organized vocal trio The Three Wellwishers . From autumn 1940 he was now under contract as Dean Martin with the Sammy Watkins Orchestra. With Watkins he performed mainly in Cleveland and the surrounding area. Martin copied the singing style of Bing Crosby at this time ; he did not yet have his own style. Watkins tried to build Martin up as the new Frank Sinatra, promoting him as a "new star in the singing sky." Martin became increasingly popular. Over the next two years, Watkins quadrupled his weekly fee from $ 35 to $ 150. When Martin wanted to accept a substitute engagement for Sinatra in the New York Club Rio Bamba in the fall of 1943 , which collided with another date of Watkins' orchestra, it came to a separation. Martin moved Watkins to terminate his contract by ceding him ten percent of his gross income for the next seven years. After Martin's first appearance in the Rio Bamba in September 1943, the local press said that he was not up to the New York competition. The audience reactions, however, were positive, and Martin's engagement was extended several times. Over time, the reviews also improved. Dorothy Kilgallen, for example, soon saw him as a "serious threat to Frank Sinatra."

Martin had changing engagements in the following years, which were often not lucrative. In 1944 he was heavily in debt. After he had ceded a total of 110% of his income to agencies and managers in the course of time, he declared himself insolvent in 1946 and went through bankruptcy proceedings by the end of 1947.

Martin & Lewis

Martin's longtime stage partner Jerry Lewis

In 1946 there was a collaboration with the nine years younger comedian Jerry Lewis, which meant the breakthrough for both of them.

The most successful comedy duo of the decade

Lewis, whose parents were also active in show business, appeared since 1939 with the Record Act , also known as "pantomimicry" , in which he played records by well-known artists and while pulling faces, pretended to be singing. Martin had met him in the autumn of 1944 in a private environment. In March 1946, both performed with their own numbers in the Havana-Madrid Club on Broadway . After the end of one of the shows, they came back on stage together and improvised "an unrestrained slapstick" which received extraordinary applause from the audience and became the basis of the format with which both later became world famous.

From early July 1946, Lewis had an engagement at the 500 Club in Atlantic City , New Jersey . A week later, Martin also performed there. Lewis later claimed that he had convinced the owner "Skinny" D'Amato to hire Martin in place of the allegedly unpopular club singer Jack Randall ; According to other sources, Martin's then manager had secured the engagement and at the same time asked to extend Lewis' expiring contract. In the 500 Club they appeared for the first time as scheduled as the duo Martin & Lewis . In terms of content, they tied in with their improvised act from Havana-Madrid : Lewis suppressed Martin's attempts to sing by switching off the hall light, making noise or taking over the management of the orchestra. The Billboard magazine wrote in a review: “The guys poke each other on, cut each other ruthlessly, cut the wildest grimaces and turn the hall into a madhouse.” The reactions of the audience and the reviews in the press were exuberant. Martin and Lewis "unleashed storms of laughter and stole the show from everyone else."

Under the management of Abner "Abby" Greshler and with the support of Frank Sinatra's PR agent George Evans, Martin & Lewis developed into the "hottest number in show business," which guaranteed organizers and later also film producers high revenues and profits. From 1947 onwards they played in the most famous nightclubs in the USA, including Copacabana in New York, Chez Paree in Chicago and Slapsy Maxie's in Los Angeles , and in a short time their weekly wages multiplied from $ 750 (late 1946) to over 3,000 $ (Early 1948) to $ 15,000 (1949 at Casino Flamingo in Las Vegas).

Stage, film and television

Martin & Lewis was primarily a live act performed on stages in nightclubs nationwide. The shows were largely improvised; At best, there were frame-like scripts that Martin and Lewis filled out with spontaneous, regularly modified and hardly foreseeable ideas.

The duo later also received their own radio and television shows. From 1950 to 1955 they appeared together for NBC in 189 episodes of the Colgate Comedy Hour . However, these productions showed that the Martin & Lewis act, which was determined by open storylines, lost its tension and comedy in the rigid environment of radio and television broadcasts. The duo's radio and television appearances could therefore not be implemented in the originally planned density.

From 1949 Paramount Pictures finally transferred the Martin & Lewis format to the feature film medium. By 1956, 16 full-length films were made under the producer Hal Wallis , which embedded the well-known role distribution between Martin and Lewis in framework actions from the fields of the military, navy, show business, the circus world or the wild west . Thematically it was regularly about male friendships between opposing characters, which were put to the test by various incidents and finally confirmed. Most of the films were dramatic, technical and technical, and sometimes even bad. Nevertheless, they were regularly box office hits, some of which brought in higher profits than lavishly produced films by Alfred Hitchcock .

Sex and slapstick

"The organ grinder's monkey": Jerry Lewis

There are different explanations for the extraordinary success of Martin & Lewis .

The conventional view puts Jerry Lewis and his special slap in the foreground. Martin was then for Lewis a mere straight man , so an interchangeable keyword, whose contributions were of secondary importance. This view ran through contemporary criticism. She was a major reason for Martin's growing dissatisfaction in the team, which ultimately led to the end of the partnership in 1956.

Lewis disagreed decades later. Martin was already a "brilliant comedian" during their time together, who was underestimated by the critics. Martin gave him the opportunity to develop further: "Everyone just looks at the prankster, but if you look closely, you know where our strength came from." Lewis said he couldn't have got as far with any other partner as with Martin.

Today the success of the team is justified by the peculiarity of the roles of Martin and Lewis and their relationship to one another, which was novel in this form. Martin & Lewis was a "coexistence of a peaceful half-idiot and a smart handsome boy" or - as Jerry Lewis called it - "an organ grinder and a monkey." Reversal of the casual, self-confident and attractive Martin, whose coolness potentiated the effect of Lewis' "absurdities". The special attraction of the duo then lay in the contrast between "sex and slapstick" that had never been shown before.

The extent to which the personal level between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis also influenced the effect of the duo is not assessed uniformly. The quality of this relationship cannot be clearly determined. Lewis characterized the relationship with his stage partner as friendship; after Martin's death he even spoke of a love story. Martin, on the other hand, presented the connection at least in the 1950s as a mere business relationship and said he only saw a dollar sign in Lewis . Individual analyzes pursue different approaches. Based on the physical closeness that both of them occasionally showed and sought during their appearances, as well as the fact that Lewis took on the role in some films that would have been granted to the female leading actress according to the criteria of conventional dramaturgy, a latent homosexual relationship between Martin and Lewis suspected.


Since 1953 there have been tensions between Martin and Lewis, which were mainly due to the different weighting and perception of roles. Martin felt increasingly underrepresented and feared for his independence as an artist. According to a widely reported anecdote, Martin made the decision to split up while filming the film In the Circus of the Three Circles after a group of visitors on set failed to recognize him and instead asked where Jerry Lewis could be found. In addition, Martin did not share his partner's ambitions to professionalize and further develop their number. In 1955 the dispute escalated. During the shooting of the last two films together, Martin and Lewis stopped speaking to each other. On June 18, 1956, they announced the breakup of the team. To fulfill existing contracts, they gave several appearances in July 1956. The last joint performance took place exactly ten years to the week after their debut on July 24, 1956 at the 500 Club .

In the decades that followed, the two of them had hardly any personal contact. Initially, Martin and Lewis shared their differences publicly through the media, with Martin's second wife also being drawn into the arguments. Lewis caricatured Martin in his 1963 film The Crazy Professor , while Martin added derogatory jokes about Jerry Lewis to his stage program in the 1960s and was seconded by the members of the Rat Pack. In 1957, 1960 and 1968 there were brief, mostly coincidental meetings. In September 1976, Frank Sinatra brought the two back together publicly. At a telethon moderated by Lewis , he brought Martin live on stage unannounced. Martin and Lewis held a short small talk with noticeable emotion, which in the opinion of all those involved was not played, but brought no common number. After the death of Martin's son Dean Paul, Lewis established irregular telephone contact with his former partner. The last joint appearance came in 1989, when Lewis congratulated Martin on stage on his 72nd birthday.

In retrospect, Martin commented on his time with Lewis as follows:

The most important decision of my life was to team up with Jerry. The second most important thing was to part with him . "


For decades, the link between Martin's mainstays in entertainment was music. His stage programs were formally designed as concert events. In addition, almost all of the feature films contained one or more singing numbers by Martin. Regular recordings supplemented the musical focus of his work.

Style and role models

Stylistic role model: Bing Crosby

Martin was not a trained singer. In 1935 and 1936 he had taken singing lessons sporadically; Fifteen years later, he received brief training from Ken Lane on the vocal recordings for the Martin & Lewis films . He flirted with not being able to read notes.

Martin was considered a crooner . His pitch was the baritone . In addition to Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers were among his musical role models.

After imitating Bing Crosby primarily in the first few years, Martin gradually developed his own style after the Second World War. From the late 1940s onwards, it was shaped by, among other things, Italian or "pseudo-Italian" songs ("faux Italian songs"), which soon became his trademark. He drew the inspiration for this from Phil Brito's album Phil Brito Sings Songs Of Italy , published in 1946 , which impressed him. Martin only occasionally sang songs of originally Italian origin, the texts usually being mixtures of the original Italian lines and American translations (e.g. Nel blu dipinto di blu or Torna a Surriento ) . In most cases, however, he was presented with more recent material, written in the USA, which only feigned Mediterranean origins through the use of some Italian vocabulary or an arrangement in the pseudo-Italian style. This was true, for example, of That's Amore , Martin's first major success from 1953 with the legendary but hated Martin line of text "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie," and also for Return To Me , Write To Me From Naples or Arrividerci Roma . His record label Capitol eventually even placed the pseudo-Italian style across themes. For example, on the album Swingin 'Down Yonder (1955) Martin was allowed to interpret the “great songs of the (American) southern states [...] in the modern Neapolitan style”, which gives these songs “a flair that is so fresh and imaginative is like breakfast made from Texas cow beans and pizza. ”In the 1960s, Martin made the switch from swing to easy listening . It was now seen as the adults ' answer to rock 'n' roll and beat music , which he professedly disliked.

Martin worked with different bands over the years. In the Martin & Lewis era, he was regularly accompanied on stage and in the studio by the Dick Stabile Orchestra , and from 1956 onwards by the Gus Levene Orchestra for studio recordings . During his time as a solo entertainer, he appeared on stage with the house bands of the host casinos and clubs, for example with the Antonio Morelli orchestra at the Sands Hotel . From 1957, Ken Lane was his musical coordinator, who also accompanied him regularly on the piano until his last appearance in 1991 and became his straight man over the years .

Martin downplayed his singing in public:

I am no singer. I can carry a tune and I have an easy style but we crooners get by because we're fairly painless.

“I'm not a singer. I can get a melody across quite well and I have an easy style. But we crooners get by because we are pretty pain-free. "

Martin's style of singing and speaking influenced some later musicians. Elvis Presley was an avowed fan and wished he could sing like Martin. Even Robbie Williams and Kevin Spacey are influenced by Martin.

Recordings: Diamond , Apollo , Capitol and Reprise

Dean Martin's first number one hit: Memories Are Made of This

In July 1946 - a few days before his first performance with Jerry Lewis at the 500 Club - Martin made his first commercial recordings. For the Diamond Record Company , accompanied by Nat Brandwynne and the Salon Orchestra of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel , he recorded four songs that were released as Extended Play (EP) in the same year , but flopped. In November 1947, six more recordings followed for the small New York label Apollo Records . Only two recordings were released in the near future; they too were unsuccessful. Four years later, when Martin was already a star, Apollo also released the four previously withheld recordings on an EP.

In 1948, Martin and Lewis signed a record deal with Capitol Records. At first, Capitol wanted to bring out the artists' comedy program as record productions. A first joint recording (The Money Song / That Certain Party) was, however, not a success with either the audience or the critics. Capitol therefore decided to produce Martin as a serious solo artist in the future. Martin stayed with Capitol until 1962. During this time he had some success with songs in the Italian style. His first number one hit, Memories Are Made of This , which reached the top of the charts on January 14, 1956 and stayed there for five weeks, was arranged in folk style. Martin, Memories Are Made of This was taken after a separation from his wife Jeannie in a phase of heavy clashes with Jerry Lewis and a few days, hated the song and made its author Terry Gilkyson know, it would have correctly Memories Are Made of Shit hot must . Later he seldom sang it on stage and only reluctantly. Martin played ten long-playing records for Capitol, which were largely unsuccessful. Only Dino: Italian Love Songs hit the US charts; its highest position was number 73. In addition, Capitol released a total of 11 EPs by 1959, some of which contained songs from Martin & Lewis films.

In 1962, Martin switched to Reprise Records , a label founded shortly before by Frank Sinatra . Several albums with different themes and styles were created in quick succession. The first album, French Style , arranged and produced by Neal Hefti , contains songs that are intended to relate to France , including Martin's rendition of La Vie en Rose . A little later followed the similarly conceived album Dino Latino with songs in the Spanish style, which contained a newly produced version of La Paloma , as well as two productions from the field of country music . The first few years at Reprise were Martin's most successful time as a singer. All six albums he released between August 1964 and April 1966 achieved gold status in the United States . By 1967 he regularly recorded four albums per year, which were produced by Jimmy Bowen and later nominally also by his son Ricci. After that, his success waned. After 1967, Martin only went to the recording studio for two days a year and only released one new album a year. From 1973 onwards he didn’t make any records for a few years. The release of the album Once In A While, which had already been recorded in 1974 , Martin even had to sue in 1978. Martin's last album was the country pop production Nashville Sessions, which was released by Warner Bros. and reached number 49 on the US country charts. She accompanied Martin's comeback as an actor. Martin also shot his only music video for the song Since I Met You Baby , which was shown at high frequency ("heavy rotation") on MTV . In 1985 Martin recorded a record for the last time with the single LA is my home . It is a rarity today.

Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime)

In the spring of 1964, Martin recorded Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime) , which became his most famous song. After he had sung the song written by his pianist Ken Lane in a radio broadcast by Bob Hope in 1949 , two different versions of the song were created in March and April 1964, one with cautious instrumentation and another with orchestra and choir. The richly orchestrated version became one of the great successes of 1964; she was at the top of the Hot 100 for a week on August 15, 1964, ousting A Hard Day's Night of the Beatles from the top position. Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime) was also the first number one hit for Reprise Records. With this hit, Martin made a significant contribution to saving the economically ailing label.

Martin was soon identified with Everybody Loves Somebody . He sang the song regularly on his stage appearances, where he caricatured it repeatedly as part of the Drunk Act . For example, the line of text If i had it in my power became If I had you in my shower . He sang a few bars of Everybody Loves Somebody regularly as the opening number of the Dean Martin Show and also sang a few lines of the chorus in his penultimate feature film On The Highway Is Hell Losing . The title line is also engraved on Martin's grave slab.


During their time together, Martin and Lewis sang numerous duets in their stage appearances and in their 16 feature films. Various duets were also created in Martin's television appearances in his shows and in the programs in which he was a guest. However, Martin rarely made recordings with other singers. During his Capitol era, he made joint recordings with Peggy Lee (1948), Margaret Whiting (1950), Helen O'Connell (1951), Nat King Cole (1954), Line Renaud (1955) and Judy Holliday (1960). My Rifle, My Pony And Me was recorded both as a solo recording with Martin and as a duet with Ricky Nelson ; the latter version was produced for the film Rio Bravo . During the recapitulation, duets with Sammy Davis jr. (1962) and Nancy Sinatra (1967). His last album, The Nashville Sessions (1983) , released by Warner Bros., contained a duet each with Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty .


One focus of Martin's work was his live performances in casinos and nightclubs. His career began in 1939 with the stage work. During the Martin & Lewis era , he and Jerry Lewis made regular appearances on the stage. During this time, however, Martin had only made solo appearances very occasionally as spontaneous sick substitutes for other artists or when Lewis was unable to perform due to illness. After the breakup of Martin & Lewis , Martin started to rebuild his career as a soloist mainly through stage work. After he had noticed some engagements in smaller clubs in the second half of 1956, he appeared for the first time regularly as a solo artist in Las Vegas in March 1957. His 38-minute show at the Sands Hotel was received positively by audiences and reviews. It was the cornerstone for more than three decades of stage presence in Las Vegas, which soon became an integral part of entertainment in casinos. It attracted guests from all over the country, who at the same time increased sales in the casinos.

Casinos and night clubs

Riviera Casino in Las Vegas

After his successful debut at the Sands Hotel, Martin received a contract in 1957 that, as far as performances in Las Vegas were concerned, bound him exclusively to the Sands for more than a decade. In 1969 Martin moved to the Riviera , where he took a minority stake. The connection to the "Riv" ended in 1972 after disagreements over Martin's performance frequency. From 1972 Martin worked exclusively at the MGM Grand Hotel , which later became Bally's Las Vegas .

Martin usually made guest appearances in Las Vegas twice a year for six weeks each time. During this time he usually gave two, sometimes three shows of 30 to 45 minutes each. Martin's weekly salary was initially $ 25,000. Over the years it was multiplied and eventually exceeded even Frank Sinatra's remuneration.

Between his engagements in Las Vegas, Martin also gave guest appearances nationwide, including at the Cal Neva Lodge , in which Frank Sinatra had a stake, at the Villa Venice in Chicago , on Lake Tahoe and again and again in Atlantic City. Performances abroad, on the other hand, were very rare. After a tour through Great Britain and France in 1953 had ended in scandal, Martin avoided engagements in Europe whenever possible. In 1961 he performed together with Frank Sinatra in Frankfurt am Main . In 1983 he played for the first time in a long time in London and at the Moulin Rouge in Paris .

In March 1988 Martin started together with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. one last joint concert tour (Together Again Tour) . 40 shows were planned in 29 American and Canadian cities, which should be served by a special train. Martin, who hesitated to take part, showed his reluctance both behind and on the stage. An incident became known at a concert in Oakland when he threw a cigarette into the audience and shouted: “I wanna go home.” In fact, he dropped out after just a week. This was preceded by a dispute with Sinatra over Martin's alleged lack of commitment; however, health problems were given to the public as the reason for Martin's departure. Liza Minnelli replaced him. In April he was back on stage at Bally's Las Vegas. There he gave his last concert on July 29, 1991 in bad health.

Singing and Comedy

Martin's stage program was a combination of singing and comedy. He thus essentially continued the concept of the Martin & Lewis Acts. Martin had an aversion to singing seriously at live shows. On the stage he regularly only finished a song or two; On the other hand, he ended most of the songs prematurely with a joke (so-called throw-aways ), which partly matched the theme of the song, but partly devalued its content in a cynical way. Martin recommended that viewers who wanted to hear him sing “seriously” buy one of his albums. Jerry Lewis attributed the inclination to throw-aways because Martin was unsure of his skills as a singer.

Martin's target group was primarily male casino and club visitors: “I don't play for women, but for men. Behind every beautiful woman there is a man who pays the bill. He won't come back if I turn on his girl. "

Martin did not change the concept of his shows until the end. In recent years he has been perceived as a mere caricature of himself. In the 1980s, critics considered it “unhip” and out of date. In reference to this, his birth name Dino was increasingly used as an abbreviation for (show) dinosaurs.

The Drunk Act

From Pennies From Heaven was Bourbon From Heaven : Dean Martin Drunk Act

A special feature was the Drunk Act , which became a defining feature of Martin's stage appearances from 1958 onwards. He played a drunk entertainer who tried to lead through the show with limited awareness.

The idea for the Drunk Act came from the copywriter Ed Simmons . It followed on from a concept by the entertainer Joe E. Lewis and was an attempt to give Martin's stage appearances a special character in order to make Martin stand out from the crowd of other singers and entertainers. The Drunk Act corresponded on the one hand with Martin's lack of inclination to “sing seriously on stage.” On the other hand, according to Jerry Lewis, it enabled him to keep a personal distance on and behind the stage: “If you pretend you already have a few If you've had drinks, people will probably stay away from you. "

The drunk act started with the announcement that Martin would come straight from the bar to the stage ("And now the star of our show: Direct from the bar - Dean Martin") . He pretended an unsteady gait and a lack of orientation that made him occasionally ask at the beginning of a show which direction the audience was going; Added to this were unclear pronunciation, communication difficulties with stage partners and the orchestra, as well as text uncertainties, whereby he apparently accidentally mixed up individual words. In Martin's work, George Gershwin's standard Embraceable You became Braceembable you . On the other hand, he often explicitly addressed drinking himself. For example, he sang some songs from the outset with texts that Sammy Cahn had changed in this regard. From 're Smiling When You for example, was often When You're Drinking from Pennies from Heaven he made Bourbon from Heaven . Martin's reverence to Joe E. Lewis became known:

Remember the great words of Joe E. Lewis: He said you're not drunk as long as you can lay on the floor without holding on .

" Let's remember the great words of Joe E. Lewis: You are not drunk as long as you can still lie on the ground without having to hold on ."

Colleagues and business partners confirmed, however, that Martin was actually never drunk on stage. He has always been reliable, has known his missions and has always mastered the shows with confidence. While Martin finally cultivated the Drunk Act in his private life, for example by allowing his Stutz Blackhawk with the license plate DRUNKY (drunk), in business he kept a clear distance from his role. In connection with the Dean Martin Show , he asked a journalist, "Would NBC spend that much money on a drunk?"


Martin's partner in Rio Bravo : John Wayne

After separating from Jerry Lewis, Martin continued his film career, which began in 1949, on his own. In order to get into business as a solo artist, he initially accepted offers that were paid significantly less than in the Martin & Lewis era.

Comedies, musicals and westerns

Martin's first film without Lewis, Joe Pasternak's Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), was a light comedy and featured several vocal scenes. Unlike Jerry Lewis' first solo project, Ten Thousand Bedrooms was a "commercial fiasco" and, according to critics, could have marked the end of Martin's acting career. At Montgomery Clift's insistence , Martin got a role in Edward Dmytryk's "star-studded war drama" The Young Lions , instead of Tony Randall , in which he was "convincing as an actor" and showed "that he can do more than just Jerry Lewis' big brother to be. ”This film is widely believed to be Martin's breakthrough as a serious actor. In the following years Damn Are All of them and Howard Hawks ' Western Rio Bravo , in which Martin also showed high professionalism and acting qualities and which are regarded as his best films, were made in the following years . Martin himself considered the role of the alcoholic deputy deputy Dude in Rio Bravo to be his greatest challenge. His last similarly demanding film was Puppets Under the Roof , the 1963 adaptation of a play by Lillian Hellman . Puppets under the roof was the turning point in Martin's acting career: Although some reviewers and the film's producer praised his play, the number of critics outweighed the majority who considered Martin unsuitable for such a complex role and who viewed his cast as a "bad joke" . Martin, who had considerable respect for the demands of this role, then withdrew completely from this genre and instead selected roles that promised "as much money as possible with as little effort as possible".

According to this pattern, Martin made several films every year in the 1960s - musicals, westerns and comedies - which were top-class with stars like John Wayne , Robert Mitchum , Rock Hudson , Alain Delon or Burt Lancaster , with the exception of Billy Wilder's cynical satire Kiss me, fool but were regularly done quickly and cheaply and were panned by the criticism. The four parodistic spy comedies of the Matt Helm series, filmed from 1966 to 1969 for Columbia Pictures , in which Martin played an intelligence agent who was designed as an American counter-draft to the British James Bond , are considered particularly weak . The films in which European guest stars such as Daliah Lavi , Elke Sommer or Senta Berger appeared, deliberately played with Martin's image as a “cool heartbreaker.” Of the four films, only the first was successful; the production of an originally planned fifth film was not even started. Martin's last commercially successful film was Airport (1970). After not making a movie for six years, Martin worked on the comedy On the Highway, Hell is Going in 1981, and two years later on the sequel, On the Highway, Hell is Going on again. Both productions are considered the "absolute low point of his film career."

Dean Martin's regular German speaker, who mostly dubbed him in his films, was Klaus Miedel .

Work style

Martin has usually worked briskly on set since the 1960s. The respective director prepared the scenes for him in such a way that Martin “ could work off his appearances in no time” ( Michael Gordon ). He usually only allowed one trial run for each scene. Only with Bandolero did he refrain from using the "quick and easy method" out of respect for his film partner James Stewart .


Dean Martin's acting ability is judged differently. Some critics said Martin was "the worst and at the same time the most self-confident actor in the world." Colleagues who had worked with him saw it differently in many ways. Also Howard Hawks , the director of Rio Bravo, Martin thought was "a damn good actor, who will be a little driven must." Colleagues like John Wayne, Montgomery Clift Anthony Franciosa and Honor Blackman held Martin to its reputation for very disciplined.

The Dean Martin Show

Millions paid for Dean Martin: NBC

Martin's national and international fame was further increased from 1965 onwards by the Dean Martin Show, which was broadcast weekly on television .

Already at the beginning of the 1950s, Dean Martin had led through individual television shows alongside Jerry Lewis. After Martin & Lewis broke up , NBC released nine specials from 1957 to 1961 called the Dean Martin Show , which aired twice a year.

In 1965 NBC reissued the Dean Martin Show . Martin presented national and European guests - among them Petula Clark , Line Renaud , Caterina Valente and Peter Sellers - who could be seen with him in sketches and in common singing numbers. The show stayed - most recently as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour - in the program until 1974 and was one of the most successful television productions of the 1960s. At times it achieved ratings averaging 38% in the US and sold worldwide. As of 1967, NBC paid Martin a fee of $ 283,000 for each broadcast. This made him the best-paid entertainer in the world.

Martin's appearance on the show was perceived as particularly relaxed. This and the humorous handling of his own mistakes strengthened the impression of Martin's special coolness . In fact, the unconventional style of presentation developed mainly because Martin largely improvised his missions due to lack of time. So that he did not have to spend more than an eight-hour working day on each program, the producer and director Greg Garrison shot the shows in separate sequences. Scenes of the guests in which Martin could not be seen were filmed in his absence and later combined with separately produced recordings by Martin using editing technology . Even dialogues were recorded separately. Some guests on the Dean Martin Show did not see Martin at all. Here too, Martin almost completely dispensed with rehearsals. He improvised his bets with the help of cue cards ' which were placed in the off . On the other hand, since Martin did not allow the recording to be repeated even in the event of mistakes, deficits in the broadcast programs could neither be avoided nor hidden. Garrison then made use of Martin's mistake in a dramaturgical way. He had the cue cards, technical equipment such as microphones and crew members captured by the cameras and thus gave the impression that the technical errors and Martin's errors were just a play. In doing so, he relativized the seriousness of the show. The multi-layered nature of Martin’s role became a part of the program that was valued by the audience.

Over the years, the Dean Martin Show became increasingly vulgar. In the 1970s, the press often criticized Martin's “drinking jokes, girl jokes and ambiguities” as outdated, sexist and humiliating and gave Martin the title “King Leer” (for example: King of the Zote). Christian press organs recently advised against following the broadcast.

The successor to the Dean Martin Show was the program The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, which was broadcast in 20 editions from October 1974 to December 1984 .

Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack

Friend, stage and business partner: Frank Sinatra

Since the 1950s, Frank Sinatra in particular has been counted among Martin's personal circle. Both combined a similarly oriented entertainment career and numerous joint stage and film appearances. In addition, there was also a personal friendship between them, which included the respective family.

Martin and Sinatra had known each other since 1943. In the early 1950s, Martin & Lewis were guests on Sinatra's television shows several times with their comedy programs. After the breakup of the team in 1956, the relationship between Sinatra and Martin intensified, who now met more often during engagements in Las Vegas. Martin felt sympathy for Sinatra, while Sinatra admired Martin and sought his company. Sinatra grouped a number of entertainers around them in the late 1950s, who first appeared and celebrated together as "The Clan" and later under the less catchy name "Rat Pack". These included Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Shirley MacLaine. Martin was also introduced to this circle by Sinatra; However, he did not allow himself to be captured to the same extent as the other members. Unlike Davis, Lawford and Bishop, whose Las Vegas careers depended on the influential Sinatra, Martin didn’t need Sinatra for a job. He showed Sinatra this through idiosyncrasies that the other Rat Pack members could not afford, whereupon Sinatra tried all the more for Martin.

In October 1958 Martin and Sinatra recorded the album Sleep Warm together at Capitol , for which Sinatra took over the orchestra direction. End of January 1959 were both first time for a concert engagement in Las Vegas on stage after they have been for the film are Damn them all (Some Came Running, had been standing for the first time together in front of the movie camera 1958). In 1961 Martin joined Sinatra's entourage from Capitol to his newly founded record company Reprise.

From January 1960, Martin performed regularly with the "Rat Pack" in Las Vegas. They called the joint appearances The Summit . The largely improvised, joke and gaudy performances had structural similarities to the early acts of Martin & Lewis in their lack of conventionality and predictability .

The Rat Pack dominated American show business and in particular the stages of Las Vegas for half a decade with numerous programs. Parallel to the concerts, they made films together such as Frankie and his cronies (1960), The Victorious Three (1962), Four for Texas (1963) and Seven against Chicago (1964). These films were successfully caricatured four decades later in a trilogy starring George Clooney , Brad Pitt and Matt Damon . In the mid-1960s, the regular stage appearances of the "Rat Pack" ended, but Martin, Davis and Sinatra were still occasionally on the concert stage together in the 1970s and 1980s.

Martin's relationship with Sinatra broke up when Martin prematurely left a concert tour together in the spring of 1988. Both of them hardly spoke to each other afterwards; Sinatra did not invite Martin, who was already terminally ill at the time, to the large-scale celebration of his 80th birthday.

Coolness or contempt?

Martin has been seen as the "personification of coolness" since the 1950s. Elvis Presley coined the expression "King of Cool" for him, which is reserved for Martin these days. CDs with his songs with the term “cool” in their title are still being released in the 21st century.

In fact, Martin's performances were perceived as extremely relaxed ("laid-back"). It awakened the impression of the greatest possible ease on stage and in the film. However, some observers emphasized that this ease (at least in the 1950s) was only a play: “Martin worked damn hard so as not to make it look like hard work.” Martin Scorsese judged similarly : “Dean Martin always wanted to create the impression as if everything were very simple - what it wasn't. "

In the 1960s, routine was added, which Martin avowedly bored. In the meantime he had consolidated his status as a solo artist on the show stages as well as as a singer. On the other hand, his attempts to establish himself as a serious actor had not been accepted by the media. This changed his attitude towards work. Just as he lacked interest in people in his personal environment, the quality of his work was also irrelevant to him in the second phase of his career. In contrast to Sinatra, who made conceptual decisions himself when making his recordings, Martin no longer had any influence on the material of his albums or the content of his films in the 1960s. Instead, he sang and played whatever was presented to him with stoic calm. He did not watch his films after they were finished, stayed away from premieres, and did not listen to his studio albums. The lack of interest was also shown in the error-prone improvisation on the Dean Martin Show , in the renouncement of rehearsals during filming and in the tendency not to sing songs to the end when performing on stage.

While some see this way of working as proof that Martin was “cool” in real life too, his biographer Nick Tosches goes deeper. He explains Martin's show of indifference with a deep disdain for show business. Martin had shown with his behavior that he saw the business as lying and worthless. Some media agreed with this assessment.


After separating from Jerry Lewis, Martin began to develop sources of income that were not dependent on an immediate stage engagement on his part. In 1957 he granted individual restaurants and bars in Los Angeles the right to use his name for a fee. Above all, this included Dino’s and Dino’s Lodge on the Sunset Strip , which was regularly featured in the television series 77 Sunset Strip . He later took minority stakes in several Las Vegas casinos . At the end of the 1950s, Martin Claude Productions , a production company named after his daughter Claudia, which co-produced many of his subsequent films and records, and from 1965 onwards also the Dean Martin Show broadcast by NBC. In this way, in addition to the personal artist fee, he was also involved in the box office results. Claude Productions also regularly invested in land, building land and real estate, but also acquired shares in companies such as a lemon-growing cooperative. In June 1970, Claude Productions merged with NBC; In return, Martin received shares in NBC's parent company RCA.

Politics and Organized Crime

Supported by Dean Martin in election campaigns: Ronald Reagan

Martin had repeated contacts with politicians during his career and occasionally made political statements. He was a supporter of the Republican Party for decades .

It was through Sinatra that Martin met the democratic politician John F. Kennedy . At Sinatra's request, who at that time saw himself in the role of a kingmaker, Martin supported Kennedy's presidential candidacy in the course of 1960 with various appearances at fundraising events. In the 1970s he stood up for fellow Republican actor Ronald Reagan when he ran for re-election for governor of California in 1971 and then for president in 1979.

Martin had been in contact with members of the US Mafia since the 1930s . They persisted in the decades that followed. A major reason for this was that most of the casinos that played Martin, Lewis, Sinatra and many other entertainers were directly or indirectly owned by members of the Cosa Nostra . Jerry Lewis confirmed to the Dean Martin biographer Nick Tosches that in the first few years both of them made regular guest appearances in clubs whose owners were members of organized crime . Martin and Lewis sometimes had to appear at private or family events of Mafia members.

Unlike Sinatra, who was familiar with Mafia members and wanted to be close, Martin kept his distance from them. He also refrained from holding shares in casinos that were majority-owned by the Mafia. Occasionally, however , he did the mobsters "a small favor." In December 1962, for example, he performed with Sinatra and Davis for ten evenings at the Villa Venice in Chicago without a fee. This casino was owned by Sam Giancana , a Chicago-born mobster. Giancana had financially supported John F. Kennedy's election campaign in 1960 using the intermediary of Sinatra, who had access to the Kennedy family through Peter Lawford , a brother-in-law of the presidential candidate . This free appearance was in return for Giancana's campaign donation. On the other hand, there are reports that Martin occasionally used the help of the bullies to sort out personal problems.


Imprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater

Dean Martin got three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : at 6519 Hollywood Blvd. in the Film category, at 6655 Hollywood Blvd. in the Television category and at 1615 Vine Street in the Music Recordings category. In addition, his hand and footprints as well as his autograph have been immortalized in cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) since March 21, 1964 .

Dean Martin on Dean Martin

When Dean Martin was asked how he would like to be remembered by posterity, he replied:

As a damn good entertainer; nothing spectacular. A good entertainer who made people enjoy themselves and made them laugh a little. He was a nice guy. He did pretty good and we loved him, that's all.

As a damn good entertainer; nothing special. A good entertainer who kept people entertained and made them laugh a little bit. He was a nice guy. He did pretty well and we loved him, that's all. "

Biographies, documentaries and films about Dean Martin


The first comprehensive biography about Dean Martin appeared in the USA in 1992 - while he was still alive - under the title Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams (title of the German translation from 2002: Dino. Rat-Pack, die Mafia und der große Dream of happiness ). Nick Tosches, a former editor of Rolling Stone , developed it on the basis of interviews with Jeannie Martin, Jerry Lewis and other companions. The book, written in the style of gonzo journalism , is still considered a standard work on which all later biographies are based or summarized. After the turn of the millennium, Martin's children Deana and Ricci published their own memories of their father, which provide additional impressions, especially in the personal area, but often remain blurred in professional details.

Films about Dean Martin

In the 1990s, Warner Bros. began planning a biographical feature film about Dean Martin. Nicholas Pileggi was tasked with drafting a script that Martin Scorsese would direct as director. Tom Hanks was slated for the role of Dean Martin , Jim Carrey was slated to play Jerry Lewis and John Travolta would play Frank Sinatra. The film was ultimately not made. Scorsese attributed this to difficulties with the material: Martin could not be captured as a person.

In 1998 the American television program provider Home Box Office (HBO) produced the film Frank, Dean and Sammy do it (original title: The Rat Pack ), in which individual facets from the history of the Rat Pack are discussed. Dean Martin was played by Joe Mantegna .

In 2002, CBS made the documentary film Martin and Lewis , which illuminated the early years of Martin's career. Jeremy Northam took on the role of Dean Martin here.

The director Atom Egoyan used Martin and Lewis as role models for the characters Lanny and Vince for his feature film True Lies , which appeared in 2005 . However, the film should not be understood as the biography of the duo Martin & Lewis.


On the cover picture of Perry Rhodan's booklet No. 554, Kidnapper im Weltraum, (1972), created by Johnny Bruck , Dean Martin is shown interacting with the fictional character Pucky .

Overview: films and records

Record successes

Martin published a total of 108 singles and 33 long-playing records from 1946 to 1985 , 12 of which reached gold status in the USA . There are also more than 30 compilations .


Between 1949 and 1983 Martin shot a total of 51 feature films for different studios. 16 of them were made in the Martin & Lewis era. He also appeared in individual episodes of some series.


  • Michael Althen: Dean Martin. His films - his life . Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-453-13676-4 .
  • Michael Althen: Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin: When men love too much . Interview with Jerry Lewis. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . March 16, 2006.
  • Peter Bondanella: Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos. A&C Black, 2004, ISBN 0-8264-1544-X .
  • Oriana Fallaci: Dean Martin. Dino talks about the Mafia, women, his drinking, Sinatra, Bobby Kennedy. In: Look . December 26, 1967.
  • Michael Freedland: Dean Martin: King of the Road. Robson, 2005, ISBN 1-86105-882-9 .
  • David M. Inman: Television Variety Shows: Histories and Episode Guides to 57 Programs. McFarland, 2005, ISBN 0-7864-2198-3 .
  • James Kaplan: Sinatra: The Chairman. Hachette, 2015, ISBN 978-0-7481-3038-2 .
  • Shawn Levy: Oh brother, where art thou? Martin & Lewis story. In: The Guardian . October 21, 2005.
  • Jerry Lewis, James Kaplan: Dean And Me: A Love Story. Pan Macmillan, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4472-0482-4 .
  • Deana Martin, Wendy Holden: Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter's Eyes. Crown / Archetype, 2010, ISBN 978-0-307-53826-0 .
  • Ricci Martin, Christopher Smith: That's Amore. A Son Remembers Dean Martin. Taylor Trade Publications, 2004, ISBN 1-58979-140-1 .
  • Arthur Marx: Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime (Especially Himself): The Story of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Hawthorn Books, 1974, ISBN 0-8015-2430-X .
  • Richard D. Neely: Backstage at the Dean Martin Show. Thorndike Press, 2001, ISBN 0-7862-3234-X .
  • William Schoell: Martini Man: The Life of Dean Martin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, ISBN 1-4617-4170-X , p. 116.
  • Nick Tosches: Dino. Rat-Pack, the Mafia and the big dream of happiness . Heyne Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-453-40367-3 .

Web links

Commons : Dean Martin  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. The maiden name of Martin's mother was Barra. The Barra family changed their name to Barr at the beginning of the 20th century. S. Nick Tosches, p. 33.
  2. The exact number of his fights is not documented. Martin later said that he had "won all but 11 of his 12 fights." Cf. Nick Tosches, p. 88.
  3. Gail Renshaw, born in 1947, was among others in the late 1960s. Miss Speedway , Miss Good Grooming and Miss Snow Queen . In 1969 she took part in the Miss World competition for the USA, in which she took second place behind Eva Rueber-Staier. See Nick Tosches, p. 545 f.
  4. Martin's biographer Nick Tosches, on the other hand, called him Martin's greatest enemy because Martin had obtained access to the narcotic Percodan through him, see Nick Tosches, p. 588.
  5. Martin's confidante Mack Gray and his long-time manager Herman Citron had already died.
  6. Further members were Walther Pfleuger and Frank LaRue.
  7. The Record Act at that time was a common number among comedians who do not own material had cf. Kliph nests Hoff. The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American comedy. Grove / Atlantic, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8021-9086-4 , p. 163.
  8. Evans had a significant part in the Sinatramania hype about Frank Sinatra at the beginning of the 1940s . See James Kaplan: Frank: The Making of a Legend. Hachette, United Kingdom 2010, ISBN 978-0-7481-2250-9 , p. 85.
  9. Military: crash with the company and horror of the division , navy: sailor, watch out , show business: the whipping boy , circus: in the circus of the three arenas , wild west: where men are still men (1956).
  10. Another reason given for the duo's success is the particularly pronounced need in American society for entertainment and distraction after the end of the Second World War. As a team, Martin & Lewis had no relation to the pre-war period and in this respect represented a new beginning. Their perfectly coordinated cooperation radiated a special harmony that society needed particularly in the immediate post-war period. See Frank Krutnik: Sex and Slapstick. The Martin & Lewis Phenomenon. In: Murray Pomerance (ed.): Enfant Terrible !: Jerry Lewis in American Film. NYU Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8147-6705-2 , p. 114.
  11. Lewis titled his 2006 book Dean And Me: A Love Story , Pan Macmillan, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4472-0482-4 .
  12. The role of the unsympathetic Buddy Love is modeled on Dean Martin. See Michael Althen, p. 52, and Georg Seesslen: Martin Scorsese. Bertz, 2003, ISBN 3-929470-72-1 , p. 178.
  13. In a 1963 show in Las Vegas, Martin kicked a cigarette on stage with excessive force and said, looking at the crushed cigarette, "Oh, excuse me Jerry". . Frank Sinatra then asked: "Jerry who"? ("Which Jerry?").
  14. ^ Phil Brito: Phil Brito Sings Songs Of Italy. Orchestra Walter Gross, released in 1946 on the Musicraft label (S4). Description in: Billboard of March 22, 1947, p. 110. Brief description and illustration of the cover on the website (accessed on June 6, 2017).
  15. Martin had already recorded a song with the melody of La Paloma at Capitol in 1958 . The song arranged as a rumba was called The Look and had no relation to the original La Paloma theme .
  16. In January 1971 Martin had committed to produce ten albums for Reprise in three years. By 1973, however, only four albums were made. Martin sued Reprise for compensation for the lost profit. The litigation ended on a settlement that included the release of Once in A While . See Nick Tosches, p. 575.
  17. In the version 2672 from March 1964, Martin was accompanied by only four studio musicians. It appeared in June 1964 on the album Dream With Dean (Reprise R / RA-6123). The orchestrated version of April 16, 1964 (No. 2703) appeared in the same month on the unscheduled album Everybody Loves Somebody (the title of the album dispensed with the parentheses "Sometime"), which, in addition to the title song, contained eleven recordings that were in had been produced in different sessions in advance over the previous two years. See Nick Tosches, pp. 659, 660, 669, 670.
  18. Things . Sinatra's voice was added to a solo number that was written in 1962 and published by Martin in 1964.
  19. From 1979 Martin only gave one show a day; see Nick Tosches, p. 584.
  20. ↑ However , Martin occasionally traveled to Europe for filming, for example for The Young Lions , whose outdoor scenes were filmed in Germany, France and Italy.
  21. To empty means, among other things, a stupid grin; the noun empty describes, among other things. a suggestion.
  22. The name referred to the "Rat Pack" called circle of friends of the fifties around Humphrey Bogart , to which Lauren Bacall, David Niven and a few others had belonged. After Bogart's death the group broke up. After the name "The Clan" had proven problematic because it could be confused with the Ku Klux Klan , Sinatra changed the name to "Rat Pack".
  23. For example, the CD Forever Cool published by Capitol in 2007 ; Catalog number 509995-02692-2-0.
  24. The author John L. Smith outlines in his book The Animal in Hollywood Martin's long-standing friendship with the mobsters Johnny Roselli and Anthony Fiato. Fiato (aka 'The Animal') then paid Martin numerous favors; so he got back money that two fraudsters had stolen from Martin's ex-wife Betty.
  25. Frank Sinatra received the award in 1965, Sammy Davis Jr. 2001.
  26. Michael Althen's 1997 book Dean Martin. His films - his life is largely identical to the biography of Tosches in the biographical part right down to the individual formulations.
  27. This refers to albums that were published during Martin's lifetime. There are also four posthumously published best-of albums with gold status.

Individual evidence

The following works are cited in abbreviated form in the individual references:

shortcut Full title
Nick Tosches Nick Tosches: Dino. Rat-Pack, the Mafia and the big dream of happiness . Heyne Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-453-40367-3 .
Michael Althen Michael Althen: Dean Martin. His films - his life . Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich, 1997, ISBN 3-453-13676-4 .
Deana Martin Deana Martin, Wendy Holden: Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter's Eyes. Crown / Archetype, 2010, ISBN 978-0-307-53826-0 .
Ricci Martin Ricci Martin, Christopher Smith: That's Amore. A Son Remembers Dean Martin. Taylor Trade Publications, 2004, ISBN 1-58979-140-1 .
  1. Michael Althen, p. 18.
  2. Ricci Martin, p. 4.
  3. a b Deana Martin, p. 8.
  4. Oriana Fallaci : Dean Martin. Dino talks about the Mafia, women, his drinking, Sinatra, Bobby Kennedy. In: Look. December 26, 1967.
  5. Nick Tosches, p. 38.
  6. Nick Tosches, p. 82.
  7. Deana Martin, p. 15.
  8. a b c Shawn Levy: Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party. Crown / Archetype, 1999, ISBN 0-385-50025-4 , p. 35.
  9. a b c d Deana Martin, p. 9.
  10. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 79.
  11. Michael Althen, p. 19.
  12. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 87.
  13. Nick Tosches, p. 34.
  14. Martin's biography on the website (accessed on June 6, 2017).
  15. ^ William Schoell: Martini Man: The Life of Dean Martin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, ISBN 1-4617-4170-X .
  16. a b c d e f g h i Martin Chilton: Dean Martin: the man whose voice captured Christmas. In: The Telegraph. December 24, 2015.
  17. a b c Michael Althen, p. 22.
  18. a b Deana Martin, p. 10.
  19. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 132.
  20. Dean Martin's biography on the website (accessed June 6, 2017).
  21. Nick Tosches, p. 91.
  22. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 255.
  23. ^ A b Jeanne Martin, Model and Ex-Wife of Dean Martin, Dies at 89. Obituary for Jeanne Biegger. at: , accessed June 7, 2017.
  24. Ricci Martin, p. 180.
  25. Deana Martin, p. 132.
  26. a b c d e J. D. Reed: Burden of Sorrow . Obituary for Dean Martin. In: People. Vol 45, No. 1, January 8, 1996.
  27. Claudia Martin's biography on the website (accessed on June 6, 2017)
  28. Deana Martin's website (accessed June 6, 2017).
  29. a b c d Eddie Deezen: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis - After They Split Up., April 16, 2013, accessed June 6, 2017 .
  30. Ricci Martin's website (accessed June 6, 2017).
  31. ^ Ricci Martin, Musician Son of Dean Martin, Dies at 62. Obituary for Ricci Martin. at: , accessed June 7, 2017.
  32. Ricci Martin, p. 10.
  33. Nick Tosches, p. 424.
  34. Deana Martin, p. 78 f.
  35. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 571.
  36. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 518.
  37. Nick Tosches, p. 84.
  38. a b Deana Martin, p. 88.
  39. Deana Martin, p. 81.
  40. Martha Smilgis: On The Move: The Swinger Is Dean Martin's Son, Dorothy Hamill's Man and Maybe the Next Robert Redford . Interview with Dean Paul Martin. In: People. November 6, 1970.
  41. ^ A b Christian Schröder: That's Amore . Review. In: Der Tagesspiegel . January 3, 2003.
  42. a b Nick Tosches, p. 573.
  43. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 226.
  44. Michael Althen, p. 43.
  45. a b Nick Tosches, p. 357.
  46. Nick Tosches, p. 79 f. It says literally: "Ancient Italian customs."
  47. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 465.
  48. Shawn Levy: Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party. Crown / Archetype, 1999, ISBN 0-385-50025-4 , p. 215.
  49. Everett Aaker: George Raft: The Films. McFarland, 2013, ISBN 978-0-7864-6646-7 , p. 6.
  50. Ricci Martin, p. 47.
  51. ^ Nick Tosches, p. 567.
  52. a b Deana Martin, p. 98.
  53. Quoted from Tosches, p. 483.
  54. Nick Tosches, p. 421 f.
  55. Michael Althen, p. 273.
  56. Nick Tosches, p. 509 and Ricci Martin, p. 67.
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