About Dean Martin
(1917 - 1995)
Date of Birth: June 7, 1917;
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio;
Date of Death: December 25, 1995;
Best Known As: Crooner, actor, and comedy partner to Jerry Lewis
Born Dino Paul Crocetti into an Italian-American family in Steubenville, Ohio, he left school at age sixteen and had a variety of jobs, including that of prizefighter, before changing his name and achieving moderate success as a singer in the New York nightclub scene.
Dean Martin made 16 films between 1949 and 1956 as the singing 'straight' man to comedy partner Jerry Lewis. He first teamed up with Jerry on July 25, 1946, at Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were one of the hottest entertainment acts of that era.
The duo made their first film together in 1949 with My Friend Irma and in 1951 they starred in the hit At War with the Army, which established the base for their following films. Their television debute was on June 20, 1948 on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town variety program. Later, they appeared on The Colgate Comedy Hour, a variety show that they would occasionally host from 1950-1955.
Martin's partnership with Lewis broke up on July 24, 1956, after a very bitter, very publicized disagreement. However, the break-up did not derail Martin's road to success.
In the 1960s, Martin became part of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack and made a number of successful films with them. He also starred as secret agent Matt Helm (1966-1969), a series of four films, including The Wrecking Crew (1969).
Martin has his own weekly variety show, The Dean Martin Show, from 1965 until 1974 on NBC, but in the 1970s, his poor health and declining popularity generally restricted him to the stage.
In 1976, Frank Sinatra brought Martin along as a surprise guest on Jerry Lewis' Labor Day Telethon. The reunion was to be the duo's first public appearance in 20 years.
Martin retired completely in 1988 when he became ill during a concert tour with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. He appeared in fifty-one films in all.
Martin was married three times and had eight children, one by adoption. On March 21, 1987, tragedy struck when his 35-year-old son, Dean Paul Martin - actor, singer (in the group Dino, Desi, & Billy), and former tennis pro - was killed when the National Guard jet he was piloting crashed. Martin was devastated by the loss, which led to further deterioration of his health.
Dean Martin died on Christmas Day, 1995 and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California.
Dean Martin Audio CDs