- NAME: Dean Martin
- OCCUPATION: Actor, Comedian, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: June 07, 1917
- DEATH DATE: December 25, 1995
- EDUCATION: Grant Elementary School, Steubenville High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Steubenville, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
- AKA: "Kid Crochet"
- Full Name: Dean Martin
- Originally: Dino Paul Crocetti
- AKA: Dino Crocetti
Best Known For
Actor, singer Dean Martin starred in several films with Jerry Lewis and belonged to the "Rat Pack," which included Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Dean Martin - Mini Biography (4:22)
Born in Ohio on June 7, 1917, Dean Martin entered the nightclub circuit and landed a contract in New York City. There he met Jerry Lewis and formed the comedy duo before joining the Rat Pack in Las Vegas. He died on December 25, 1995.
Watch a short video about Dean Martin and learn how this crooner was part of one of the most popular duos and "packs" in show business history.
Watch a short video about Jerry Lewis and find out how this multitalented entertainer catapulted to stardom.
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Born in Steubenville, Ohio, on June 7, 1917, to Italian immigrants, Dean Martin entered the nightclub circuit and landed a contract with MCA to sing in New York City. There he met Jerry Lewis and they started a long-running comedy partnership on radio, television and film. The team split in 1956, and Martin joined the Rat Pack—also including Frank Sinatra,
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day."
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on."
"Dean Martin left a legacy that was just unparalleled to any other performer."
"There were like 50 sides to Dean Martin. Dean Martin was a very complicated man."
"[Dean Martin and I] had a very unique, unbelievable relationship and we both had tremendous ride."
"When I think of my father today, I think of probably the coolest, sweetest, most talented man I ever met in my life, or that the world had ever seen."
Actor and singer Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio on June 7, 1917. Martin was the youngest of two sons, the oldest being Bill Crocetti, born to Italian immigrants. He attended Grant Elementary School in Steubenville, Ohio, and took up the drums as a hobby as a teenager.
After dropping out of Steubenville High School in the 10h grade, Martin worked odd jobs, including a part-time job as an amateur welterweight boxer under the name "Kid Crochet." Martin also dabbled in illegal activities, including driving liquor across state lines during prohibition, selling lottery tickets, acting as a bookie and working as a card dealer and croupier in local gambling joints.
Martin began his show business career at age 17, singing in Ohio nightclubs near his hometown. During a stint with the Ernie McKay band, he was noticed by Cleveland bandleader Sammy Watkins, who hired him as the band's featured vocalist. He began touring with Watkins in 1938, and in 1940, changed his name to Dean Martin.
In September 1943, Martin signed an exclusive contract with MCA to sing at the Riobamba Room in New York, and in 1944, he was given his own 15-minute radio program entitled Songs by Dean Martin, which was broadcast from New York City. In 1946, he signed a contract and recorded four songs with Diamond Records.
During a club engagement in 1946, Martin met Jerry Lewis and the two began joking around with each other during their respective acts. They teamed up in 1947, with Martin playing the straight man to Lewis's clown. NBC broadcast a regular 30-minute radio program featuring the pair in 1949, and they made their television debut in the Colgate Comedy Hour in 1950. The immensely popular Martin and Lewis team made 16 films together between 1949 and 1956.
Martin and Lewis last performed together at the Copacabana in New York, on July 24, 1956. After 10 years as a team, they split up due to creative differences. According to biographical writer Neil Daniels, fans of the famous comedy duo "looked at them as being a married couple almost. When the breakup occurred, it was, it was like a sudden divorce, and I think it really, really shocked people. Because they thought Martin and Lewis would go on forever."
After striking out on his own, Martin resumed his singing career, recording such hit records for Capitol as "That's Amore," "Memories are Made of This," "When You're Smiling" and "Oh Marie." He also resumed acting in films, and in 1958, Martin received critical acclaim after appearing with Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando in The Young Lions.
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