Dean Martin was one of the most iconic singers, actors, and comedians to have ever performed! During his career, Dean Martin won multiple awards for his work, including a Golden Globe for Best Male TV Star and three stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Dean Martin died twenty two years ago, and we’re going to take this time to look back at five of the most interesting Dean Martin facts we’ve learned!
1. Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio. His father was an Italian man named Gaetano Crocetti, and his mother was an Italian-American named Angela. He had an older brother named William whom he loved dearly. Dean Martin’s first language was Italian, and he didn’t start to learn English until he started school at age five. His classmates mocked him for his broken English.
2. He dropped out of high school in tenth grade, believing that he was smarter than his teachers. He began a rather interesting life, bootlegging alcohol, dealing blackjack, and working in a steel mill. One of the most fascinating jobs Dean held in his life, though, was that of a welterweight boxer. His boxing career resulted in a scarred lip, broken knuckles, and even a broken nose that he would later have straightened with surgery. When asked how he did as a boxer, he stated “I won all but 11!” which may sound impressive at first, but he fought only 12 times!
3. Dean Martin did not like parties! When his wife would throw parties, he would often retreat to his room where he would watch television and wait for the party to finish. One night, Dean grew even more tired of the parties that his wife, Jeannie, was throwing and decided to take matters into his own hands! When the party grew too boisterous, he called the police and pretended to be a neighbor who thought the party was too loud. The police came and broke up Dean Martin’s party, thanks to his phone call.
4. In 1968, Dean Martin signed a three-year contract for his hit show, The Dean Martin Show. He earned $34 million for the three seasons which, at the time, was the biggest contract ever. That wasn’t the most insane part of his contract, though! The contract included that Dean Martin would not have to rehearse! He hated rehearsing, and so they used a stand-in during rehearsals. He would spend his days golfing and would review his lines before the taping of each show.
5. It was Christmas Day, 1995, when Dean Martin died from acute respiratory failure brought on by Emphysema. He was diagnosed in 1993, and doctors told him that he could lengthen his life with surgery, but he said no. He died in his Beverly Hills home. After his death, the Las Vegas dimmed the lights to honor the beloved Rat Pack member.