Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), born Dino Paul Crocetti, was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin’s hit singles included “Memories Are Made of This”, “That’s Amore”, “Everybody Loves Somebody”, “Mambo Italiano”, “Sway”, “Volare” and smash hit “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?”. Nicknamed the “King of Cool”, he was one of the members of the “Rat Pack” and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
Today I re-watched Dean Martin’s biography, so I thought it would be nice to dedicate this Profile of the Week post to this incredible man. As it says in the paragraph I took from Wikipedia, Dean was the “King of Cool”, he was even beyond that. He was one of the most honest performers in history -if not the most honest-, he was natural, laid back, funny, always having a truly good time and we -the audience- saw that, that’s why we loved him and still do.
You know those kind of artists who make you smile by simply appearing on a screen or by talking or laughing? Well, that’s exactly the way I feel about Dino, he makes me happy, and I do think that’s a terribly important thing in a performer. Although I get this sensation with many other actors/singers too, there’s something special about him.
I’ll be completely honest, I don’t think he had a really really great quality as an actor, but I tell you, I have a ball watching his films, I enjoy them very much. If there actually was something unique about Dean Martin, it definitely was his enchanting voice. I would listen to him all day, even if he were singing the most mediocre song in the world, just like I would with Frank Sinatra, whom I worship basically the same way as Dean.
I don’t have the slightes idea of how I discovered Dean, I can’t remember at all, but if I’m correct, I became one of his fans last year. Though he is well-known, respected and adored, I still think he’s underrated. He could be as big as any of the biggest Hollywood stars, because he had everything it takes to be a legend.
“If people want to think I get drunk and stay out all night, let ‘em. That’s how I got here, you know.”
“I can’t stand an actor or actress who tells me acting is hard work. It’s easy work. Anyone who says it isn’t never had to stand on his feet all day dealing blackjack.”
“I’ve got seven kids. The three words you hear most around my house are ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ and ‘I’m pregnant.”
“[On Frank Sinatra] I’m truly fortunate to be counted as one of Frank’s friends, I’m pretty lucky every night I get on my knees and pray, I pray that I can get off my knees. Yeah Frank’s been a real pill, pal … he helped me when I started singing in cafes and helped me with my recording and motion picture career. Frank thanks for your support, I swear I’ll wear it till the day I die. This man’s success has served as an inspiration to every American boy. Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey as an unwanted child and now he’s wanted in five States. Especially in the State of New York, as you know New York City has been having financial trouble, nobody knew Frank had lent money to New York until they found the Statue of Liberty with her arms broken.”
“[On second wife Jeanne] I have seven children that I am so proud of. I’m a grandfather at fifty. And I found Jeannie, such a wife. She took my four children from my previous marriage, and she won ‘em over, and she was so young. They call her Mom, you know. And we had three others, but she loved ‘em like my four. Isn’t that fabulous? After my divorce, the court eventually gave me the children, and I think it was the first time in California that a man got the children…But what luck that my Jeannie was there and was such a fine lady. My Jeannie and her blue eyes. I call ‘em Nazi eyes. Thanks to them, I don’t even care about givin’ my ex-wife $2,400 a month for 18 years.”
To those who felt he joked his way through songs during concert and nightclub appearences: “You wanna hear it straight, buy the album.”
Upon filing for divorce from his second wife: “I know it`s the gentlemanly thing to let the wife file. But, then, everybody knows I`m no gentleman.”
“I’d hate to be a teetotaler. Imagine getting up in the morning and knowing that’s as good as you’re going to feel all day.”
“Oh! So very much! Oh! Every night—I still have never missed a night without prayin’. And I have my Saint Christopher, and when I get on the airline, I cross myself and pray to Him. I don’t get on my knees, I pray in bed. Oh yes, I believe in God. I don’t understand too many things. For example, when a baby comes from a lady, who’s gonna make this thing with the ears and the nose and the mouth and the eyes? Who? God does. And when people die, what do they say? “God help me,” they say. Cause who they gonna turn to? Henry Ford? Naw, they’re gonna turn to God. He’s the one who put ‘em here and takes ‘em away…I remember when President Kennedy died, rest in peace, was shot. I ran to my car and I went down to church and I lit a candle at the altar and I prayed. And I said to God, “Please don’t let him die.”…When your mother dies, and your father dies, or a friend dies, what do you do if not prayin’?” -Dean Martin, when asked whether he believed in God, 1967