News

Dean Martin’s little girl Deana discusses her relationship with her Rat Pack dad

0
Please log in or register to like posts.

It is not all about. “King of Cool”Dean Martin was not what it appeared to be. The dashing heartthrob and playboy was actually a dedicated father to eight children. The legendary drinker — who always had a tumbler in hand —secretly filled his glass with apple cider. And that gleaming smile disguised the pain. 

A new documentary examines the complex life of the comedian, crooner, and founder of the Rat Pack. “Dean Martin: King of Cool,” which premieres Friday on TCM, features never-before-seen archival footage and delves into Martin’s strained relationship with Jerry Lewis, his bromance with Frank Sinatra and the personal tragedy of losing a child.

Born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1917 to Italian immigrant parents, Martin didn’t learn English until age 6 and was considered nearly illiterate. The hardscrabble life in his working-class town couldn’t have been further from the shiny patina of Hollywood, yet Martin’s irrepressible talent was undeniable. His seamstress mother, Angela, proclaimed that if her kid didn’t make it as a singer, nobody could.

Getty Images

After his previous stints as a boxer and blackjack dealer, it would have been easy to remain quiet and modest. All that changed when he teamed with Jerry Lewis, the hammy Jerry. “King of Comedy” Lewis first spotted Martin performing at NYC’s Glass Hat nightclub in 1945 and the duo cemented their professional relationship in 1946 with a comedy gig in Atlantic City. 

Martin and Lewis — considered “the playboy and the putz” — soon catapulted to fame, performing on stages such as the Copacabana to raucous audiences who ate up the oil-and-vinegar shtick. They made 16 movies together.

“They were like brothers,” Martin’s daughter Deana told The Post of their decadelong act, adding, “As Uncle Jerry would say, ‘They had magic in a bottle.’ ”

Deana Martin, now aged 73, still remembers her father fondly and his showbiz pals. Stephen Yang

Their 1956 split left open wounds. Lewis was reportedly told by Martin. “When I look at you I see nothing but a f–king dollar sign.”

Deana, 73, and her siblings weren’t to bring up “Uncle Jerry’s”Name after that.

“Dad was tired of being the bad guy,”Deana explained that the breakup was due to irreconcilable showbiz squabbles. “Jerry was always the funny guy, and Dad was always the one reprimanding him.” 

Martin would become a star in countless films, including “Ocean’s 11” — but his acting chops were on display in other ways.

Deana Martin and her dad in 1965. Getty Images

According to his daughter, his notoriously boozy personality was really all smoke and mirrors.

“Drinking – that was his gimmick,”Deana, who is also a singer, splits her time in Beverly Hills and Branson. “There’s no way he could have done that body of work [while hitting the bottle].” He faked it by filling his glasses with apple cider, according to his “Ocean’s 11”Henry Silva is Henry’s co-star.

Deana, the fourth of eight children, grew up in a family where life was simple. “was fun — almost all the time.” There was a who’s who of drop-ins, including fellow Rat Packers Frank SinatraAnd Sammy Davis Jr., otherwise knownAs “Uncle Frank” and “Uncle Sammy” as “a sign of respect.”

Sammy Cahn, a guest writer, would visit to write parodies and play. “Time After Time”Play the piano. Deana admitted that it might feel like business as usual at Martin home. “Of course you think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m singing Christmas songs on Christmas Eve with Rosemary Clooney.’ ”

Martin and Sinatra took Deana, then 17 years old, to Las Vegas with a friend. “We went out on the town with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. We went to see Don Rickles, and he was so afraid to come out because they were in the audience,”Deana was recalled. “I’ve never seen my dad laugh so hard. That was my first time out with the guys. It was so much fun. They knew how to take care of us.”

Deana Martin (left), Nancy Sinatra and their famous dads made an appearance together. “The Dean Martin Show”Christmas special in 1967.Getty Images

Sinatra was a close friend of Martin. “They respected each other — they were not jealous of each other,”Deana said that Sinatra created matching diamond pinky rings and a crest for his bosom buddies. Dean is said to have never taken his off. It was customary to exchange meaningful gifts. “They gave each other gold cigarette lighters.”

The Rat Pack was a significant part of Kennedy’s professional and personal lives. Rising political star John F. Kennedy would even be able to catch the act at Las Vegas. Sinatra tried to get a spot in the administration. However, the doctor said that Martin supported JFK without wanting too close.

“He said, ‘If JFK becomes president, I’m going to ask him if I could become the Secretary of Liquor,’”Deana remembered her father joking.

Martin strongly supported the civil rights movement, and when Sammy Davis Jr. wasn’t invited to the new president’s inauguration, Martin refused to go out of loyalty to Davis, who was in a mixed-race marriage with May Britt. “Sammy was one of them, his wife was one of them. If you could un-invite Sammy, Dad’s thinking was, ‘I’m not going to go. He’s my friend. That’s not right,’ ”Deana. “That’s who Dad was.”

Sinatra, also known as a “dictator”James Kaplan, Martin’s biographer and doctor, stated that Martin would stay up late schmoozing till 5 a.m. while Jeanne Martin, his wife, wanted to go home to her and the kids. 

Pretending to be a neighbor on Beverly Hills’ Mountain Drive, he once called the police on his daughter’s 18th birthday party so he could get some shut-eye. His voice was immediately recognized by the cops. “They just said, ‘Uh, OK, Mr. Martin, we’ll be right over.’ “

He responded: “No, I’m not Mr., Martin, I’m an irate neighbor.”

Sometimes he was more direct. “He’d go around turning off the lights, guests still there, saying, ‘OK, it’s time to go,’ ” Deana said.

Deana Martin (from left) shares the stage with dad Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and his daughter Tina in the 1960’s.Getty Images

After a successful nine year run with his, “The Dean Martin Show”Martin enjoyed solitude and golf from 1965-1974.  

In the documentary, he’s painted as an enigmatic figure. “When you’re in Dean’s company, were you?” Norman Lear says, while Sinatra’s manager notes, “Dean had a wall no one got past.”

Deana sees his pathos in a different way. “I think he was content with who he was,”She spoke. “He didn’t talk a lot and people thought that was mysterious. But he was out there entertaining people all his life.”

Dean Martin and Jeanne Martin with their children in 1966. Getty Images

Another personal tragedy struck. Dean Paul Martin Jr. was 35 years old in 1987 when the young pilot’s military training flight for the Air National Guard crashed into a remote California mountainside. It was Martin’s “implosion,”According to the doc.

Lewis secretly attended the funeral, sat alone in a back seat and never made it public to Martin. Still, it didn’t jumpstart the reconciliation the public hoped for.

“You can’t get past that,”Deana said. There were injuries on both sides. Even Lewis’ son said Martin’s name was verboten in the house. 

The documentary suggests that the Rat Pack reunion, and 1988’s Together Again tour, was too soon after his son’s death.

“He was tired,” Deana said. “He’d been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.”

Martin, who was 78 years old, died from acute respiratory failure caused by emphysema on Christmas Day 1995.

The Westwood chapel was packed with luminaries from the old guard, such as Shirley MacLaine, Bob Newhart and Jerry Lewis, who spoke lovingly of his friend’s “exquisite tranquility despite a great inner turbulence” — and new guard, including Charlie Sheen.

“Everybody really loved Dean Martin,” Deana said. “He really was the king of cool.”

The #1 Septic Tank Treatment Available on The American Market
Bipartisan investigation into Instagram's effect on teens

Reactions

0
0
0
0
0
0
Already reacted for this post.

Reactions

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIF