The Dean Martin Centenary Blogathon — Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dean Martin

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It brings me great pride to report that we’re heading into the second day of The Dean Martin Centenary Blogathon! I couldn’t be happier that this blogathon has brought so many people together in order to celebrate Dean Martin’s 100th birthday. It’s taken us quite a while to get to this point since I first announced my plans to celebrate another birthday with a blogathon all the way back in February, but once the poll results were in picking Dino as our honoree, I knew exactly what my own entry would be about. I must admit that even I’m not an expert on Dean Martin, but from the little bit that I’ve learned about his personal life over the years, I’ve found that the person that everyone percieves him as today doesn’t quite match the man who he really was in some instances. So, I thought that it would be fun to compile some little-known facts about Dean that I could share with you all. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Although Dean Martin was born in Ohio to Gaetano and Angella Crocetti, he spoke only Italian until the age of five.

  2. Dean’s son, Dean Paul Martin, revealed in later years that his father usually drank apple juice onstage rather than the liquor that many believed was in his glass during his performances with The Rat Pack. He also mentioned that if Dean had been drinking Jack Daniels instead (his alcohol of choice), he would have been too drunk to perform.

  3. Dean is one of only thirty-three people who posess not one, but three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One was awarded to him for his work in motion pictures, another one for television, and a third for his recording career. The only people who have more stars than Dean Martin are Bob Hope and Tony Martin with four stars each, and Gene Autry with five stars.

  4. Elevators and death were among Dino’s greatest fears.

  5. His friends often described Dino as an introvert who was hardly the center of attention at parties, even going completely unnoticed when he wore a large pair of glasses to events. He was reported to be quiet usually and liked to spend time alone, and that even his closest cronies seldom knew what he was thinking.

  6. In 1962, Dean was slated to star with Marilyn Monroe in Something’s Got to Give (1962), a remake of the Cary Grant classic My Favorite Wife (1940). Production quickly took a turn for the worse when Monroe was fired for her numerous absences from filming among other reasons. Lee Remick was summoned to replace Marilyn, but Dean refused to continue the film without his close friend and exercised his contractual right for approval of his co-star. As a result of his loyalty Marilyn was rehired, but after her passing on August 5, 1962, the film was abandoned by Dean and the studio.

  7. Dean Martin had an impressive forty-one singles reach the Billboard Hot 100 charts during the course of his career, with dozens more that charted but didn’t quite reach 100. However, only three singles ever reached number one: “That’s Amore” in 1953, “Memories Are Made of This” in 1956, and “Everybody Loves Somebody” in 1964.

  8. Charlton Heston revealed in his autobiography In the Arena (1995) that Frank Sinatra prevented Dean from performing at Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural ball as President of the United States because he was too drunk.

  9. Despite reports to the contrary, Dean Martin was actually two inches shorter than his longtime partner Jerry Lewis, with Dean standing at 5’10” and Jerry standing at 6’0″. In order to make Jerry appear shorter for their comedy acts, Dean would wear lifts and Jerry would cut the heels off of his shoes.

  10. Dean maintained a brief career as a boxer, fighting under the name of Dino Crocetti. He won twenty-five of the thirty-six matches that he fought, but he would later joke that he lost eleven out of twelve.

I hope you enjoyed these lesser-known facts, and I hope to see you all for the rest of the blogathon!

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10 thoughts on “The Dean Martin Centenary Blogathon — Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dean Martin

    1. About an hour’s worth of footage from the film still exists! What was filmed of it was restored and put on the end of the documentary Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days, and if I’m not mistaken it’s available to watch in parts on Youtube. It’s a great film (what there is of it), and it also stars Cyd Charisse and Phil Silvers! Eventually the same sets and basic plot were reused in Move Over, Darling (1963) with James Garner and Doris Day in Dean and Marilyn’s roles. I hope you find and enjoy Something’s Got to Give (1962) though!

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  1. The part about Dean drinking aplle juice on stage reminded me of a story I read in a heavy metal magazine years ago. Kevin DuBrow, the lead singer for Quiet Riot, drank herbal tea on stage, even though it was in a Jack Daniels bottle. Neat little tidbits. I like this.

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    1. That’s interesting! I’ve heard a few stories about that myself, including one in which my favorite actor, Tyrone Power, pranked his costars by replacing their juice with real alcohol and getting everyone buzzed! I’m glad you liked that tidbit!

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  2. Loved this! Dean Martin has to be one of the most enigmatic people I’ve ever read about, so it’s great to find out things like what you listed. Really interesting about the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars! It didn’t surprise me a bit to learn that Bob Hope had Dean beat, though.

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    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! I agree, Bob does deserve his four stars, but Gene Autry having five really surprised me. I still haven’t seen any films of his, but he must’ve been great!

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  3. Wow, I could never imagined that Dino had been a boxer, nor that he was shorter than Lewis! Great post.
    Thanks for hosting this fun event!
    Kisses!
    Le

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