Dean Martin: A Few Things You Didn't Know

Dean Martin
Dean Martin is a Man of Simple Snacks, Has Frank Sinatra's Back, Shows His Gratitude, and Is Home for Dinner Every Night.
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Today is the birthday of my favorite male singer of all time: Dean Martin.

And it’s not just Dino’s birthday today.  June 7th is also National Dean Martin Day:

“In honor of the Steubenville, Ohio, native Dino Paul Crocetti, born on that day in 1917, for his achievements as a national and international singer, actor and radio and television personality.”

Dean Martin

According to Dean’s daughter, Deana [aff. link],

“Dad has the distinction of being the only entertainer honored with his own national day in the entire United States.”

Pretty cool!

Dean Martin

Dean Martin: The Approachable King of Cool

Is it really any surprise that such a likeable, talented, approachable, and cool star like Dean Martin would be the one to get his own national holiday? 

Just watching a Dean Martin movie, or hearing that easy going smile in his seemingly effortless singing can make anyone feel like Dino is a good friend.  He just has that way about him.

Dino at the recording studio. Look who's in the background.

To celebrate Dino’s birthday today, I want to share some of my favorite facts about “The King of Cool.”  I’m confident they’ll surprise you.

So here are a few things about Dean Martin you didn’t know:

Dean Martin
Dino and his lovely wife, Jeanne, pronounced "Jeannie." What a gorgeous couple!

A Man of Simple Snacks

In 1967, Dean Martin reportedly earned more than anyone in the entertainment industry.

That’s pretty impressive.

But despite his great wealth, Dino was a man of simple tastes.  Especially when it came to snack time.

Dean Martin

According to Deana Martin, her father’s very favorite snack was about as simple, cheap, and down-to-earth as snacks can get:

“He’d take a piece of Wonder Bread, smear it with butter, fold it over, and carry it into the living room, where he’d turn on the TV, eat his little sandwich, and sometimes fall asleep on the couch.”

Even if you don’t particularly love Wonder Bread or butter, how incredibly cute and relatable is that??

Dean Martin

He Was Home for Dinner Every Night

Despite his famous friendships with such night owls as Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin was not a partier. He preferred to come home every night after his shows or filming/recording at the studio.  Daughter Deana shared that

“Dad was home a lot, and we had dinner together as a family almost every night.  To us it was the norm, having our father sitting at the head of the table each night, asking us about our day and cracking jokes.  He enjoyed this time with the family, sharing a meal…I guess it was the Italian in him.”

Dean Martin
Dino and kids enjoying their nightly roughhousing.

Dean’s nightly routine started with cocktails with his wife, the beautiful Jeanne (pronounced “Jeannie”).  Then, he’d grab the kids–ALL 7 OF THEM–and

“we’d play roughhouse and climb all over him, which he never seemed to mind.  Whenever the play-fights got a bit out of had, he’d yell jokingly, ‘Not the nose!’ or ‘Not the throat!  Remember, the throat pays for everything!’”

Isn’t that just the sweetest image?

I love that Deana gives us a glimpse of this side of her father.

Dean Martin
Dino and Frank. They always had each other's backs.

You Knew Dean Martin Had Your Back

Famous friends like Frank Sinatra knew Dino had their backs. 

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As Ocean’s Eleven (1960) photographer Sid Avery said of Frank and Dino,

“They’d have killed for each other…I’m not altogether sure they didn’t.”

 But you didn’t have to be a famous friend to know you could rely on Dino, as Martin family relative Violet Crocetti fount out.  Deana relates this fabulous story about her father saving Aunt Violet from overwhelming embarrassment one night:

“Violet arrived at a party at the Fort Steuben Hotel to celebrate Dad’s return to his hometown…and made a grand entrance in high-heeled shoes and a strapless black taffeta gown. 

As she walked in, all heads turned and, momentarily distracted, she stumbled and fell head over heels in the middle of the foyer.  Everyone gasped with embarrassment as she plunged to the floor and landed in an ungainly heap. No one tried to help her up. Suddenly, Dad stepped forward, applauding enthusiastically, and picked her up. 

‘Well done, Vi,’ he said with a smile.  ‘That was exactly as we rehearsed it!’ 

He made everybody believe the whole thing was staged and that she’d done a brilliant pratfall.  She was so grateful, she never forgot his kindness.”

Ok, what a nice guy.

Why couldn’t Dean Martin have been there for me with this awesome save when I fell face-first down the bleachers at Homecoming?

(Wait, what???  Of course that never happened…)


He was Always Grateful

Dean once said,

“I wouldn’t change places with anyone in the world.  It’s unbelievable that all this could happen to me…Nobody ever figured me for this.  Nobody.”

Dino was always amazed at his good luck to be blessed with a voice and charisma that led to such a successful, lengthy career. According to Deana,

“Every day he woke up and counted his blessings; every night before he went to bed he said his prayers and thanked God for his good fortune.  He wouldn’t walk in the front door without kissing the gold Saint Christopher medal Claudia [one of his daughters] had bought him and which he wore around his neck.”

Few things are more admirable than a person who shows gratitude for their good fortune.  Dean Martin certainly never took for granted the talents he was blessed with, or the amazing life and career these talents and hard work brought him.

Dean Martin
The Martin Family! Jeanne looks like one of the kids, but she is the blonde on the far right. Deana is the one with the awesome hair looking admiringly at her father.

Happy Birthday, Dino!

And that wraps up my birthday tribute to Dean Martin.

Happy Birthday Dino, you’re one of a kind!

Dean Martin
If you're looking for a great book, be sure to read Deana Martin's sweet memoir about her father. Click to view on Amazon [aff. link].
Dean Martin
Dino and Jeanne.

10 Responses

    1. That’s awesome Peewee! Dino truly was one of a kind–approachable, humorous, and unbelievably talented. Thanks for reading!

  1. Loved Dino. Saw him in person several times and still listen to his music every day. Still my favorite singer. I also met Deana. A very nice lady.

    1. You are so lucky, it must have been amazing to see Dino in person! Truly unforgettable, I’m sure. I almost saw Deana perform in the spring of 2020, but the show was cancelled due to COVID lockdowns. Hoping I’ll have another chance soon. So good to hear that she’s as nice in person as she is in interviews. Thanks for commenting Eddie!

  2. i grew up in the fifties and sixties and loved Dean Martin. My dad would listen to him and frank, i listen to his music every day. BY the way i try to sing all his songs, such a great father and entertainer, the best.

    1. Hi Ronald, thanks for reading, and for commenting! I agree, Dino was an amazing performer and loved his family so much. That’s great that you enjoy his music every day! No one compares to Dino and Frank, two of the all-time greats!

  3. I spend a lot of time in Vegas as have lots of friends at the bellegio have had great prime rib at Lawreys on dean Martin way I ran into him in a elevator in the original mgm wearing shorts and a muscle shirt he a tuxedo I felt under dressed of course he was filming an episode of Charlie’s angels to this day the hole in the wall pasta restaurant still has the original pictures of the angels as you enter the restaurant

    1. Thanks for reading Randy! What an experience to run into Dino in Vegas! It’s so fitting that he was in a tuxedo.
      That’s awesome that Dino was filming his Charlie’s Angels episode at the time. It’s so good to hear stories and experiences like this, thanks for commenting Randy!

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