Dean Martin: The King of Cool

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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Few entertainers achieve the title “King of Cool.”  Dean Martin is one of them.

But Dino isn’t just cool.  He’s approachably cool.

Dean Martin: The Approachable King of Cool

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.

To celebrate his June 7 birthday, here are a few things about Dean Martin you didn’t know.

Dean Martin

Dean Martin Has His Own National Holiday

June 7 is not only Dean Martin’s birthday: it’s National Dean Martin Day. 

According to the 2002 law that made Dino’s holiday official, June 7 honors:

“…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.”

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

As Dean’s daughter, Deana, points out in her book about her father [aff. link]:

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

Now that’s cool.

Dean Martin wife
Dino and his second wife, Jeanne, pronounced "Jeannie."

A Man of Simple Snacks

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

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 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.”

This humble snack, and the adorable imagery Deana paints, further underscore Dino’s innate approachable coolness.

Dean Martin

Dean Martin 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. 

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After a performance or a long day at the film/recording studio, Dino preferred to spend his time at home.  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.”

Dino and kids enjoying their nightly roughhousing.

Dino’s nightly routine began 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!’”

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

Dino Had Your Back

Famous friends like Frank Sinatra knew that Dino had their backs. 

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.”

Dean Martin

But you didn’t have to be a famous friend to know you could rely on Dino, as Martin family relative Violet Crocetti found out. 

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Deana relates this story about her father saving Aunt Violet from overwhelming embarrassment one night:

Dean Martin

“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.”

Dean Martin

He was Always Grateful

Dino 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.”

Dean Martin was amazed at what he considered his good luck to be blessed with a voice and charisma that led to a successful, lengthy career.

Dean Martin

According to Deana:

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“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.”

Dean Martin
The Martin Family.

Happy Birthday to The Approachable King of Cool

Dino’s gratitude for the talents he was blessed with, and the remarkable life and career these talents and hard work brought him, is admirable. 

It only adds to his eternal cool.

Happy Birthday Dean Martin, the Approachable King of Cool.

Dean Martin

24 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!

  4. My mother was a great fan of Dean Martin nationally watched him on the TV shows and his show and now I grow up, loving him till this day I play his music and elegant, good looking man and very talented and a family man which I know it’s very difficult when you’re in the industry

    1. Thanks for commenting Rosemary! It’s so great to hear that your mother passed her love and appreciation for Dino down to you. I agree, elegant and talented are the perfect words to describe Dino’s voice and demeanor. His dedication to his family was a rarity in Hollywood for sure. Thanks for reading!

  5. MY FATHER JUST PASSED AWAY JUS LAST YEAR AND DEAN WAS HIS FAVORITEAND I ALSO LOVED HIS MUSIC GREAT TO KNOW HE WAS A FAMILY MAN

    1. Thanks for reading, and for commenting John! That’s great to hear that Dino was your father’s favorite. The fact that Dino was a family man makes him even more lovable.

    1. I agree Patricia! Dean Martin brought something to his music that no other artist can replicate. Thanks for reading!

  6. In 1964ish 3 of my friends and I drove up his driveway one Sunday night. It did say no trespassing but, oh well, we were brave. We knocked and Jeanne came to the door. We told her we needed to talk to Dean Martin. He was walking up their spiral staircase and she turned and asked him if he wanted to talk to “these girls”. He came to the door. We told him we were pledging a college sorority and needed him to sign the back of our hands. Which he did. He talked to us for twenty minutes. Handsome. . Gracious. Friendly. And definitely DREAMY.

    1. What an amazing experience Sammye, thanks so much for sharing! How generous of Dino (and Jeanne)! I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been to not only see Dino in person, but to talk with him. Clearly he was in real life the kind, handsome, funny, and grounded man he seemed to be. Thanks again for commenting Sammye, and for reading!

  7. I grew up listening to him sing beautiful ballads and never once was I tired of him. To bad he couldn’t live forever!

  8. I love Dean Martin. Cannot get enough of him. His voice was golden! Dean was very much on top of his game. His voice, his looks, his personality! He struggled when he first started. Made the best of it and survived. Excelling in everything. Love him!

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for commenting! I agree, Dino was gold. He certainly had it all! The fact that he had to work for his success (and appreciated his talent and good fortune) just makes him all the more lovable. Thanks for reading!

  9. I am a crocetti and related to dean
    Ran into him in the lobby of the flaming hotel only to say ,”hey I’m ur relitive”. How very funny
    He stopped to talk and s we we both laughed. What a guy.

    1. Thanks for commenting Mary Ann! How lucky to be related to Dino, and to have the chance to talk and laugh with him! It’s so good to hear first-hand experiences of what a nice guy he was in real life. Thanks again for commenting Mary Ann, and for reading!

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