BIOGRAPHY PART THREE

 DEAN CONQUERS: -HOLLYWOOD-LAS VEGAS-TV- THE BEATLE BUSTER

Another motion picture was in the works at Fox. A screenplay from Irwin Shaw's novel called

 

 "The Young Lions". This was the role Dean wanted. He wanted to prove himself as an actor (especially after the break-up and the previous disappointing film). He even asked for less money just to acquire the part... and got it. On April 2, 1958, the "Young Lions"

 opened to an overwhelming response. The film starred Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, along with Dean. His work was referred to as "Magnificent!", "Outstanding!", "Superb!". Dean did it! He was an actor to the highest degree, and was now in large demand in movies.

Over the rest of his career, Dean starred in 35 additional motion pictures and made cameo appearances in many more. Some of the titles include, "Some Came Running", "Rio Bravo" with John Wayne, "Bells Are Ringing" with Judy Holiday, "Ocean's Eleven" with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, a series of "Matt Helm" movies, and Arthur Haley's "Airport". These together with the movies made as the team of Martin and Lewis, make Dean's motion picture count at fifty-one movies!

For more info on Dean's Motion Pictures, please see our Web-site under "Movies". The Dean Martin Fan Center also offers many of these great shows on video tape. Check it out !!

During the late 1950's, Dean had invested in a chain of "Dino's" Italian Restaurants, and was investing in casinos, such as the Sands in Vegas. All profitable at the time. When the 60's rolled

 around, the investments started turning sour.

 

 

The records were not doing as well as they had been, and the movies were just doing "okay". It was February 13, 1962 that Dean did not renew his contract with Capitol Records, and decided to go with another new record company.

 The new company was owned by Dean's friend, Frank Sinatra, and was called "Reprise Records". Dean also started his own production company, Claude Productions. This would give Dean exclusive ownership and rights to all of his work from this point on.

For the next couple of years, Dean went about his business as usual. He was now performing with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. quite a bit. Las Vegas was now becoming Dean's new conquered territory, with the help of "The Rat Pack" (Sinatra & Davis). The Rat Pack made a few movies together, including one titled "Oceans 11", about a bank heist in... where else?... Las Vegas.

Over the next couple of decades, Dean was the King of the Las Vegas strip. His shows, not only with the Rat Pack, but later doing it solo, were the largest in demand. The hotels that stand out include, "The Sands"(Rat Pack years), "The Riviera"(The Golfing Years), the "MGM Grand" (Which Dean was the headliner on opening day), and "Balley's" (Best remembered for the "Roasts")

In 1963-1964, the music scene had changed tremendously. The Beach Boys and "Motown" had been the rage... but now a group was challenging everyone. They were called "The Beatles". Everywhere you turned it was the same... The Beatles... The Beatles... The Beatles!!! They were taking the country by storm. At times three or four of their songs were in the top thirty all at once.

The story goes that in August of 1964, Dean's son, Dino, was infatuated with the Beatles. Dean recalled, "All I heard from him was 'The Beatles...the Beatles'. I told him that while they were a good group, I could put out a record that could make a number one hit."

Dean proved to his son that he was right. On August 15, 1964... the Beatles lost control of the charts. The number one song in the nation..."Everybody Loves Somebody".

Dean was hot again... besides selling millions of records again, a new chapter was on the horizon... Television.

On Thursday, September 16, 1965 at ten o'clock, "The Dean Martin Show" premiered on NBC. Thursday nights at ten would never be the same again!

The "Dean Martin Show" was one of the highest rated shows of the 1965-66 season. Unfortunately for NBC, Dean's contract was only for one year. NBC was so desperate to keep Dean, that they made him an unbelievable offer.

Dean's original salary was about $40,000 an episode. They upped the

 

 

ante for a three year contract to $283,000.00 an EPISODE, and threw in shares of stock in NBC's parent company RCA, to boot. An unheard of price in television history! Even by today's standards, Dean holds the record of

 highest paid television star, when you calculate how many hours it took to earn that much money, only working about eight hours a week!

Dean married for the third time to Catherine Mae Hawn, and adopted a daughter Sasha. The marriage only lasted 3 years and dissolved in 1976

One memorable event that happened in Las Vegas on September 7, 1976, during the broadcast of Jerry Lewis' annual telethon for the fight against Muscular Dystrophy, was when Frank Sinatra brought his friend (Dean) with him, and the country witnessed a reunion of the two after twenty years.

Dean lost his son, Dino Jr., in a plane crash in 1987. It was the loss of his son that many

 

 claim was the change in Dean's outlook. He was losing the desire to perform, and later retired from show business. Dean spent most of his time during retirement watching TV, golfing, and just loafing around. He could be seen quite often dining out, where anyone could approach him for an autograph or just shake his hand. He was always very happy to meet his fans, and was often amazed that people still remembered him.

Dean Martin passed away on Christmas morning, 1995 due to acute respiratory failure. The years of smoking, and singing in smoke filled nightclubs took it's toll on him.

We are fortunate that Dean has left us with a tremendous body of work for all to enjoy. The Dean Martin Fan Center is devoted to the study and preservation of all of Dean's work. There is so much to be studied about the aura this man possessed, and why he always leaves people smiling when they view his movies, hear his recordings, or just hear his name.

THE BIOGRAPHY YOU HAVE JUST READ IS A CONDENSED VERSION OF THE MAGNIFICENT STORY. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIFE AND CAREER OF DEAN MARTIN... JOIN THE DEAN MARTIN FAN CENTER (JUST PRESS "CLUB INFO")

 

 

 

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