12 Fun Dean Martin Facts: Get to Know the King of Cool

dean martin facts
Photo of Dean Martin who was a guest on The Frank Sinatra Show. Photo possibly taken in 1957 by ABC Television on Wikimedia Commons.

Last updated on April 12th, 2023 at 09:25 pm

Dean Martin was one of the world’s foremost entertainers and performers who captured the hearts of many, whether he was onstage singing “Everybody Loves Somebody” or starring in over 35 films.

Looking to dig deeper into the popular icon? Check out our list of Dean Martin facts below.

Dean Martin Facts

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Photo of Dean Martin from 1959. Image by MGM on Wikimedia Commons.

1. Dean Martin’s Real Name

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Photo of Dean Martin guest starring as gunfighter Canliss and Laura Devon as his wife, from the television series Rawhide in 1964. Image by CBS Television on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin’s real name is Dino Paul Crocetti.

Initially, he thought his stage name would be Dino Martini but ultimately decided against it once he realized how close it was to Italian opera singer Nino Martini.

2. Dean Martin’s Height and Weight

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Kim Sisters with Dean Martin on Wikimedia Commons.

The “Memories Are Made of This” singer was tall and thin.

He stood at 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and weighed approximately 170 pounds.

3. Dean Martin’s Zodiac Sign

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Photo of Arte Johnson, Dean Martin and Diana Shatz from the television program The Dean Martin Show. Johnson is dressed as his Laugh-In German soldier character in 1970. Image by NBC on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin is a Gemini. Geminis are known to be expressive and quick-witted.

Those are easily connectible traits to the legendary comedian.

4. Dean Martin’s Favorite Color

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Comedians Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis mugging it up in cockpit of airplane around 1950. Image by Los Angeles Daily News on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin’s favorite color was blue. Is it because of his long-time friendship with Ol Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra?

Related: The 14 Sweetest Songs About Candy

5. Dean Martin’s Favorite Food

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Singer, actor, comedian, and film producer Dean Martin and his beloved friend actor, comedian, singer, film producer, film director and screenwriter Jerry Lewis in 1950. Image by Cassowary Colorizations on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin had a love of Italian food. It makes sense considering his family’s Italian heritage.

And here we thought it would be marshmallows because of his iconic Christmas song, “A Marshmallow World.”

6. Dean Martin’s Cosmetic Change

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Dean Martin & Anna Maria Alberghetti – for Ten Thousand Bedrooms, released in 1957 Image by MGM on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin got a nose job when he was 27 years old. Reportedly, actor and comedian Lou Costello paid for the procedure.

7. Dean Martin’s Love of Comic Books

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Original studio publicity photo of Dean Martin for the film Bells Are Ringing (1960). Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Though he admitted to not being an avid reader, Martin did have a massive love of comic books but was often embarrassed to admit it. 

His friend and long-time business partner Jerry Lewis made it easy for him, buying them for Martin and then sneaking them to the Martin and Lewis actor privately.

8. Dean Martin Was an Amateur Boxer

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Photo of Dean Martin, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra performing on The Judy Garland Show in 1962. This was a stand-alone special originally broadcast Feb. 25, 1962. It was not an episode of Garland’s subsequent 1963-64 TV series. Image by CBS Television on Wikimedia Commons.

Before he was stealing our hearts as a singer and actor, Dean Martin was a tough-as-nails teenager. 

At 15, he was an amateur boxer, fighting under the guise of “Kid Crochet.” Martin said he “won all but 11” of his 12 fights.

9. Dean Martin Had Severe Claustrophobia

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Photo of Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis from the radio and television program The Colgate Comedy Hour. In television’s early days, programs were often broadcast on radio and television. Martin and Lewis were the hosts of the show at this time. Image by ABC on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin was “Scared Stiff” by closed-in spaces.

The claustrophobia was so bad that he had been known to refuse to ride in elevators and instead go out of his way to walk up multiple flights of stairs.

10. Dean Martin Hated Rehearsing

dean martin rat pack
Back in the day, the Rat Pack partied hardy at the Cal-Neva Casino. L-R: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Underground tunnels led from their rooms to the showroom, so that they could avoid the autograph seekers. Image by inkknife2000 on Wikimedia Commons.

The Dean Martin Show ran for nine years on NBC, releasing 264 episodes in the 60s and 70s.

When the comedic entertainer renewed his contract in 1968 for three more years, it stipulated that he did not have to be at the rehearsals and that someone else would stand in for him.

Therefore, the “My Funny Valentine” singer basically got paid $34 million to play golf instead.

Related: Frank Sinatra’s Net Worth: The Life of a Music Legend

11. Who Was the Sixth Rat Pack Member?

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Bob Hope, John Wayne, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra with Ronald Reagan at a campaign dinner for Reagan’s gubernatorial re-election in 1970. Image by the Los Angeles Times on Wikimedia Commons.

Dean Martin was one of the founding members of the Rat Pack in the 1950s and 60s, along with Frank Sinatra, who was a part of the original group founded by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall.

It’s well-accepted that Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, were the other members of the informal Las Vegas singing group. 

But there was an obscure sixth member – Johnny Spagnotti, a close associate of Sinatra.

12. Dean Martin Died on Christmas

After many years of heavy smoking, Dean Martin was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1993. 

He rejected the surgery that would allow him to live longer and eventually died of acute respiratory failure from emphysema on Christmas Day 1995 at 78.

Did anyone else spend that Christmas listening to The Dean Martin Christmas Album after the news broke?

Which of these Dean Martin facts was new to you?

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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