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Last updated on July 9th, 2023 at 10:35 pm
Dean Martin was known as the “The King of Cool,” and we have no qualms about why. He was a legendary comic, one of the members of the famed Rat Pack, who partnered with other American icons such as John Wayne and even Elvis Presley throughout his career.
It’s no wonder he earned such a sizeable income with his many successful endeavors.
Here’s everything there is to know about Dean Martin’s life, career, and death.
What was Dean Martin’s Net Worth at Death?
When the world lost Dean Martin in 1995, the beloved singer, actor, and comedian was worth a whopping $30 million.
How Much is the Dean Martin Estate Worth in 2023?
In 2023, Dean Martin’s $30 million price tag translates into more than $58 million when you factor in inflation.
Who Inherited Dean Martin’s Money?
Dean Martin’s inheritance is a sore subject for those involved.
Let’s start with this question. Who did Dean Martin leave his money to?
When he died, Mort Viner, Martin’s agent, and Laura Lizer became co-trustees of the Dean Martin Family Trust. This trust included half of the late singer’s royalty payments.
However, when the former died in 2003, reportedly, the latter pocketed $130,000 in the agencies’ commissions or so said Martin’s ex-wife, Jeanne Martin.
In her 2009 lawsuit, she said that when she and Martin divorced in 1973, part of the settlement stated that she was to be granted half the royalties for any records made before their divorce, to which the late singer agreed.
Who got the money in the end? Unfortunately, that has yet to be made clear.
The Martin and Lewis Show
One of the biggest things that Dean Martin was known for and contributed to his growing salary was his partnership with his friend, Jerry Lewis, for the NBC radio series, The Martin and Lewis Show, which aired from 1948 to 1953.
The show featured a variety of special guests, including Bob Hope.
The pair made many appearances on television, including the very first episode of the Ed Sullivan show, Toast of the Town, and the very first variety show on television, Hour Glass.
The world grew to love the pair together, and they both received a sizable income for their work, especially in the 1940s and 1950s, translating into millions of dollars for the comedy duo.
This made them both some of the richest people of the day.
The whole world wondered what happened when the pair announced the end of their professional partnership on June 19, 1956.
What Caused the Feud Between Martin and Lewis?
Reportedly, the strained relationship between Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis stemmed from the latter’s workaholic ways and Martin’s habit of wanting to play golf instead of performing.
According to Lewis, after the pair broke up, they didn’t speak privately again for 20 years, to which he later commented, “the stupidity of that, I can’t expound on. The ignorance of that is something I hope I’ll always forget.”
Did Martin and Lewis Ever Reconcile?
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis briefly met again four years after the breakup when they were both scheduled to perform at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.
The meeting was supposedly not planned, but Lewis did watch the end of Martin’s performance to which the “My Funny Valentine” singer introduced his old friend before he came on stage.
Unfortunately, it would still take 16 years for the former partners to ultimately reconcile, but we can thank legendary crooner Frank Sinatra for finally making that happen, however sneaky he was about it.
Lewis organized an annual Labor Day telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For the 1976 telethon, Sinatra arranged for Martin to make a surprise appearance, telling Lewis plainly, “I have a friend who loves what you do every year.”
When Marin walked in, the world got what they’d hoped for 20 years as the duo beamed with smiles for each other and embraced in a hug, followed by some friendly banter. The reunion made national news.
Did Martin and Lewis remain friends after this reconciliation? To our relief, yes. Lewis said that, after that reunion, the old friends spoke “every day after that.”
Did Jerry Lewis Go to Dean Martin’s Funeral?
It’s unclear whether Jerry Lewis attended Martin’s funeral after his 1995 death, but the former did attend the funeral of his long-time friend’s son, Dean Paul Martin, in 1987 after he was killed in a plane crash.
The funeral attendance was, however, unannounced, to where the “That’s Amore” singer didn’t even know it at the time.
Post Martin and Lewis Career
After Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis split, the former went on to have a notable solo career in film and music.
Some of his biggest hit films included Rio Bravo with John Wayne and the comedy film Who Was That Lady, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
He also appeared with Burt Reynolds in the classic movie Cannonball Run.
He also released several notable songs during that solo period, including “Everybody Loves Somebody” and “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?”
Did Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin Get Along?
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had a very close friendship, both personally and professionally, as members of the famous Rat Pack, along with Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
According to comic Tom Dressen, who made many openings for “Ol Blue Eyes” in the 1980s and 1990s, “Frank Sinatra respected Dean Martin more than any man alive, for many reasons. For one, he loved him. Two, he was the brother Frank never had. Frank longed to be a tough guy. Dean was a tough guy; Dean didn’t take any crap from anybody.”
The Dean Martin Show
During the later years of his career, Dean Martin was known best for his famous comedy-variety show of the 1960s and 70s, which ran on NBC.
For the show, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy and was nominated for the same three more times.
Martin was carefree and fun throughout the show, which featured special guest appearances from other famous performers, including Florence Henderson, Nancy Sinatra, and even his own idol, Bing Crosby.
Dean Martin’s Cause of Death
Dean Martin’s official cause of death was acute respiratory failure caused by emphysema. It was a sad Christmas Day for the world in 1995, and ironically 29 years to the day since he lost his mother.
Did Dean Martin have liver problems? Yes. He could’ve potentially lived longer had he not declined to have major surgery on his liver and kidneys in June 1994.
Surviving another year and a half isn’t too bad, though.
How Old Was Dean Martin When He Passed Away?
Dean Martin lived a long, good life. He was 78 years old when he died.
Did Dean Martin Have Health Problems?
Dean Martin’s cause of death was no surprise considering his significant health problems toward the end of his life. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1993, but he continued to make appearances.
Did Dean Martin have Dementia?
Lung cancer wasn’t the only illness he had to deal with towards the end of his life. In his early 70s, Martin struggled with Alzheimer’s disease as well.
Did Dean Martin Die Alone?
By the time Dean Martin passed away, he had spent several years out of the spotlight, living primarily in solitude.
Who was with Dean Martin when he died? There has never been a clear answer to that question, but he died at his home in Beverly Hills, California.
What Were Dean Martin’s Last Words?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know what Dean Martin’s last words were. According to those who worked in the home, hours before his death, he was watching TV and drinking red wine into the late hours of the night. The maid reported that she had heard him “coughing and hacking,” but considering his lung cancer and his history as a lifelong smoker, she didn’t think this was anything to worry about.
Dean Martin’s Birthday
Dean Martin was born on June 7, 1917. His given name was Dino Paul Crocetti. He would eventually adopt “Dean Martin” as his stage name.
How Tall was Dean Martin?
Dean Martin was a tall guy. He stood at 5 feet, 11 inches tall.
Dean Martin’s Early Life
Dean Martin was an Italian American born to Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti and Angela Crocetti. Because of his family’s Italian heritage, Italian was the primary language spoken in the Crocetti home until he started attending school.
Unfortunately, the eventual legend was bullied for his broken English at the time.
Martin’s interest in music started early, playing drums as a teenager, but he only got a break into the music world once he started working with the Ernie McKay Orchestra.
His later-known crooning style of performing was influenced by the Mills Brothers’ Harry Mills and Perry Como.
Was Dean Martin in the Military?
Dean Martin was drafted into the military during World War II; however, he only remained in uniform for 14 months. He was discharged because of a hernia.
Dean Martin’s Wife
Dean Martin was no longer married at the time of his death.
How many times was Dean Martin married? Three times.
Martin’s first marriage was to Elizabeth “Betty” Anne McDonald. The two were married in 1941 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, but split in 1949 after eight years together.
Martin married his second wife, Dorothy Jean “Jeanne” Biegger, which was his longest-lasting marriage. The pair were married for 24 years (1949-1973).
Biegger was best known as a former Orange Bowl queen from Coral Gables, Florida when the two were wed.
The late singer’s third and final marriage was to Catherine Hawn, but the union only lasted three years.
Dean Martin’s Children
Dean Martin had eight children. How many biological children did Dean Martin have from those eight children? Seven.
Martin’s first marriage to Betty McDonald led to four children for the couple: Craig Martin in 1942, Claudia Martin in 1944, Gail Martin in 1945, and Deana Martin in 1948.
Martin and Jeanne Biegger had three children together: Dean Paul Martin in 1951, Ricci Martin in 1953, and Gina Martin in 1956.
Although Martin and his third wife, Catherine Hawn, never had any biological children together, Martin did adopt her daughter Sasha from a previous relationship.
Dean Martin Daughter’s Net Worth
Several of Dean Martin’s children took after their famous father, dipping their toes in the worlds of acting and singing.
His youngest daughter from his first marriage, Deana Martin, has made a name for herself as a singer and actress, with several theater credits, including Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet.
Like her father, through her endeavors in entertainment, Deana Martin earns a sizeable income with an estimated $6 million net worth.
Two of Martin’s other children dabbled in the entertainment industry before their deaths.
Dean Paul Martin, who died in a plane crash on March 21, 1987, had a career as a pop singer and actor in film and television before his sudden death.
Ricci Martin was also a musician and singer before he died at the age of 62 on August 3, 2016, of an unknown cause.
Dean Martin Awards and Legacy
Throughout Dean Martin’s multi-decade career, he was known as one of the most popular and enduring entertainers of the mid-20th century, and it’s a legacy that has endured even long after his death.
From Dean Martin Boulevard on Ohio Route 7 through Steubenville, which was dedicated in 1997, to artists like Martina McBride making his voice known to the modern world with her duet with Martin of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for the re-release of her White Christmas album in 2006, the world will not be forgetting this legendary icon anytime soon.
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