In Memoriam: This Was Dean Martin's Incredible Career

In Memoriam: This Was Dean Martin's Incredible Career
June 7, 2020 - 09:10 / Rachel Johnson

A quarter of a century after his death, Dean Martin continues to live on in popular culture. Known for hit songs including "That's Amore" and his rendition of Christmas classic "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", here is a look back at the singer, actor, and comedian's incredible career. 

Born June 7, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio, Italian-American actor and singer Dino Paul Crocetti (later changed to his stage name Dean Martin) wouldn't learn English until he was five years old! Quite the rebel in his teenage years, Martin was known for talking back to his teachers, bootlegging liquor, and boxing. 

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While playing the drums had always been a hobby for Dean, he wouldn't start performing until his twenties. Starting out by singing for local bands, Dean would get his big break when he started working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra.  

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performing in 1953

Dean Martin Early Career

Dean Martin would really begin to make a name for himself after teaming up with comedian Jerry Lewis. The two would meet in a New York club where they were both performing and developed a fast friendship.

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Starting in 1946, the pair would begin performing as Martin & Lewis, with numerous appearances on film and television. While the duo would become well-known for their slapstick comedy, after disagreements broke out between the two, they would end their partnership in 1956. 

Dean Martin performing in 1983

Dean Martin's Later Years

After breaking off from Lewis, Dean Martin would continue on with a solo career and concentrate on his singing. With songs like "That's Amore" and Christmas classic's "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", Dean's smooth voice won over fans everywhere, and he became one of the most popular acts in Las Vegas alongside other big name performers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

In his later years, Dean Martin found success on the television screen as well, headlining his own shows, The Dean Martin Show and Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. When Martin passed away from lung cancer on Christmas Day 1995 at the age of 78, the world mourned the loss of a great cultural icon. Married three times, the legend left behind eight children including actress Deana Martin and singer Ricci Martin.