by Elliot Thorpe
A somewhat self-depreciating comment from the late, great Dean Martin on his own career. This laidback approach to his work belied a committed and professional entertainer, even though his formative years (born Dino Paul Crocetti on 7 June 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio) showed a general disenchantment for any form of authority. He could only speak Italian for the first five years of life and remarked as an adult that his English wasn’t “all that good either”.
A welterweight boxer, a speakeasy croupier, a steelmill worker, and blackjack dealer aren’t exactly the most auspicious starts. Not until his late twenties did he secure a job as a bar-room crooner. This brought him into the same circles as a young mime act, Jerry Lewis. Lewis’ manager suggested to Dean’s that the two acts become one. They debuted as ‘Martin & Lewis’ on stage in Atlantic City in 1946. After ten years, a stack of films, and countless stage and television appearances… continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.