Man of Many Talents
Everyone knows Dean Martin as a suave, charismatic man who had so many talents. He was a singer, actor, comedian, and well rounded entertainer. His voice and quick wit made him a mych loved member of the Rat Pack. Naturally, there have been many rumours surrounding him as is common for someone as well known as he was.
Recently, however, his daughter Deana broke the silence and shared something which might change the way you think of him forever.
Dean Martin was part of a very famous group of friends in the 1950s. These celebrity friends included Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Joey Bishop, and Humphrey Bogart. It was well known that this group loved to spend time on the Las Vegas strip and in time this group became known as the Rat Pack. However, not many people know where the name comes from.
The iconic name of the Rat Pack was taken from a passing comment made by Bogart’s wife Lauren Bacall after one particularly raucous night. She opened the door and looked at the group before commenting that they looked like a “damned rat pack.” While she may have been joking, soon the whole world would know the name, however.
As a group, the Rat Pack had quite a body of work during their time. All in all they had worked together on 20 films, numerous songs, and other projects. However, Deana Martin, would reveal some secrets that would make many people view Dean Martin in a different light.
Known to his fans as “the king of cool”, Martin exuded a relaxed, laidback, yet powerful presence. This attitude and demeanor was a large part of Martin’s appeal, drawing fans to him. It was often commented on that women wanted to be with him while men dreamed of being him.
Making It Look Easy
What truly made this attitude so remarkable was how effortlessly it seemed to be for Martin to be the slick, laid-back cool cat. This seemingly natural ability also infected those around him and few could deny that the Rat Pack was not only a group of great entertainers. It was also the most suave group of men around.
This same attitude led to all members of the group becoming even more famous than they already were. But just like today, where celebrity went, gossip and rumors followed. The Rat Pack was at the center of many rumors, some with the potential to destroy the view people held of them.
Breaking The Silence
Martin’s daughter, Deana, finally spoke out about the rumors in 2018. She admits to growing up hearing the rumors and knowing what a ladies man her father was. She does believe that the group could only have existed when it did and that their “cuteness” wouldn’t translate well in the modern era.
The famous Friars Club, located in New York City, known for their celebrity roasts, decided to award Deana with the Trobairitz title in 2018. Her father had also been a member of the club and she was asked about her opinion of the Me Too movement as well as the effect it would have on her father.
When asked if she thought that the Rat Pack would have been in hot water or would have avoided the issue entirely Deana responded by saying: “I think they would have only because they were so cute at it, they were cool…” She then fell silent before giving an honest response she felt the world needed to hear.
She Had an Almost Instant Epiphany
As soon as she made that statement, Martin took a moment to reflect on what she had said. She realized that men had been using the fact that they were “just being cute” as a way to defend sexual harassment in Hollywood. So, she amended her earlier comment.
Cuteness Wouldn’t Have Saved Her Father
“Well, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know if they would have survived,” she said. Martin admitted that although her father and his friends were charming in their approach to certain situations. Many of those situations, however, wouldn’t fly in today’s world. And yet they were part of a club that seemed to defy today’s agenda for gender equality.
The Rat Pack Were Part of a Male Dominated Club
Sexual harassment isn’t exactly new in Hollywood. The Friars Club is a controversial male-dominated private club, which was made famous thanks to the Rat Pack. But it’s had some controversial members over the years, including Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood producer caught in the middle of the #MeToo controversy. And yet, Martin’s daughter felt divided.
Her Father Was Only Human
Martin admitted that her father wasn’t always the guy people saw on camera. According to her, it was all nothing but an act. Dean Martin was indeed a heavy smoker, a drinker and a philanderer. But “The Dean Martin Show” put him in a less-than-flattering light at times.
The Dean Martin Show Didn’t Help Him Much
“The Dean Martin Show,” which aired from 1965 to 1974, was a chat show that portrayed her father as an overly tanned man who often slurred his words, and always had an old-fashioned cocktail in his hand. And when he messed up his lines, he never re-taped it. But was it truly all an act like Deana claimed?
She Confirmed the Rumors About Her Dad
During the second part of her interview, Martin confirmed the rumors about her father and said that the man the public thought they knew wasn’t real at all. She claimed that it had all just been an act, and that was only the beginning…
He Was Only Playing Along
“The cigarettes, the womanizing, that was his shtick,” she claimed. According to her, the old fashioned cocktail in her father’s glass was probably apple juice. He did these things to be likable and relatable. According to her, Dean Martin was just a “go with the flow” kind of guy. This is one of the reasons why she initially felt that his likability and charm would’ve kept him safe during the #MeToo movement. But she isn’t so sure now. So, who was the real Dean Martin?
He Was More of a Family Man
Martin also confessed that her father was more of a family man than his friends Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra were. “Dad came home every night… He wouldn’t stay up with Uncle Frank and Uncle Sammy, he didn’t want to do that,” she said. Outside of the spotlight, they did whatever they wanted to do while her father preferred spending quality time with his family. But she wasn’t the only one to call the Rat Pack’s “drunken and womanizing” ways an act.
A Former Rat Pack Member Weighed in on the Controversy
Joey Bishop, who was a former Rat Pack member, claimed that the group never got drunk during their performances. He added that the group’s bad boy reputation was a joke, which confirmed what Martin’s daughter had said. But would Martin be proud of what his daughter did to the Friars Club?
Martin Wanted Her Own Group
When Martin’s daughter got inducted into the Friars Club, she joined the very talented Liza Minnelli, Dionne Warwick, Kristen Chenowith and Barbra Streisand. Martin joked and claimed they could start their own pack. “Tell you what, we could be The Cat Pack,” she said. “I’m going to coin that phrase.”
Meet The Cat Pack
Dionne Warwick, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Kristin Chenoweth were also the only women to be inducted into the Friars Club. As a result, Deana believes that her father would be very proud of what she accomplished.
Things Were Civil for the Most Part
Anyone who has ever seen a Friars Club roast knows full well that things can get pretty vulgar, but Martin’s roasts are much different. She says that when they roast, they don’t rely on vulgarity and shock value to entertain. But what would her father think?
She Knows He Would Be Proud of Her
Martin believes in her heart that her father would have appreciated her decision to remain well behaved during the Cat Pack’s roasts. “For the Deana Martin Celebrity roasts, they’re funny and use a little bad language, but they’re not vile or vulgar,” she said.
She Has Her Own Way of Doing Things
Martin says she would steer clear from anything “racist, or anything like that, just like with the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” she said. And, she hopes to follow her father’s footsteps in a few other ways, too.
Only a Few Knew Who Her Father Really Was
Only a handful of people knew the real Dean Martin, and Deana was proud and grateful to be among the privileged few who did. But she is also very much aware that he loved his Rat Pack friends and that they had a lot of fun together. This explains why he was always so cool, calm and admired.