Cover image for Martini man : the life of Dean Martin
Martini man : the life of Dean Martin
Schoell, William.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Dallas, Tex. : Taylor Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 324 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
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PN2287.M52 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.M52 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN2287.M52 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.M52 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.M52 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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Usually depicted only as a hard-playing, hard-boozing Rat Packer with a dark side, Dean Martin had a much more complex character than the popular portrait suggests. A singer, actor, and comedian, he was more than anything an entertainer of the variety that no longer exists. Martini Man: The Life of Dean Martin goes beyond the simple caricature of the boozy lounge singer with a penchant for racy humor to reveal the substantive man behind that mirthful mask.

Author Notes

William Schoell was born in New York City in 1951 and earned a B. A. from Castleton College in Vermont. A former member of The Horror Writers of America, he is the bestselling author of The Nightmare Never Ends: The Official History of Freddy Krueger and The Nightmare on Elm Street Films and Stay Out of the Shower.

In addition to his numerous books, Schoell has written over one thousand published articles and short stories. Schoell lives in New York City.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Schoell pleasantly recalls rodent number two in the Sinatra Rat Pack. Although Martin's movie roles receive much attention, details of Dino's personal life abound, such as how Shirley MacLaine dropped by his house "to tell Dean she was in love with him--even though his wife was in the other room." Schoell chronicles the partnership with Jerry Lewis that was Martin's ticket to the top, of course, including Dino's attempt, years after their famous parting of ways, to make peace with Lewis after noticing that the original Nutty Professor ducked out of sight whenever he saw Dino coming. Lewis agreed to a rapprochement but at their next near-meeting, ducked again. Then there is the matter of the Ding-a-ling Sisters, regulars on Martin's TV show. Pressured by women's groups, the show's producers toned down the innuendo and dumb-chick humor, only to ratchet it back up when ratings fell. Schoell's book reads Dino sympathetically, leaving Rat Pack sleaze-a-thon treatment awaiting another day. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

Written to dispel the image of Dean Martin (1917-1995) as "a skirt-chasing, heavy-drinking, wholly insensitive, minimally talented philanderer and mob pal who dropped friends and wives as casually as he'd discard a candy bar wrapper," this whirlwind bio takes Martin out from the shadows of Jerry Lewis and the Sinatra-led Rat Pack and puts the popular crooner, film actor, comedian and TV personality center-stage. Schoell, whose previous work includes eight novels as well as a biography of Steven Spielberg, makes a case for Martin as a serious actor in such films as Toys in the Attic, Rio Bravo, Bells Are Ringing and Kiss Me, Stupid, though his take on the movies themselves can be withering. He artfully re-creates the magic of the Martin and Lewis partnership, which began in a Manhattan nightclub in the mid-1940s, and pries open the cauldron of jealousies, paranoia and mutual recriminationsÄthe way that Lewis would really pull Martin's hair when he was only supposed to pretend to; the way Martin retaliated by breaking Lewis's toesÄthat led to their breakup in 1956. Schoell addresses allegations that Martin was a "Mafia singer," maintaining that his contacts with mobsters were inevitable since they owned the clubs and casinos. As for Martin's boozing and philandering, his three marriages and divorces and his neglect of his children, Schoell gives him something of a free pass. Nevertheless, his book provides a counterbalance to Nick Tosches's scathing 1992 Dino, and it's studded with entertaining cameos of Marilyn Monroe, Lou Costello, Rock Hudson, Harry Cohn, Marlon Brando and Shirley MacLaine (panting with unrequited love for Dean). Photos. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Author's Notep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 The Barber of Steubenville
1 Steubenvillep. 5
2 The Sound of Musicp. 12
3 Manhattanp. 21
Part 2 Jerry's Kid
4 The Unexpectedp. 35
5 Hollywood Schemesp. 46
6 Stoogep. 60
7 Living It Upp. 73
8 Bustedp. 90
Part 3 Solo
9 On His Ownp. 109
10 Enter Sinatrap. 121
11 Bravop. 131
12 Who Were Those Ladies?p. 142
Part 4 Top of the Heap
13 Marilyn and Morep. 171
14 Hellmanp. 184
15 Wilder and Wilderp. 196
Part 5 Icon
16 Super-Spyp. 213
17 Rough Nightsp. 227
18 The Unoldp. 239
Part 6 The Two Deaths of Dino
19 How to Ruin a Marriagep. 257
20 Showdownp. 270
21 Bumming Aroundp. 280
22 Final Yearsp. 293
Notesp. 301
Filmographyp. 305
Discographyp. 308
Bibliographyp. 310
Indexp. 312