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Memories Are Made of This
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I loved being called Deana Martin. Even when I was very small. Dad was such a positive influence on people's lives that to be so closely associated with him was always a blessing. People can't help but smile when they think of my father, which has to be the greatest legacy of all. When people hear my name for the first time, they usually ask the same question: "Any relation?" "Yes," I reply proudly, "he's my father." They smile and cry, "Oh, I love your father! I've loved him all my life." Sometimes, just sometimes, they ask me the most important question of all: "Was he a good father?" To their surprise, I shake my head and smile. "No," I reply. "He wasn't a good father, but he was a good man." Where Dad came from, that meant a great deal more.

So begins Deana Martin's captivating and heartfelt memoir of her father, the son of an Italian immigrant from modest beginnings who worked his way to the top of the Hollywood firmament to become one of the greatest stars of all time.
Charming, debonair, and impeccably attired in a black tuxedo, Dean Martin was coolness incarnate. His music provided the soundtrack of romance, and his image captivated movie and television audiences for more than fifty years. His daughter Deana was among his most devoted fans, but she also knew a side of him that few others ever glimpsed.
In page-turning prose, Deana recalls her early childhood, when she and her siblings were left in the erratic care of Dean's loving but alcoholic first wife. She chronicles the constantly changing blended family that marked her youth, along with the unexpected moments of silliness and tenderness that this unusual Hollywood family shared. Deana candidly reveals the impactof Dean's fame and characteristic aloofness on her efforts to forge her own identity, but delights in sharing wonderful, never-before-told stories about her father and his pallies known as the Rat Pack. It may not have been a normal childhood, but Deana's enchanting account of life as the daughter of one of Hollywood's sexiest icons will leave you entertained, delighted, and nostalgic for a time gone by.
"From her heart, Deana Martin has told a frank and honest account of what her life was like with her famous father and family. It has been a wild ride, with lots of ups and downs, written with honesty, love, and understanding." --Regis Philbin
"Dean Martin was the unique star who attained success in all of the entertainment media--movies, TV, recordings, concerts, and radio. His daughter Deana gives us something else that is also unique in this revealing book about growing up as the daughter of a true legend. Here's to you Dean. I've got the booze, you get the ice." --Don Rickles
"I have to say I loved reading what Deana wrote--maybe because she bit the bullet, she was courageous, up-front, tenacious, and so totally forthright. I read it with tremendous pride and love, and I know other readers will feel the same emotions I felt. I love this author for a myriad of reasons, but especially for how she has honored my partner."--from the Foreword by Jerry Lewis

"From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

About the Author

Deana Martin is an actress, entertainer, and author living with her husband in Beverly Hills, California. She is the director of the Deana Martin Foundation and the producer and driving force behind the annual Dean Martin Festival. Visit Deana on the Web at deanamartin.com.

Reviews

Widely known as the "King of Cool," television and movie star Dean Martin was perhaps the ultimate nightclub entertainer. Here, singer-actress Deana Martin recounts her father's career and private life while covering the difficulty of dealing with an alcoholic mother, the wars between her father's wives and ex-wives, and the terrible experience of losing her half-brother (singer-actor Dean Paul "Dino" Martin) in a freak airplane accident. Also of note are the author's accounts of growing up as the child of a star, which included ballroom dancing with a young Jeff Bridges, appearing with the then-unknown Steve Martin on The Dating Game, and a brief relationship with Davy Jones of the Monkees. Given Deana's insight and candor, the quality of her writing, and Dean Martin's status as one of the major American pop culture icons of the 20th century, this fascinating book is highly recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with strong popular culture collections. [For a Q&A with Martin, see p. 155.] James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In this evenhanded biography of her famous father, Deana Martin acknowledges that Dean "wasn't a good father, but he was a good man." The youngest child of four from Dean Martin's marriage to his first wife, Betty MacDonald, the author recalls how her mother began drinking so heavily that Dean's new wife, Jeanne Biegger, eventually took Betty's three girls in (Betty's son was living with his grandparents) and brought them up along with the three children she had with Dean. Martin details her father's life from his teenage years as a card dealer to his first Atlantic City gig with Jerry Lewis, offering her own observations along the way ("A glass of apple juice masquerading as scotch in his hand, he perfected a role that was going to become... indistinguishable from the real Dean Martin"). Perhaps Martin forgives her emotionally detached father too quickly, as when he doesn't show up at her first live theater performance ("I guess Dad felt that with so many children, if he did it for one, he would have spent his whole life doing it for the others"). But in the end, hers is a heartfelt and honest portrait of a mysterious father. Agent, Alan Nevins. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"From her heart, Deana Martin has told a frank and honest account of what her life was like with her famous father and family. It has been a wild ride, with lots of ups and downs, written with honesty, love, and understanding." --Regis Philbin

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