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.
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