The duo went from earning $350 a week to $5,000 a week in under eight months, with Martin playing the romantic straight man opposite Lewis as his goofy, unpredictable partner. Ten years later, the curtain came down on their final team performance at the Copacabana in New York. Over that decade, the zany two made seventeen movies including My Friend Irma, That’s My Boy, The Caddy, Pardners, Jumping Jacks and The Stooge.
Dean Martin went on to become a recording star (Memories are Made of This, Return to Me, Everybody Loves Somebody), movie star (The Young Lions, Rio Bravo, Sons of Katie Elder, the Matt Helm series) and host of his own TV variety show, The Dean Martin Show. Lewis pursued a solo career in Hollywood as comic lead (The Sad Sack, Cinderfella, The Nutty Professor); director (The Bellboy, The Errand Boy, The Patsy, Family Jewels, Which Way to the Front); producer; teacher (USC); and consummate entertainer. It would take 20 years for the two to speak publicly with each other again.
Martin died December 25, 1995. Lewis continues to set records in fund-raising during his annual Stars Across America! Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (he has been chairman of the MDA since 1950). The Las Vegas resident continues to make nightclub appearances and returned to the stage in the Broadway revival production of Damn Yankees in 1996. Critics called his performance as the Devil, a rip-roaring success. This commentary courtesy of the web site Capitol Hill Blue.