Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis- After They Split Up

Hey pallies, likes, likes I simply simply craves more and more Dino-knowledge 'cause the more I learn of our most beloved Dino, the more I deepen my devotion to him.  So, when I come 'cross Dino-prose likes todays, I am  in total total Dino-delight.  From the new-to-ilovedinomartin 'net pad, "Today I Found Out"  comes a grand essay on our grand man and his partner, Mr. Jerry Lewis.

Scribed by beloved character actor Mr. Eddie Deezen, who role in the big screen version of "Grease" first brought him fame and fortune,  the Dino-report is tagged,  "Dean Martin And Jerry Lewis After They Split Up."

And, likes this is not the first epistle from Eddie 'bout the life and times of our Dino.  If likes you puts Eddie Deezen into the search engine for this blog, you will discover a couple of other Dino-centric posts from his self-tagged blog home on our Dino and the Jer's last peformance before the split, and the other on how our most beloved Dino knocked the Beatles off the charts.

 In this most recent Dino-writin's, Mr. Deezen shares many many interestin' details 'bout encounters that our great man and Jerry had with each other after they famous split up, includin' of course their remarkable reunion in 1976 on the MDA Telethon.  Many of these encounters are ones that I never ever remember readin' of before....and I stand in awe of the research that Deezen must have undertaken to share all these great moments with his readership.

I did find one glarin' error in Mr. Deezen's writin's......he tags our Dino's beloved boypallie Dino Martin Jr. as "his first born."  Indeed Dino Jr. was the first born of his children with his second wife Jeanne, but our great man had four prodigy by his first wife Betty, Craig, Gail, Claudia, and Deana.

At any rate, this is a first class piece of Dino-prose and worthy of any Dino-holic's time to gain in their Dino-edification.  I truly truly am likes so thrilled to learn of a number of cool times when our Dino and Mr. Lewis' lifes intersected and the details of such Dino-encounters.

For me the mostest of the most special words from Eddie are at the end of his ramblin's when he talks 'bout the patter between Mr. Sinatra and Mr. Lewis after he service of remembrance for our great man.... " After the service, Jerry saw Frank Sinatra.   'Well, we lost the big gun, my friend," said Frank Sinatra. 'We didn't lose him,' replied Jerry, 'God just placed him elsewhere.'   Likes dudes, likes ain't that just the greatest way of thinkin' of our Dino's departure from our presence?!?!?!?!?!

ilovedinomartin wishes to express our deep deep thanks to Mr. Eddie Deezen for such an insightful piece of prose, helpin' Dino-holics everywhere to deepen their relationship with our Dino, his life, his times.   To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-report.  Dino-gratefully, DMP

Dean Martin And Jerry Lewis After The Split Up
Eddie Deezen  April 16, 2013


Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis formed the most electric comedy team in the history of show business.  Joining together in the summer of 1946, their act caught on like wildfire.  A combination of Dean Martin’s smooth, cool, baritone-voiced suave and Jerry Lewis’s incredible, creative, explosive, comedic brilliance, Dean and Jerry were the top act in all of show biz from the late forties through the mid-fifties.
Finally, after 16 films (all of which made money, the pair never had a box-office flop), a TV series (“The Colgate Comedy Hour”), several radio shows, and scores of frenetic, unforgettable live appearances on stage and in clubs, Dean and Jerry decided to end their lucrative partnership.  On July 25, 1956, 10 years to the day after they teamed up, Dean and Jerry officially called it quits.
The split was filled with acrimony and bitterness.  For many years after the split, Jerry refused to listen to Dean Martin records.  (By all accounts, Jerry took the break-up much harder than Dean. The night of their split, Jerry had to sleep under sedation. In contrast, according to Dean’s wife, Dean came home, she made him a fried egg sandwich and they watched some television together, all as if nothing had happened.)
In September of 1958, Jerry was making a guest appearance on “The Eddie Fisher Show”.  Jerry was talking about singing on the show, and in a huge surprise appearance, Dean walked in the studio while the show was on the air.  “Don’t sing! Just don’t sing!” Dean said.  Jerry proceeded to chase his erstwhile partner around the studio.
Later that year, the two were both shooting movies on the Paramount Studio lots.  “I’d see him tooling around the lot in his little golf cart with his name on it in lights,” Dean recalled, “When he saw me, he’d duck around a corner.”
Dean had Jerry brought to his dressing room for a drink. “Now, isn’t this better than ducking me?” Dean asked.   Jerry replied “Yep,” and, “I felt pretty good about it.”  Then Jerry left.  “The next time he saw me, he ducked me again,” said Dean.
In 1960, four years after the split, Dean and Jerry were both performing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.  After Dean’s closing show, Jerry made a surprise appearance on stage.  Dean introduced his ex-partner from the stage. Jerry came on and the two clowned around together for 15 minutes.  Dean sang “Come Back to Me” to Jerry. Jerry joined in and they sang the song together.
Later in 1960, Jerry was exhausted from filming his movie “The Bellboy” in Florida and had to cancel his engagement at the Sands.  Dean heard about Jerry’s problem and graciously filled in for him.
In 1964, in a strange scene in show business history, the Beatles had come to Hollywood to perform a concert at the Hollywood bowl.  A huge line of movie stars, including Edward G. Robinson, Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Burt Lancaster, etc. had lined up to meet the Fab Four in person.  Jerry Lewis was in the line to meet the Beatles, but when he spotted Dean Martin in the line, he quickly hurried away and left the affair.
In 1976, there was the much publicized Martin and Lewis reunion on national TV on Jerry’s annual muscular dystrophy telethon.  Touched by Dean’s surprise appearance, Jerry wrote Dean a letter that night and asked to see him again.  He never received an answer from Dean.  He kept trying, but still no answer.  At this point in time, Jerry wanted to reestablish a friendship, or at least some kind of relationship, with his ex-partner.  Dean, on the other hand, seemed to hold no real animosity for Jerry, but he just wanted to be left alone and to go his own way.
Then came the worst day of Dean Martin’s life.  On March 20, 1987, his beloved son, Dino Jr., was killed in a plane crash. (Dino was a captain in the Air National Guard.)  Jerry later said, “That was the day he died.”  Although Dean had seven children, Dino was, by all accounts, his special favorite (and his first born).  At Dino’s funeral, a quiet, hidden figure turned up.  It was Jerry Lewis, deliberately acting low-key, so as not to draw any attention.  He stood at the back of the church and remained there quietly throughout the service.
Dean did not at first know Jerry had been present at the service.  After the funeral, Dean got word his former partner had showed up for his son’s funeral.  Touched, he told an aide to get Jerry on the phone.  Late that night, Jerry received a phone call.  “Hey Jer”, said the very familiar voice.
According to Jerry,
We talked for about an hour. He cried, I cried. I said, “Life’s too short, my friend. This is one of those things that God hands us, and we have to somehow go on with our lives. That’s what Dino would have wanted.”
At a loss for words, Dean kept saying, “Jer, I can’t tell you.”
After the funeral, Jerry told his wife what he knew in his heart, “Honey, it’s just a matter of time. Dean’s gone. That boy was the most important thing he had in his life.”
Jerry wanted very much to see Dean in person, but Dean preferred talking on the phone. Jerry respected that.  He continued to call Dean whenever he could.
It was well-known that Dean was very careless in taking care of himself and his health after the death of Dino Jr.  Jerry tried to get Dean to change his reckless ways. The conversations always began the same way:  “Hey Paul, how you doing?” (Jerry often referred to Dean as “Paul”, Dean’s middle name).  “I’m doin’ just fine, preacher.”-  “Listen, you’ve got to take better care of yourself, stop the drinking and the crappy diet. Millions of people love you. You’ve got the world in your pocket.”-  “Yes preacher.”
Dean and Jerry had run into each other four years previously, by complete accident.  In 1983, Jerry and his wife, Sam, were dining together at La Famiglia in Beverly Hills (Jerry had no idea this was Dean’s favorite restaurant).  He spotted a lone figure dining at a red leather booth by the front door.
As Jerry said, “My first reaction was a double take at how much Dean had aged… My partner had always looked so magnificently handsome and youthful… whether it was the effects of the sun for all those years, or the accumulated sadness of his life, or just the genetic luck of the draw, I don’t know. But it deeply saddened me.”
Jerry walked over to Dean’s table.  “Wanna have a drink?” Dean asked.  “I don’t drink”, replied Jerry, “I used to work with this guy who drank all the time and breathed on me- I’ve had all the booze I can take for one lifetime.”
“It was playful”, recalled Jerry, “but I felt that I was imposing on him. With age, his reserve had grown… He truly wanted to be alone. I touched his arm, gave him a wink, and went back to my table.”
Ten minutes later, a waiter brought over a champagne bucket, covered with a cloth napkin.  “Compliments of Mr. Martin”, said the waiter.
Jerry removed the napkin and saw six bottles of Diet Coke sitting on ice.  He laughed and brought his wife over to meet his ex-partner.  They chatted briefly, but both Jerry and his wife felt and understood Dean wished to be alone.
In 1989, Dean was playing Bally’s in Las Vegas.  On Dean’s 72nd birthday, a huge birthday cake was wheeled out by his ex-partner.  Dean and Jerry hugged. The crowd went berserk as the band played Happy Birthday.  “You surprised me”, said Dean, with tears in his eyes.  “I love you and I mean it,” said Dean, as he hugged his old friend.
“Here’s to 72 years of joy you’ve given the world,” said Jerry, “Why we broke up, I’ll never know.”
On Christmas day 1995, the great Dean Martin passed on at the age of 78.  Jerry did not attend Dean’s funeral.  He did, though, appear at the memorial service.  Jerry was asked to speak of his ex-partner and friend.
He told the crowd, “You are so lucky that you knew my partner and my friend. I will not fall into the drone of pain about death, but I will ask you to just yell ‘Yeah!’ that he lived… that he was with us for all that time. ‘Yeah! Yeah!’ And that, my friends, is my celebration of his life. Long may he drink!”
After the service, Jerry saw Frank Sinatra.  “Well, we lost the big gun, my friend”, said Frank.  “We didn’t lose him,” replied Jerry, “God just placed him elsewhere.”


Danny G. said...

Great job! Looks like Dean & Jer's paths crossed many more times, over the years, than people actually know of. Enjoyed that very much! Thanks for sharin' pal!

Always On Watch said...

“We didn’t lose him,” replied Jerry, “God just placed him elsewhere.”

What an excellent response from Jerry!

Always On Watch said...

PS: I am so glad the Jerry and Dean reconciled. I know that the reconciliation meant a lot to Jerry -- and to our Dino as well.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Danny-o, likes you dude I was thrilled to read of the numerous times that our Dino and the Jer encountered each certainly curious of the sources that Mr. Eddie Deezen used to share such wondrous words of Dino-devotion.
Likes I knew you woulda digs this Dino-post to the max man! Keeps lovin' our Dino!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Miss AOW, I too was so so taken by the brilliant insight that Mr. Lewis offered on our Dino's departure...and likes you I am thrilled to know that our most beloved Dino and his long time partner had opportunities to appreciate each other. Keeps lovin' our Dino!