Today we share with you Gil's "Vintage Scan" of the February 22, 1970 of the Weekly newspaper magazine tagged "parade" that features the coolest of cool cover story "Dean Martin---He's Going Through a Change of Wife" scribed by Mr. Lloyd Shearer. The prose and pix essay is, of course, 'bout our Dino divorcin' of second wife Jeanne to say I do to Miss Gail Renshaw, Miss World-USA.
Shearer's prose is as powerful as his title is cleaver. It's the sort of classic Dino-reportin' that thrills us to bring to Dino-devotees everywhere. This is the study of the life, times, and teachin' of our Dino at it's best, and particularly will be of huge help in knowin' how our Dino began makin' his personal persona coolly congruent with his performance persona...swinger extraordinare!
We are thrilled that not only as Gil shared the scan of the whole "parade" edition for February 22 in the year of our Dino 1970, which you can view in it's entirety by clickin' on the tag of this Dino-gram, but our devoted pallie has also transcribed the Dino-prose from the original text in print large 'nough that we can read each and every wisely wonderful word with Dino-ease!
Likes this enormous effort on Gilligan's part to make this purely powerful prose available to Dino-philes everywhere meets with our deepest of deep Dino-apprecatio. The world coulda use a zillion more Dino-devotees likes Gillian and we swankly salute him for all his efforts in the cause of spreadin' the Dino-message of cool, and in particular this massive missive of Dino-delight.
We will try and be more faithful in searchin' Gilligan's beautiful blog more often for more and more Dino-adulation of the awesome kind.
Yours in Dino,
Dino Martin Peters
Gail Renshaw, the 22-year-old lovely from Falls Church, Va., who plans later this year to become the third Mrs. Dean Martin, has given a needed shot in the arm to the lagging beauty-contest business.
In the old days, contestants were told that if they won first prize they would be awarded long-term Hollywood con¬tracts and possible screen stardom.
Hollywood, in the throes of a deep depression, is no longer signing anyone, no matter what her vital measurements, so in many cases the most a beauty-contest winner can hope for is a job as a Playboy Club Bunny, serving food and drinks.
"Now," says Alfred Patricelli, executive director of the Miss World-U.S.A. Beauty Pageant, "Gail Renshaw comes along and proves that beauty can move mountains, that the days of the rich stage-door Johnnies are not over, that there are still a few millionaires who'll go the whole route—I mean even trade in their old wives for a new, well-stacked model."
Gail Renshaw (39-25-37) owes her luck in meeting Dean Martin to Bob Hope. It was the veteran comic who crowned her Miss World-U.S.A. in Baltimore a few months ago. With his well-trained eye for female pulchritude, Hope generally makes it part of his schedule to choose beauty-contest winners for his annual overseas Gl tour. Two years ago he chose a long-haired blonde named Leigh Avery, who became his fast friend. Last year, he zeroed in on Gail Renshaw and offered her a small part in one of his TV specials, Roberta, much of which was-filmed in Dallas.
Subsequently sponsored by Frostie Root Beer as its "ambassadress of good will," Gail Renshaw arrived in Las Vegas with Al Patricelli of Bridgeport, Conn. There, Patricelli phoned Tony Zappi, press agent for the Hotel Riviera, introduced himself and said, "I'm in town with Gail Renshaw. She's a beautiful* doll who's going to London to represent the United States in the Miss World contest. Bob Hope told me to call you. Maybe you can line up a little publicity with Gail and Dean Martin. I understand Dean's your headliner, and we sure could use the publicity."
A Publicity Shot
Zappi escorted Miss Renshaw backstage and introduced her to Dean Martin. Graciously, Dean agreed to pose with her in a gag photo as Mr. Wonderful. "The least you can do now," he said to Gail after the photographer left, "is to have dinner with me."
Gail agreed. Over dinner, love blossomed. In his relaxed, underplayed style, Dean can move in fast when he wants to. Subsequently, Gail phoned her mother, Mrs. Edna Renshaw," in Alexandria, Va. "Mother," she said, "You won't believe this, but I'm in love."
"But I am."
"With Dean Martin."
Says Mrs. Renshaw: "For a moment I thought Gail was fooling. I knew Dean Martin was married. I'd seen him on television asking the listeners to keep sending mail to him and his wife Jeannie. But Gail insisted it was serious, he'd promised to marry her. Later, when she came home, and Mr. Martin began calling her every day, I knew Gail was right. I've spoken to Mr. Martin on the phone many times now—he sounds just like he does on TV—and I'm sure he's going to make Gail a fine husband. Certainly, she deserves the best. She's always been a sweet child. Never caused us a minute's trouble."
Gail, who used to work as a Kelly Girl in the Washington, D.C., area as a typist and bookkeeper, has been win-ning beauty contests since she was graduated from Washington - Lee High School in Arlington in 1965. She's been Miss Virginia, Miss Speedway on Chan-nel 5 in Washington, D.C., Miss Snow Queen at the Shoreham Hotel, Miss Good Grooming, and a lot of other titles.
This past November she almost won the Miss World title in London. But she came in second to Miss Austria, Eva Rueber-Staier, who got to go with Bob Hope to Vietnam. But Gail wasn't too disappointed. No American beauty has ever won the Miss World title, and she was satisfied with the runner-up spot, largely because Dean Martin kept assuring via transatlantic phone that she occupied the number-one position in his heart.
Dean gets ready
When Gail returned to Los Angeles, she found that Dean had already dis-cussed the possibility of divorce with his second wife, the former Jeanne Biegger, herself a onetime Orange Bowl beauty queen from Miami. She has been married to Dean for 20 years and they have three children.
In a most atypical demonstration of wifely charity and understanding, Jeanne Martin announced: "My husband informed me several weeks ago that he had met and fallen in love with someone. And he asked me for a divorce. I have assured him I will comply with his wishes. Proceedings will begin immediately."
It will probably cost Dean Martin between $15 and $20 million in financial settlements to obtain the divorce. But when it comes to Gail Renshaw, true love, and peace of mind, money means relatively little to Martin.
In 1949 when he was divorced from his first wife, Betty MacDonald, who bore him four children, he agreed with¬out batting an eyelash, to pay her $2400 a month for 18 years.
Martin, born Dino Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, on June 17,1917, knows firsthand that money does not necessarily assure happiness—marital or any other kind.
In retrospect he seems to have been happiest when as "Kid Crotchet" he fought as a welterweight boxer and then worked as a croupier in the rear of the Rex Cigar Store in Steubenville.
I remember many years ago discussing with him his start in show business, when he took the name Dino Martini and sang first with Ernie McKay's band and then with Sammy Watkin's band in Cleveland for $50 a week. It was in Cleveland that he married Betty Mac-Donald and found making a living and supporting his children so tough "I never had time to ask myself if I was happy. I just took it for granted that we were."
Jerry, success and split
It was only after 1946, when Dean teamed up with Jerry Lewis and success came their way, that Dean's first marriage began to founder. By 1949, it was hopeless, and a divorce finished it.
Later, Dean was awarded custody of their four children. He had three more by his second wife, broke away from Jerry Lewis in 1956, and over the ensuing years developed into a full-fledged TV, film, and recording star, a multi millionaire who owns a good piece, of the action at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
Basically a shy, sensitive, insecure man who cultivates the simpler things of life—except for women—Martin has reached that point in his chronology where he feels time is running out on him. He will now do nothing that he doesn't want to do. For him, compromise and hypocrisy are expediencies of the past.
Singing Bing's tune
In planning to marry Gail Renshaw, 30 years his junior, he is following in the footsteps of his golf-playing idol, Bing Crosby. Both men are essentially lucky loners who feel they can beat nature and the age differential.
As for Gail Renshaw, she represents the pinnacle to which beauty-contest winners can aspire.
"She is," says promoter Patricelli, "the best thing that's happened to our business in years. With her as an example, we're already swamped with hundreds of entries for this year's contest.
"Girls realize that once they win a beauty contest, even on a local level, they get an opportunity to meet celebrities. Once a girl meets a celebrity, she can put her sex appeal to work. Some-times it pays off. With a little luck, she can latch on to a great husband."