The “King of Cool,” a.k.a. Dean Martin had a sort of swagger about him that was unmistakable. “I just remember thinking, God, I wish he was my friend,” recalled his longtime collaborator, Jerry Lewis, to BU Today of the first time he met Martin. And like other members of the ever-cool (and seemingly-always-partying) Rat Pack, the singer was known to always have a whiskey glass in hand on stage, with Sammy Davis Jr. known to quip, “If this don’t straighten my hair, nothing will” (via Desert Sun).
As it turns out, Martin’s ever-present drink was filled with a different golden-hued liquid: Martinelli brand apple juice. According to the Desert Sun, Martin’s “drunk, slurred speech” was merely for show. In fact, the crooner’s backup singer and dancer, Patti Gribow, told the outlet that his persona was all an act — something that Lewis also attested to while chatting to BU Today.
In 1961, Martin revealed to The Saturday Evening Post that he drinks “About one-tenth as much as [he pretends] to,” noting that his days of guzzling alcohol are something that he gave up “some time ago.” Heartbreakingly enough, it’s the death of his son, Dino, in 1987 that changed all that. “Dean let himself go,” noted Lewis to BU Today, adding that it was after the tragedy that the former Rat Pack member became an alcoholic.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).