DEAN MARTIN

FROM A SWEET 16 GIFT TO WON­DER BREAD WITH BUT­TER — MEM­O­RIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Closer Weekly - - Contents -

The Rat Pack icon’s daugh­ter Deana Martin shares warm mem­o­ries of her le­gendary dad.

“He could

do it all, and he was

so sweet — that was

my dad.”

— Deana Martin, to Closer

Deana Martin re­mem­bers her 16th birth­day in 1964 like it was yes­ter­day. “Dad went with me to get a coat at Wil­sons House of Suede in LA, and he sat there while I went through fab­ric af­ter fab­ric and even but­tons,” she re­called to Closer at the re­cent Fri­ars Club Hon­ors Billy Crys­tal event in NYC. “He sat there look­ing at me like, ‘Can I go yet?’ But he stayed. And he left his golf game to be with me!”

There weren’t too many things the Rat Pack leg­end loved more than golf, but seven of them were his chil­dren. “You had to be a lit­tle bit louder or fun­nier than your broth­ers and your sis­ters,” Deana, now 70, says. “The house was filled with laugh­ter, and he loved be­ing at home.”

And ev­ery time he got there, he had a fa­vorite snack. “He would get a piece of Won­der Bread and put but­ter on it,” Deana shares. “We couldn’t wait for him to get home. He was just so warm, sweet, funny and cool.”

THAT’S AMORE! In fact, Dean was given the nick­name the King of Cool by one of his big­gest fans: Elvis Pres­ley! “Elvis once leaned down and ‘Deana, I love your fa­ther — they call me the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, but he’s the King of Cool,’ ” she mar­vels. “I wanted to faint!”

Although he died of lung can­cer at 78 on Christ­mas Day in 1995, Dean will never be for­got­ten by his friends, fam­ily mem­bers — or fans. “Ev­ery show I do, peo­ple come up and say, ‘I’m your dad’s big­gest fan,’ ” says Deana, who has fol­lowed in her fa­ther’s foot­steps by be­com­ing a singer. “I’ve never heard a neg­a­tive thing about my dad, and I meet hun­dreds of peo­ple. Ev­ery­body wanted to be with him.”

— Bruce Fretts, with re­port­ing by Lexi Cic­cone

“Dad made ev­ery­body feel com­fort­able,” says Deana, with her fa­ther in 1965. Dean takes a break dur­ing a record­ing ses­sion in LA in 1958.

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