Dean Paul Martin Jr., born as Dino Paul Crocetti Jr. on November 17, 1951, and known to many as the son of the iconic entertainer Dean Martin, was a multi-talented American pop singer, actor in film and television, and a dedicated member of the California Air National Guard.
Dean Paul Martin’s parents were none other than the legendary singer and entertainer Dean Martin and his second wife, Jeanne Biegger. Born as the fifth child in a family of eight, he was Jeanne’s eldest son. His early life was surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the entertainment world.
As a young boy, Martin attended the Urban Military Academy in Brentwood, California, an institution that prepared him for a life that would later encompass both entertainment and military service. His inclination towards music became evident during his youth. At the tender age of 13, he joined the pop group Dino, Desi & Billy, along with Desi Arnaz Jr. and Billy Hinsche. The trio had a few minor hits in the United States in 1965, including “I’m a Fool” (U.S. #17) and “Not the Lovin’ Kind” (U.S. #25).
As he entered his late teens, Dean Paul Martin decided to go by his given name, leaving behind the nickname “Dino.” This shift marked a period of exploration in his life that extended beyond music. Martin’s talents were diverse, and he excelled in various fields.
Martin’s versatility shone through in his accomplishments as a professional tennis player, even competing in the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon. His skills weren’t limited to the tennis court; he pursued acting and made a name for himself in the industry.
One of his notable roles was alongside Ali MacGraw in the 1979 film “Players,” where he portrayed a professional tennis player. His performance earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for New Star of the Year – Actor. Martin’s acting career continued to flourish, and he later starred in the TV series “Misfits of Science,” which aired during the 1985-1986 television season and co-starred Courteney Cox.
Although Dean Paul Martin’s time in the entertainment world was cut short, he left a lasting mark. His final film appearance came in “Backfire,” released in 1988 after his untimely death. The film was dedicated to his memory, a poignant tribute to his contributions to the world of acting.
While Martin’s talents in entertainment and sports were well-known, he also had a deep passion for aviation. He earned his pilot’s license at the young age of 16, setting the stage for his future career in the skies.
In 1980, he joined the California Air National Guard, further cementing his commitment to aviation. His dedication led him to active duty for officer training in the U.S. Air Force, where he rose to the rank of captain. Flying the F-4C Phantom II as a part-time Air National Guardsman with the 196th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 163rd Tactical Fighter Group at March AFB, California, was a dream realized for Martin.
What was Dean Paul Martin’s Cause of Death??
Tragically, during a training mission in 1987 from March AFB, Martin’s F-4 jet crashed in California’s San Bernardino Mountains, a snowy and challenging terrain. The crash claimed the lives of both Martin and his weapons systems officer, Captain Ramon Ortiz. Dean Paul Martin Jr. was just 35 years old at the time of his passing.
Dean Paul Martin Jr.’s final resting place is at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cemetery in Los Angeles, California. It serves as a poignant reminder of his service to the nation and his dedication to aviation.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Martin experienced the joys and challenges of his personal life. He was married to actress Olivia Hussey in 1971, with whom he had one child, Alexander, before divorcing in 1978. In 1982, he married Olympic gold medalist ice skater Dorothy Hamill, although their union ended in divorce in 1984. His romantic life also included relationships with notable figures like Candice Bergen and Tina Sinatra.