I'm proud to announce one of my most exciting and challenging projects to date.  My memoir, "Memories Are Made of This", is available now at a bookstore near you.

“I have to say I loved reading what Deana wrote—maybe because she bit the bullet, she was courageous, up-front, tenacious, and so totally forthright. I read it with tremendous pride and love, and I know other readers will feel the same emotions I felt. I love this author for a myriad of reasons, but especially for how she has honored my partner.”

—from the Foreword by Jerry Lewis

"A wonderful book... I laughed and cried."

Carol Burnett

   

"A revealing story about a very public, very private man whom few really knew and even fewer understood, who was loved by the world. A story that can only be written by an adoring daughter."

Dennis Farina

   

"Beautifully written... amazingly candid and revealing. Deana Martin is a lady of remarkable courage and honesty."

Robert Loggia

   

"Having played Deana's dad on film, and being a dad myself, I can doubly appreciate the love and personal insight she has brought to Memories Are Made of This, the wonderful biography of one of the world's greatest entertainers."

Joe Mantegna

   

“From her heart, Deana Martin has told a frank and honest account of what her life was like with her famous father and family. It has been a wild ride, with lots of ups and downs, written with honesty, love, and understanding.”

Regis Philbin

   

“Dean Martin was the unique star who attained success in all of the entertainment media—movies, TV, recordings, concerts, and radio. His daughter Deana gives us something else that is also unique in this revealing book about growing up as the daughter of a true legend. Here’s to you Dean. I’ve got the booze, you get the ice.”

Don Rickles

   

"Just what you'd expect from Dean Martin's daughter. It must have been a tough book for Deana to write, but what a great read. She helps to explain much of the man behind the star."

Nick Pileggi
Author, "Goodfellas", "Casino"

   

"Dean Martin's daughter Deana pays homage to her father in her own memoir Memories Are Made of This. We see Dean Martin through his daughter's eyes, the daughter who was named for him, the fourth of his seven children, who loved her father through good times and bad. This book is not only for fathers and daughters: it will be enjoyed by every member of the family. Buy it, read it, and share it. That's what I did."

Valerie Hemingway
Author, "Running with the Bulls"

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal:

Widely known as the "King of Cool," television and movie star Dean Martin was perhaps the ultimate nightclub entertainer. Here, singer-actress Deana Martin recounts her father's career and private life while covering the difficulty of dealing with an alcoholic mother, the wars between her father's wives and ex-wives, and the terrible experience of losing her brother (singer-actor Dean Paul "Dino" Martin) in a freak airplane accident. Also of note are the author's accounts of growing up as the child of a star, which included ballroom dancing with a young Jeff Bridges, appearing with the then-unknown Steve Martin on The Dating Game, and a brief relationship with Davy Jones of the Monkees. Given Deana's insight and candor, the quality of her writing, and Dean Martin's status as one of the major American pop culture icons of the 20th century, this fascinating book is highly recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with strong popular culture collections. [For a Q&A with Martin, see p. 155.] James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews:

Martin recalls her father-"the King of Cool," as he was designated by Elvis Presley-with clear-eyed affection and understanding. Martin, who could have been embittered by her sometimes rocky relations with her father, instead displays remarkable understanding of his complex temperament. An unemotional man, Dean disliked small talk and enjoyed golf because it was a game he could play without too much social interaction. He was disciplined and actually drank very little, though he gained a reputation as a drunk because he sometimes acted that way. Despite his success and wealth, Martin observes, he was "sometimes happiest when left alone." She first describes Dean's early career as a touring band singer, his marriage to her mother Betty, his association with Jerry Lewis, and his move to Hollywood. In 1949, when Martin was only a few months old, Dean left Betty for Jeanne, who became his second wife. For nine years, Martin and her three older siblings saw very little of their father. Life with their mother, at first a round of glamorous parties, grew grim as Betty's drinking increased and the money evaporated; they moved into increasingly smaller homes, and elder sister Gina handled the childcare and housekeeping. In 1957, realizing that Betty could no longer care for her children, their Aunt Anne took them to Dean's house. He got custody, and they would see very little of Betty in the years to come. Grateful for the stability and the opportunities stepmother Jeanne provided for them, Martin recalls the high points of those years: parties attended by Marilyn Monroe, meetings with Elvis and the Beatles, movie premieres. She deftly describes Dean's Las Vegas acts, his hit songs ("Volare,""That's Amore," etc.), and films like Ocean's Eleven, a testament to his membership in the Rat Pack, and his close friendship with Frank Sinatra. Warts and all, but noted with love.

Publishers Weekly:

In this evenhanded biography of her famous father, Deana Martin acknowledges that Dean "wasn't a good father, but he was a good man." The youngest child of four from Dean Martin's marriage to his first wife, Betty MacDonald, the author recalls how her mother began drinking so heavily that Dean's new wife, Jeanne Biegger, eventually took Betty's three girls in (Betty's son was living with his grandparents) and brought them up along with the three children she had with Dean. Martin details her father's life from his teenage years as a card dealer to his first Atlantic City gig with Jerry Lewis, offering her own observations along the way ("A glass of apple juice masquerading as scotch in his hand, he perfected a role that was going to become... indistinguishable from the real Dean Martin"). Perhaps Martin forgives her emotionally detached father too quickly, as when he doesn't show up at her first live theater performance ("I guess Dad felt that with so many children, if he did it for one, he would have spent his whole life doing it for the others"). But in the end, hers is a heartfelt and honest portrait of a mysterious father.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

John DiLeo - The Washington Post:

The most interesting, full-bodied character here is Betty, the discarded first wife. Deana writes poignantly of her beautiful, vibrant mother, who never got past losing Dean. Stepping in and out of her children's lives and drinking steadily, she's the phantom figure hovering over Dean's success. Betty is a real-life Stella Dallas, and it is she, not Dean or Deana, who stays in your thoughts.

 

"A fascinating and honest read."

Chicago Sun-Times

"The rollicking details of Dino's nightly private dinner club act for his clan are worth the price alone."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Deana writes poignantly of her beautiful, vibrant mother, who never got past losing Dean."

Washington Post

"A level-headed account of a most extraordinary childhood."

Boca Raton News

"The daughter of one of the most successful mid-twentieth-century entertainers makes quite a treat of her account of growing up chaotically amid A-list celebs... The book breezes along on a stream of happy anecdotes about him and his eventually large family and their relations with the family of his famous confrere, Frank Sinatra, and scarcely lesser luminaries."

Booklist

From the Publisher:

"Charming, debonair, and impeccably attired in a black tuxedo, Dean Martin was coolness incarnate. His music provided the soundtrack of romance, and his image captivated movie and television audiences for more than fifty years. His daughter Deana was among his most devoted fans, but she also knew a side of him that few others ever glimpsed." In page-turning prose, Deana recalls her early childhood, when she and her siblings were left in the erratic care of Dean's loving but alcoholic first wife. She chronicles the constantly changing blended family that marked her youth, along with the unexpected moments of silliness and tenderness that this unusual Hollywood family shared. Deana candidly reveals the impact of Dean's fame and characteristic aloofness on her efforts to forge her own identity, but delights in sharing wonderful, never-before-told stories about her father and his pallies known as the Rat Pack. It may not have been a normal childhood, but Deana's account of life as the daughter of one of Hollywood's sexiest icons will leave you entertained, delighted, and nostalgic for a time gone by.

From the Inside Flap:

I loved being called Deana Martin. Even when I was very small. Dad was such a positive influence on people’s lives that to be so closely associated with him was always a blessing. People can’t help but smile when they think of my father, which has to be the greatest legacy of all. When people hear my name for the first time, they usually ask the same question: “Any relation?” “Yes,” I reply proudly, “he’s my father.” They smile and cry, “Oh, I love your father! I’ve loved him all my life.” Sometimes, just sometimes, they ask me the most important question of all: “Was he a good father?” To their surprise, I shake my head and smile. “No,” I reply. “He wasn’t a good father, but he was a good man.” Where Dad came from, that meant a great deal more.

So begins Deana Martin’s captivating and heartfelt memoir of her father, the son of an Italian immigrant from modest beginnings who worked his way to the top of the Hollywood firmament to become one of the greatest stars of all time.

Charming, debonair, and impeccably attired in a black tuxedo, Dean Martin was coolness incarnate. His music provided the soundtrack of romance, and his image captivated movie and television audiences for more than fifty years. His daughter Deana was among his most devoted fans, but she also knew a side of him that few others ever glimpsed.

In page-turning prose, Deana recalls her early childhood, when she and her siblings were left in the erratic care of Dean’s loving but alcoholic first wife. She chronicles the constantly changing blended family that marked her youth, along with the unexpected moments of silliness and tenderness that this unusual Hollywood family shared. Deana candidly reveals the impact of Dean’s fame and characteristic aloofness on her efforts to forge her own identity, but delights in sharing wonderful, never-before-told stories about her father and his pallies known as the Rat Pack. It may not have been a normal childhood, but Deana’s enchanting account of life as the daughter of one of Hollywood’s sexiest icons will leave you entertained, delighted, and nostalgic for a time gone by.

About the Author:

Deana Martin is an actress, entertainer, and author living with her husband in Beverly Hills, California. She is the director of the Deana Martin Foundation and the producer and driving force behind the annual Dean Martin Festival.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Inside each of us is a small, dark place we can escape to when we're in pain. It is a silent sanctuary where comforting thoughts and memories wash over us, providing a soothing balm for the fear we're feeling inside. I first discovered mine when I was quite small. Cared for by an aunt while my mother disappeared for three days, I was sent to live with my father, a man I barely knew despite the name I bore.

Read more...

 
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