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Cool Ghost

It isn’t quite right to say that Dean Martin is forgotten, but it’s certainly true that few Americans under the age of 50 have any notion of how big a star he was at the height of his career. His decade-long comedic partnership with Jerry Lewis made Martin a household name—they appeared together in 16 movies and a hit TV series—and after Martin grew tired of Lewis’s self-aggrandizing behavior and broke up the act, he went on to play challenging dramatic roles in such films as Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo (holding his own opposite no less a titan of the screen than John Wayne), become a hugely successful pop singer, and host a TV variety show that was comparably successful throughout most of its nine-year run.

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