Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Friends, with the passing of Jeanne Martin, we remembered that we had share an extensive post on her back in 2012 title, "I DREAM OF JEANNE."  That original posting can be found  HERE.  As the focus of our blog is Dean Martin, when we did the original posting we only shared the part of the prose that most focused on Dean.  With Mrs. Martin's passing, we thought it would be appropriate to share the prose in total as it appears on David Del Valle's blog "WEST HOLLYWOOD WIFES."

As your read this post, you will discover how Mr. Del Valle became connected to the Martin family and you will get a behind the scenes glimpse of life with Mrs. Martin and her family.  It's an interesting read, and the most in depth prose that we have ever seen on the second Mrs. Dean Martin.

Once again, we share our deep sadness at this huge loss for the Martin Family.  We thank Mr. David Del Valle for his well written words of intriguing insight, "I DREAM OF JEANNE."  To check this out in it's original source, simply click on the title of this message.



Jeanne Martin at home. Photo by Litchfield.
Last night I had another one of those dreams influenced by the last thing you see or read on your computer before you finally drift off to sleep. This time around it would be a lady I had not thought of in many years, Jeanne Martin, the ex-wife of Dean Martin. They had been divorced since 1973. Now why, you might ask, would I dream about her of all people? I was playing around on the news feeds that night, when I noticed that Jeanne Martin had recently sued the estate of her late husband asking for accounting of hundreds of thousands in what she felt were funds belonging to her that went instead to the accountants, or something to that effect. Now this news was of no particular importance to anyone including me except that for the fact that for about a year between 1978 and 1979 Jeanne Martin was a part of my daily life because at that time my partner Chris Dietrich was her live-in security man, who also served in many capacities during the year he was employed by the ex-Mrs. Dean Martin.
Chris was still living at Barbara Steele’s apartment on Lasky Drive when Jeanne Martin came into his life. He had been living with Barbara and helping her with errands as well as babysitting then 11-year-old son Jonathan when the need presented itself. This situation seemed to work quite well for awhile and for Chris it was literally a dream come true, since he had been obsessed by her from the age of 12 having seen her starring role in the cult horror film Black Sunday. The problem was that with people of such different backgrounds (not to mention age differences) require more space than even a large apartment can offer. I remember Barbara calling me up one morning laughing (but I could tell it bothered her) that Chris had accidentally used her toothbrush and she decided then and there she was going to find Chris another place to live and a job to go with it to make sure he would be able to be independent. Chris had just ended his two-year relationship with my ex-employer Paul Tiberio and was adrift yet again since his arrival in Los Angeles back in 1975.
Barbara once told me she literally “knew everybody worth knowing in show business,” and this was no idle boast since she had been married to the Oscar-winning screenwriter James Poe as well as having been a working actress on both continents since 1959. She had recently gone to one of the many parties that Jeanne Martin gave during the Holiday season and recalled Jeanne mentioning that her security man had left and she was interviewing candidates to replace him. Now Chris was not anyone’s idea of a watchdog, yet Barbara felt he could do this if he set his mind to it so she proceeded to prepare him for the appointment. She arranged for him to meet Jeanne and see if Chris could perhaps find a new home in the Martin compound.
Jeanne Martin was at that time was still a very attractive, striking woman with intense blue eyes (that she then passed on to her impossibly handsome son Dean Paul, a heartbreaker of epic proportions who had already married and divorced Olivia Hussey before moving on to skating star Dorothy Hamill) and a good figure. She also possessed a real sense of authority and style, having been a part of the “celebrity wives club” for decades.
I always remembered her from an old episode of I Love Lucy during the shows that placed the Ricardos and the Mertzes in Hollywood. The episode Jeanne appeared in was the one where Lucy manages to become a model in a celebrity fashion show. Lucy, as Mrs. Ricky Ricardo, was presented on stage right after Mrs. Dean Martin. Jeanne also made many appearances on Dean’s variety shows over the years as well. It became obvious to anyone in her orbit that she was really Dean’s true soul mate and the real love of his life. After Dean divorced his last wife Cathy he reconciled with Jeanne in such a way that many in Hollywood assumed they might remarry. This was not to be; they did however become very close and remained so until his death. Dean literally died holding her hand.
The interview that Chris had with Jeanne was conducted in the office located behind the kitchen area at the back on the house. Jeanne’s house was modest by Beverly Hills standards, with everything on one level. The house was still quite lavish in its own way with a sunken living room decorated in grays and blacks with Art Deco-styled couches with appropriate Lucite tables. The house had been featured in an issue of Architectural Digest and she made sure the rooms remained in that pristine state ever after. Chris told me that she was very business-like and yet he was won over by her smile. She asked him a number of questions about what he wanted in life and if Hollywood was his dream (and by that she meant, are you trying to be an actor?). I think it was Chris’s answer in the negative that sealed the deal since she did not want to hire somebody only to lose them to the first casting agent they might meet at one of her parties.
The one thing she did right then and there was make sure that Chris being gay was not going to be an issue since she had two sons: Ricci, the younger and more hedonistic of the two, and Dean Paul, already by then a tennis pro with one foot in movie stardom already. The morning of Chris’s interview, Dean Paul was already on the property playing tennis; with this in mind Jeanne then asked Chris if he would mind taking some papers out for Dean Paul to sign. Jeanne watched the entire transaction between Chris and her hunky offspring from her patio.  Later Jeanne would telephone Barbara, delighted with the interview and especially pleased that, “Chris and Dean Paul interacted ‘man to man’ with no hang-ups.” In other words, Chris Dietrich was now the new live-in security man and confidant in the life of Jeanne Martin.
Chris and I had an off-and-on-again relationship for years by this point and his moving into the Martin house meant that I would be there as well, at least on weekends and evenings when we felt like getting together. Jeanne Martin’s house (which was just a few blocks above the Hamburger Hamlet off Sunset Boulevard; it was ten minutes from my front door at Beverly and Oakhurst) became like a clubhouse for me since Chris was always calling me to come up for one thing or another—although the line was drawn at attending her parties, which were by invitation only and always a set group of people. Some were in the business, some not, but all of them she had come to trust from years of exposure to her life, both with and without her famous husband. Ryan O’Neal was a regular as was Ursula Address, along with Barbara and her best girlfriend, the former Mrs. Stuart Whitman Carolina. Chris was in charge of Jeanne’s security which was then contained in one room filled with closed-circuit television screens that gave him a 360-degree view of the entire property, including the road that went by the front of the house, which was always illuminated by muted floodlights until dawn. There was never a threat during Chris’s entire time with Jeanne except for the occasion when actor Tony Lo Bianco kept driving by her house to see if she was really at home even though she had quit taking his calls. They dated a couple of times before Jeanne decided he was just not boyfriend material. It was clear after awhile even to Chris that for Jeanne, any man was going to find it almost impossible to come up to the level of a Dean Martin and she would most likely never marry again.
For the better part of a year and a half Chris was living a rather comfortable existence with little in the way of stress since Jeanne proved to be a kind and generous employer. Jeanne’s Mother Peggy, who was beloved by Dean and lived with them when they were married, now had her own room in the house which was located near the kitchen, so when I would stay over we would sometimes run into each other at night looking for snacks. For the first few weeks that Chris worked there I had to be very discreet in staying in Chris’s room but after a few months Peggy was aware I was there and so cool with it. In fact, there was one evening when I ran into her and she mentioned that I was not the only guy to stay overnight with Chris. This was rather amusing looking back on it now. Chris had been seeing this very cute guy named Bill Seebee and had apparently had a weekend with him when I was off in San Francisco. What Peggy could not have known, of course, was that Chris and I had a very open relationship as we were both out and about (and that, my friends, is the only way to keep a relationship like the one we had). I suspect Peggy wanted to have a little soap opera among the staff but this was not to be and we all laughed about it later over cheesecake, which was a household favorite.
Jeanne Martin seemed to have it made from the outside looking in and yet even with money and privilege comes boredom and regret at the way things turned out since the divorce really ended any true happiness either Dean Martin or she would have. Jeanne threw her parties a few times a year and did the rounds of Beverly Hills parties, yet hers must have been a lonely life, having led such a full one with Dean filled with great times as well as more than her share of bad ones which then led to the end of what the press perceived as a “storybook marriage.” The one consultation was always her children of which she had three: Ricci and Dean Paul of course and her daughter Gina, who was already long out of the nest and living on her own. Jeanne had told Chris many times that, “I have always had a very strong sense of self. I know who I am.” She was the rock that centered that family and soon that would include Dean Martin as well. Chris got to meet him several times and on occasion was sent over to his house to deliver things that were important and/or private between the two of them. Chris was always taken with how down to earth and nice Dean Martin was to everyone around him. Chris was very impressed with the way Dean behaved and looked forward to each and every meeting, few as there would be during his year and a half working with Jeanne.
Dean Paul Martin.
Dean Paul Martin.
One of the highlights in the Martin household during Chris’s watch was the big screen debut of Jeanne’s oldest son, Dean Paul, in 1979′s romantic dramaPlayers. This was tailor-made for Dean Paul since he was the character, right down to being a tennis pro in real life. Jeanne was privately amused by the fact in the film he is pursued by an older woman (played by Ali MacGraw) since Dean Paul was first seduced by an older friend of Jeanne’s when Dean Paul was about 15 years old. They do say art imitates life and so it was with Players. The night of the screening the entire house was energized by the aspect of seeing Dean Paul finally cash those good look in for a chance at being a leading man in ways perhaps even his dad did not accomplish in his screen career, although in films like Some Came Running and Toys in the Attic his dad more than proved he had the chops to be a fine dramatic actor in his own right. Dean Paul had a lot to live up to and he was painfully aware of this.
One example of just how nice a guy Dean Paul was in life was when I was asked to sub for Chris during an afternoon when the Martin station wagon was in the garage. Dean Paul was coming into LAX and needed a ride to his apartment in West Hollywood so I agreed to drive out and pick him up. He was always a class act and this time was no exception we chatted away on the way to his place like two old college chums. I remember at that time I was still doing personal management with the few clients I had left over from Del Valle, Franklin & Levine. I mentioned to Dean Paul that I would really like to take David Essex, the English rocker, to Morton’s when he got into town the following week, but without the private phone number Morton’s was strictly off limits. Dean listened intently as I described the various attempts I had made to secure this fabled number. When we did finally arrive at his doorstep he thanked me for the ride and asked to be remembered to Chris and then without any fanfare he handed me one of his personal cards with his name of the front in silver and on the back was Morton’s private number. He winked at me and said as he departed, “Just tell the maitre D’ that you are part of my regular table and you should have no worries.” With that he walked away. A few days later David Essex and I were seated at one of the primo tables in Morton’s and when we ordered our first round of drinks and they arrived I proposed a toast: “To Dean Paul, a man who is tops in his class.”

Dean Paul and Dean Martin.
Chris had several chats with Dean Paul during this period and he confided to me that all Dean Paul ever wanted was to race cars and fly jets. He was a speed freak and loved every moment of it. This would of course come back to haunt all of us after the event of December 1987 when we lost him to an accident that claimed his life, forever ending any joy in his dad’s world. The premiere went beautifully and Dean Paul looked and acted every inch the movie star, even if his heart was really not into all the glitz and glamour that was his birthright. Jeanne was a walking rainbow of motherly pride and she never looked more radiant than she did that night, nor was she ever more proud of her son as she was that night. Anyone who ever wondered what kept this lady centered need look no further since Jeanne was a survivor and a rock for her family, and that was as good as it gets in the world she had created for herself.
One afternoon towards the end of Chris’s time there Jeanne asked Chris to drive one of her station wagon cars to Las Vegas and pick up a new one from her brother, who owned a car dealership off the strip.  Chris was told “to make a weekend of it and take a boyfriend, if you like,” so Chris and I departed for Las Vegas with dreams of staying at one of the many four-star casino hotels that were the playground of the “Rat Pack” in the heyday of Dean’s film stardom. What happened was this: we arrived in Vegas, went straight to Jeanne’s brother’s car lot and exchanged cars, then headed down to the strip to check out our room and then hit the one main gay club at that time (which was a bit north of the real action on Las Vegas Boulevard). What we discovered was possibly the worst hotel in Las Vegas with a room that defied description; let’s just say even the front door would not lock and the bed was, shall we say, lived in. Jeanne had let us down big time and it was then I realized that in spite of her behavior when we were in her home this was business and Chris was still an employee, and this just confirmed how low on the totem pole he was in her eyes.
In looking back this trip to Vegas was the beginning of the end and within months of this trip Jeanne would give Chris notice that their time together was at an end. It was a good run and her reasons for letting him go were more than valid, since we always knew Chris was never remotely qualified to be a security force in the Martin compound. Chris’s replacement was the now-legendary Gavin De Becker, who went on to gain national attention as an expert in security issues for the government, corporations, celebrities, and authored a few books on the subject of home protection.
It was while Chris was preparing to leave Jeanne Martin’s that I began to think about my relationship to him and the fact that we, too, were soul mates and the comparison to Dean and Jeanne was not lost on me as well. Chris had no idea where to go next. As he began packing to leave the Martin house that afternoon I went into the office and ran into Jeanne, who took me aside, and what she said to me stays with me to this day: “David, you know Chris loves you very much and I think you feel exactly the same way. So why not do something about it now while you are both young enough to enjoy what you have to the fullest?”
Later that evening I asked Chris Dietrich to move in with me at Beverly and Oakhurst. We did not know it then but we were about to enter the best years of our lives.  Now whenever I dream of Jeanne I do it with love.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Video Tribute: Jeannine and Dean Martin

Dear Friends,  we have been contemplating putting together a tribute to Jeanne Martin using images of Jeanne with Dean, as well as all the children, and we may still do so.  But, we discovered that a few years ago someone put together a youtube video tribute titled "Jeannine and Dean Martin that
has done a commendable job of doing just that.

The only thing that we ourselves would have done differently is to have used one of Dean's songs instead of "It's All Right" from Sam Cooke.  Not there there is anything inappropriate about "it's All Right," to us it just would be better to use any number of Dean's songs to make the tribute ever more focused on Dean.

We thank the video creator "A1EntertainmentLover" for using time and talent to put this together in homage to Dean and Jeanne, even more timely now on the passing of Mrs. Martin.


Jeannie and Dean Martin

Monday, August 29, 2016


Dear Friends, we feel committed to continuing our reverent remembrances of Jeanne Biegger Martin for the next few days at least.  We continue to extend our sincerest sympathy to the Martin family on the death of the family matriarch.  We are most pleased to share touching and tender thoughts scribed by a blogger well known to ilovedinomartin.  Today we share prose and pictures gathered together by Mr. David Lobosco at his blog "A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE."

In the past we have shared a number of excellent posts on Dean written by Mr. Lobosco.  If you typed David Lobosco into our search line, you ought to be able to locate each and everyone of them.  David also recently shared his thoughts on Ricci James Martin's sudden death that you can locate  HERE.
Mr. Lobosco shares pretty much the same details as contained in the various web news site reports, but we are most appreciate of the images of Dino and Jeanne that he has put together, especially the first one that we don't remember seeing before.

We thank Mr. David Lobosco for his special efforts in honoring the life of Dean's second wife Jeanne and thank him for using his time and talents to honor Mrs. Martin.  To checks this out in it's original source, simply click on the title of today's message.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: "Little Green Apples"

Hey pals.
Very somber feelins' this week, mi amici.
The passin' of our pallies VERY special lady, Jeanne, has got me a wee bit blue
. 'Specially with Ricci's death just weeks ago.
Got me lookin' at old pics of the Martin family online...& it's REALLY heartbreakin'.
 Seein' them so young & happy as they once were...Man!
 Nothin' makes me sadder...than families disintegratin' over the years, my friends.
Get's me dwellin' on my own family & friends that have left this world.
 Oh well, pals...such is life.
Losin' loved ones just comes with the territory.

So...all that bein' said...I wanted a VERY special tune & vid for this week's Serenade.
A combo that will capture all the love & happiness that Dean & Jeanne & their family shared.

Now pallies...I can't take ANY credit for this one. I simply mentioned what I was thinkin' to a very close friend...a TRUE Dino-disciple...& the PER FEC TO jam was exclaimed. "Little Green Apples".
My friend knew EXACTLY what I meant.
 This song & vid just SO SO completely capture the love...compassion...& TRUE heart-felt sentiment between Dean & his Jeanne.
You can see it in their eyes, my friends.
She TRULY loved her guy.
The beauty in me...was how she just let Dino be Dino.
She accepted him for who & how he a REAL woman.
I'm sure this wasn't always easy, pals.
Dean led a VERY unique life. One that needs a VERY unique lady to understand.

So, mi amici...this one's goin' out to Jeanne.
A great gal.
Dean's been waitin' a long time for his lady.
Let's be happy for their reunion! Their a complete family once again, pallies.

Enjoy the beautiful tune & the great great vid!
Be warned,'s a REAL tearjerker.

And I wake up in the morning
With my hair down in my eyes and she says hi
And I stumble to the breakfast table
While the kids are gonna to school goodbye
She reaches out and takes my hand
And squeezes it and says how you feeling hon
And I look across at smiling lips
That warm my heart and see my morning sun

And if that's not lovin' me then all I've got to say
God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
There's no such thing as Doctor Suess
Disneyland or Mother Goose is no nursery rhyme
God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
And when myself is feelin' low
I think about her face aglow and ease my mind

Sometimes I call her up at home knowing she's busy
And ask if she could get away and meet me and grab a bite to eat
Then she drops what she's doin' and hurries down to meet me and I'm always late
But she sits waitin' patiently
And smiles when she first sees me cause she's made that way

And if that ain't lovin' me then all I've got to say
God didn't make little green apples
It don't snow in Minneapolis when the winter comes
There's no such think as make believe
Puppy dogs and autumn leaves and BB guns
God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime
When myself is feelin' low
I think about her face aglow and ease my mind
To ease my mind to ease my mind

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dean Martin's second wife Jeanne, who never married after split, dies of cancer at 89 three weeks after the death of son Ricci

Dear Friends,

We continue to remember Dean's second wife, Miss Jeanne Biegger on her death from cancer on Wednesday, August 24.  Today we share with you an international post from the British site "Daily Mail" wonderfully written by Miss Rachel McGrath.  This particular remembrance is a nice mix of prose and pictures honoring Miss Jeanne's life as wife and mother and we are particularly pleased with the images that have been shared.

This particular prose also remembers the lives of the two boys that Mrs. Martin gave birth to....Dino Paul Martin Jr. and Ricci James Martin and how sadly, both sons have preceded their mother in death, with Ricci's untimely death just three weeks ago.  One can only wonder how hard Mrs. Martin took Ricci's death and if is some way it may have affected her own death.

We thank the "Daily Mail" for sharing the news of Mrs. Martin's death through there writer Miss Rachel McGrath, letting the British empire know of her passing.  To check this out in it's original source, simply click on the title of this message.


Dean Martin's second wife Jeanne, who never married after split, dies of cancer at 89 three weeks after the death of son Ricci


PUBLISHED: 09:11 EST, 25 August 2016

Former model Jeanne Martin, who was the second wife of legendary entertainer Dean Martin, has died.

Her family confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that she passed away Wednesday at her Beverly Hills home after suffering from cancer.

RIP: Jeanne Martin, the second wife of legendary entertainer Dean Martin, has died from cancer in Beverly Hills at age 89. She's pictured with her husband in 1966

She was 89.

RIP: Jeanne Martin, the second wife of legendary entertainer Dean Martin, has died from cancer in Beverly Hills at age 89. She's pictured with her husband in 1966

Born Dorothy Jean Biegger in Coral Gables, Florida, she changed her name to Jeanne as a young model in Miami.

 In 1948, she attended a New Year's Eve show starring Dean and Jerry Lewis, reports, where the pair fell in love at first sight.

She was 22 when they married a year later following his divorce from his first wife Betty.
Jeanne bore bore him three children - sons Dean Paul Jr., known as Dino, and Ricci, and a daughter Gina.

Famous family: Jeanne and Dean wed in 1949 and were married for 23 years before divorcing. They had three children together - Dean Paul Jr., left, Ricci, right, and Gina, seated, pictured in 1966 at home in Beverly hills. Both sons predeceased their mother

Famous family: Jeanne and Dean wed in 1949 and were married for 23 years before divorcing. They had three children together - Dean Paul Jr., left, Ricci, right, and Gina, seated, pictured in 1966 at home in Beverly hills. Both sons predeceased their mother

In addition to her own children with Dean. she also helped raise his four children from his previous marriage.

After their divorce in 1973, the entertainer remarried for a third time, to a hair salon receptionist Catherine, but the marriage ended after three years.

Jeanne never remarried.

Jeanne Martin with her daughter Gina Martin back in 1995

Stayed single: Jeanne never remarried following her split from dean. She's pictured in Beverly Hills in 1998 with Frank Sinatra's widow Barbara

Stayed single: Jeanne never remarried following her split from dean. She's pictured in Beverly Hills in 1998 with Frank Sinatra's widow Barbara

Predeceased his mother: Jeanne's youngest son Ricci Martin died at home in Utah aged 62 just three weeks ago - in the picture above he performs at the M Resort in Las Vegas in 2014

Predeceased his mother: Jeanne's youngest son Ricci Martin died at home in Utah aged 62 just three weeks ago - in the picture above he performs at the M Resort in Las Vegas in 2014

Both of Jeanne's sons predeceased her.

Just three weeks ago, the youngest of her three children with Dean - son Ricci - was found dead at his home in Utah at the age of 62.

Dean Paul was killed in 1987 while piloting a Phantom fighter jet for the Air National Guard. The jet crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains near Los Angeles killing him and another officer on board. He was 37.

Following the death of their son Dino, she and Dean grew close again and she was at his side when he passed away from emphysema on Christmas Day 1995.

Fairytale romance: Jeanne, a Florida model, was just 22 when she wed the Rat Pack star one week after his divorce from his first wife Betty

Fairytale romance: Jeanne, a Florida model, was just 22 when she wed the Rat Pack star one week after his divorce from his first wife Betty

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jeanne Martin Dies: Model & Second Wife Of Dean Martin Was 89

Dear Friends,  we take this opportunity once again to reverently remember the memory of Jeanne Biegger Martin who passed from this life on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Today message comes from the YAHOO! TV site where Mr. Ross A. Lincoln has reported "Jeanne Martin Dies: Model & Second Wife Of Dean Martin Was 89."  This particular link came our way courtesy of one of our most faithful readers, Miss AOW."

This particular essay by Mr. Lincoln gives us a bit more background on Miss Jeanne's career as a model and about her reign as the Orange Bowl Queen on January 1, 1948.  We also get some insight into Mrs. Martin's wonderful work for charity...we never knew what the letters of SHARE stood for before.

The image used by Mr. Lincoln is a powerful pose of Dean and Jeanne that certainly would bring back many memories of their life together as man and wife.  We thank our Miss AOW for sending this link our way, and of course, to the folks at YAHOO! TV and Mr. Ross A. Lincoln for sharing wonderful words in his touching and tender tribute to Dean's second wife, and who many consider to be the true love of his life.  To check this out in it's original source, simply click on the title of this message.


Jeanne Martin Dies: Model & Second Wife Of Dean Martin Was 89

Ross A. Lincoln  August 24, 2016

Jeanne Martin, the second wife of legendary crooner Dean Martin, and in her early life a model and Orange Bowl queen, died on Wednesday, August 24 at her home in Beverly Hills following a battle with cancer. She was 89.

Born in 1927 in Coral Gables, Fla., she broke into modeling in Miami, posing for magazines, catalogs and calendars and at age 20 was voted Orange Bowl queen, appearing in its New Year’s Eve parade and at the Jan. 1, 1948 Georgia Tech vs. Kansas football game. She met Dean Martin one year later at a New Year’s Eve performance by Martin and his comedy partner Jerry Lewis, and the two were married in 1949 one week after he divorced his first wife.

Their 1949-1972 marriage coincided with the height of Dean Martin’s fame in the 1950s and 60s, and Jeanne was frequently mentioned in his act. She never pursued an entertainment career of her own, but did co-found the charity organization SHARE (Share Happily and Reap Endlessly) in 1953. The couple had three children together, Dean Paul, daughter Gina Martin, and son Ricci, who died this year on August 1. Jeanne Martin also raised Dean’s children from his first marriage.

In his 2005 memoir, “Dean & Me,” Jerry Lewis described Jeanne as “the best thing (next to me) that ever happened to Dean.”

The couple separated in 1969 and divorced in 1973. Despite the split, the pair eventually became friends, bonding after the 1987 death of their son Dean Paul Martin. They remained on good terms until Martin’s death in 1995. She never remarried. She’s survived by Craig Martin, Gail Martin Downey, Deana Martin Griffeth, Gina Martin Romano, and by 11 grandchildren. Funeral services will be private.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jeanne Martin, Model and Ex-Wife of Dean Martin, Dies at 89

Dear Friends, as you have already read from Danny G.'s post, there is more sad news this day for the Martin Family.  The family announced through "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORT" that Jeanne Martin, Dean's second wife has died yesterday, Wednesday, August 24,  of cancer at the age of 89.  This news comes on the heels of the news that her youngest son, Ricci James Martin, died earlier this same month.

Below is the news as shared by "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER" including a wonderful picture of Dean and Jeanne taken in 1957.  The prose is well written and includes some details on Mrs. Martin that we had not known previously.  We wish to extend our sincere sympathy to the Martin family on the death of  Miss Jeanne.

We will interrupt our normal posting schedule to share more posts on Mrs. Martin's death in the days ahead.  We thank the staff at "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER" for honoring Miss Jeanne in this way.   To read this information as it has been shared at the original source, please click on the title of today's message.  We thank our Danny G. and Miss AOW for both of their contributions to getting this sad news to the ilovedinomartin readership.


Jeanne Martin, Model and Ex-Wife of Dean Martin, Dies at 89

 8/24/2016 by THR Staff

Dean and Jeanne Martin in 1957

Their youngest son, musician Ricci Martin, died earlier this month.

Jeanne Martin, a model and Orange Bowl queen who became the wife of singer and actor Dean Martin during the height of his fame, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer at her Beverly Hills home, her family announced. She was 89.

After marrying Dean Martin in 1949, the pair were one of Hollywood’s most photographed couples. Matriarch of their large family, she gave birth to three of Dean’s children while raising four more from his previous marriage. Their breakup in 1969 caused nearly as much distress to Martin’s fans as his professional split with partner Jerry Lewis had in 1956.

“Dean’s viewers knew he was a good husband and father and the booze-and-broads jokes were just part of the act,” wrote Lee Hale in the 2000 book Backstage at the Dean Martin Show, having served as musical director for the NBC program.

Born Dorothy Jean Biegger on March 27, 1927, in Coral Gables, Fla., she went by Jeanne when she began modeling in Miami. She was voted Orange Bowl queen in 1947. A year later, she came to the Beachcomber Club in Miami to see a New Year’s Eve show starring Martin and Lewis.

Jeanne maintained she had never heard of either entertainer until that night. She told author Nick Tosches for a 1992 biography of Dean Martin that upon seeing him on stage, “We locked eyes and I knew. We just fell madly in love.”

A week after Martin was granted a divorce from first wife Betty McDonald, he and 22-year-old Jeanne Biegger wed on Sept. 1, 1949, at the Beverly Hills home of Herman Hover, owner of famed Hollywood nightclub Ciro's. Lewis was best man.

She was “the best thing (next to me) that ever happened to Dean,” wrote Lewis in a 2005 memoir, Dean & Me.

For 20 years, they were viewed as one of Hollywood’s happiest couples until on Dec. 10, 1969, Jeanne issued a statement that they were parting ways.

The divorce wasn't finalized until 1972. Dean Martin was wed once more, to Catherine Hawn, a hair-salon receptionist, and legally adopted her daughter, Sasha, but that union ended in 1976. Jeanne Martin never remarried.

The pair became reacquainted in 1987 when one of their sons, actor Dean Paul Martin, was killed at 35 while piloting a military jet. Jeanne and Dean remained on good terms until his death from respiratory failure on Christmas Day 1995.

Eldest daughter Claudia Martin died of breast cancer in 2001.

Their youngest son, musician Ricci Martin, died on Aug. 3.

She is survived by son Craig Martin; daughters Gail Martin Downey, Deana Martin Griffeth and Gina Martin Romano; and 11 grandchildren. Funeral services will be private.