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Dean Martin Had 3 Kids Who Tragically Died Young from Different Causes - One Was Only 35

Joe Akins
Oct 11, 2021
10:00 P.M.

Legendary actor and singer Dean Martin was passionate about his craft, earning well-deserved respect and admiration throughout his career. However, the man suffered bouts of tragedies after losing three of his kids.

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No parent should bury their offspring, and no matter the status, losing a child is never easy. The pain, hurt, and sorrow is almost inconsolable, and being a popular person does not make it any easier.

Dean Martin was a dedicated actor and singer who was good at his job, and even perfect when it came to parenting. The star had eight children from different women, but it did not matter when they were born or who their mother was, he loved them deeply.

A picture of actor Dean Martin with his family | Photo: Getty Images

A picture of actor Dean Martin with his family | Photo: Getty Images

The Martin kids all experienced great parenting from their famous father, however, three out of the eight mini-Martins did not live a full life. The trio died from different causes.

To comprehend this tragedy, one must understand their background, which involves a breakdown of how Martin became a father, the cause of their deaths, and how they lived their lives.

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Dean Martin on the set during filming of "The Dean Martin show" in 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

Dean Martin on the set during filming of "The Dean Martin show" in 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

DEAN MARTIN'S ROMANCE TALES

Dean Martin married his first wife, Elizabeth Anne McDonald, in 1941. The couple's marriage produced four children. Their first child, Craig, came in 1942, followed by Claudia in 1944. A year later, baby number three, Gail, was born.

Before the couple separated in 1949, they had a child Deana, born in 1948. After his divorce from the mother of his four kids, Dean married again, this time to Jeanne Martin, sooner than everyone would have expected.

By 1951, two years after they said their "I dos," the duo welcomed their first child together, now Dean's fifth, a son named Dean Paul. They later expanded their family by adding two more kids, a boy, Ricci, and a girl, Gina.

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American singer, actor, comedian, and producer Dean Martin and his wife Jeanne Martin have a laugh at home circa November, 1967 in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images

American singer, actor, comedian, and producer Dean Martin and his wife Jeanne Martin have a laugh at home circa November, 1967 in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images

The actor and his Mrs. stuck by each other for more than two decades, and after spending 24 years as a married couple, they divorced.

Martin's second failed marriage did not deter him from taking the plunge a third time. The singer married Catherine Hawn. They did not have any biological child but were parents to an only daughter, Sasha, who was adopted during the genesis of their relationship.

The actor passed away in 1995, at age 78, on Christmas Day, from respiratory failure, but had lived a life worthy of emulation and had consolidated his legacy that continues to thrive among his kids.

Dean and Jeanne Martin attending an event together | Photo: Getty Images

Dean and Jeanne Martin attending an event together | Photo: Getty Images

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HOW MUCH OF A FATHER WAS DEAN?

The truth is, Dean was every bit of an excellent and exemplary dad. While he worked to cement his place in the industry and also provide for his family, he loved spending time with the children.

One of his daughters, Deana, who inherited her dad's acting skills, gushed about his genuine love for them. She explained that he was very present and preferred to be home playing than away working.

During his work schedule, the kids missed their dad and could not keep the excitement down when they knew he would soon be home.

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HIS THREE DECEASED KIDS

Dean's success in the industry was overwhelming, but so was the tragedy that befell his family. He lost three kids, who all suffered untimely deaths.

Dean Paul was the first to pass away. The young man was an incredible actor, singer, and served in the Air National Guard.

Sadly, he passed away in a plane crash during military training while flying an F-4C Phantom jet in 1987. He was 35 and left behind a young son, Alex.

Dean Martin and son Dean-Paul Martin at the premiere party for 'Airport on March 19, 1970 in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

Dean Martin and son Dean-Paul Martin at the premiere party for 'Airport on March 19, 1970 in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

Claudia, the onscreen icon's second child, lived a similar life to her dad's. She was an actress who shared wedding vows three times with three different men.

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Her first marriage to Kiel Martin lasted for about two years, and they had a son, Jesse Martin. Husband number two was Vincent Lucchesi, who occupied the title for one year.

It was her third husband, Jim Roberts, that lasted the longest, with whom she ran a printing business. Their marriage lasted between 1996 to 2001. During her last two marriages, Claudia did not have any child.

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Claudia had some impressive features to her name, including "For Those Who Think Young," "Invincible Bikini," and "Ski Fever." Sadly, she did not live as long as her dad. She died at age 56 in February 2001 after battling cancer.

Ricci, one of the most successful of Martin's eight kids, was a gifted singer and songwriter. During his prime, he founded the singing group known as "The Pack."

They teamed up with Carl Wilson, a member of one of the hottest bands of the century, "The Beach Boys," for a song titled "Beached." In 2016, at age 62, reports of his death surfaced. The tabloids scripted that he died at Utah in his residence but failed to mention the cause of death.

Dean Martin and his son Ricci at Divincis restaurant on May 17, 1995 | Photo: Getty Images

Dean Martin and his son Ricci at Divincis restaurant on May 17, 1995 | Photo: Getty Images

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THE REST OF THE BUNCH

Craig was the firstborn, the child who made Martin and his wife parents for the first time. He did not waste time learning the ropes from his celebrity dad.

Although he preferred life away from the camera, he still excelled in his profession as a producer and production manager. His works include "The Juke Box Jury," "A Family Thing," and "The Dean Martin Show."

Not much is known about Craig's personal business. But sources confirmed that the man married a woman, Carol Costello, who died in a plane crash in 1987.

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Gail, the actor's third daughter, walked down the path of her siblings. She made several appearances in Hollywood films, but not much is known about her personal life.

Baby number four, Deana, grew up to be a successful actress and singer. She has a lovely marriage to her longtime husband, John Griffeth and the pair have been together for decades.

Gina, the last biological child of the prominent singer, found her love in music. She was also talented and married Carl Wilson of "The Beach Boys." They remained married until he died in 1998.

American actor and singer Dean Martin with his arm around his daughter Deana at a Hollywood event, December 1965  | Photo: Getty Images

American actor and singer Dean Martin with his arm around his daughter Deana at a Hollywood event, December 1965 | Photo: Getty Images

Dean lost three kids, but he performed his duties without errors and would have lived a much happier life if he hadn't witnessed the death of his son, Dean Paul.

Still, he loved his other kids and maintained a close relationship with them until his death. The rest of the clan have inherited his strong genes, and they have fashioned their lives to uphold their father's legacy, keeping his memory alive.

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