(From Elvis: My Best Man, by George Klein, 2010)
Dean Martin had always been one of Elvis’s favorite singers - one of the few singers he’d ever cite as a personal influence on his own style. (In 1957) Dean was doing a show at a Hollywood Club called the Moulin Rouge (…). We saw a great Dino performance, and after the show Elvis asked me if I wanted to meet Dean. Cliff and Gene stayed at our table, while Elvis and I headed backstage. Dean and Elvis had met before when Elvis was in L.A., and Dean seemed very happy to see him again. They made some showbiz-style small talk, and then, right in front of Dean, Elvis turned to me and said, “You know, GK, Dean Martin gave me the best advice I ever got from anybody in Hollywood.” Dean kind of laughed, but Elvis was very serious, and he continued.
“Dean told me, ‘You and I are singers, not actors, and if we try to act we’re gonna be dead in the water. It’s gonna come off phony.’ Dean said that what I had to do was be as natural as possible in front of the camera and not try to do any real acting until I really learned how to act. Man, that got me through two movies.” Dean laughed again and I think he actually blushed a little. But it also seemed to me that he really appreciated the heartfelt gratitude Elvis was expressing. — George Kein.
Photo: Elvis and Shirley MacLaine celebrating Martin’s birthday on the set of the film “All in a Night’s Work”, June 7, 1960.
Happy Birthday, Dean Martin!