Was Dean Martin an Alcoholic?

Was Dean Martin an Alcoholic

Dean Martin, a well-recognized American singer, had a massive fan following. Despite starting his career as a boxer, he is known as an entertainer who used to bring smiles to everyone’s face with his small acts and one-liners. Dean Martin was also popular for his acts as a drunk guy, and most people believed his alcoholic side to be his real personality. However, there were also people who spent time with this superstar and made the opposite claim. Here, we will be going through what people look at the life of this legendary entertainer about being an alcoholic and what the reality is. 

Why is Dean Martin known for being a heavy drinker?

All of us know Dean Martin for being a true entertainer and a public figure. During events, he often used to bring a glass of martini or scotch with him and drink in front of the audience. After that, as he used to make jokes about his love life and drinking habit, people felt directly connected to him. Even if we watch some of his last few television interviews, it can be seen that he appears to be too drunk.

His personality, jokes, and acts were so natural that they felt so real that some fans even said if there was ever to be an Alcohol Drinking World Championship, Dean Martin would be the coach for a team. But we should know that life on stage and in reality is completely different. Thus, should not be compared because whatever they put up on camera, at the end of the day, all of this is just an act to entertain. 

Did he really use to drink alcohol during performances?

On one side, there are several people who do not know much about Dane Martin’s personality and make assumptions that he might be a hardcore alcoholic. However, if you go through the statements of people who worked closely with him, like his longtime musical director, his children, and his friends, you will see that all of them claim that Dean Martin was not that type of a drinker. 

Dean Martin never drank alcohol onstage. Instead, he used to pour apple juice into a scotch bottle to make it look like alcohol. This deception was to get into the character which he wanted to portray to entertain the audience. This might also be one of the reasons why he lived a long and healthy life as all of us know that it is not possible to be a regular drinker and a healthy person at the same time. 

Why did he Pretend?

It is also important to note that he had this heavy drinker reputation back in the 1950s when it used to be an excellent feature to appeal to a wider audience. Many people may not like his drinking habit, but this act might be one of the main reasons that made gave him quick success in the pop music industry. Even though there is no definitive answer to why he pretended to be such a hardcore drinker, there are some theories that might be true. 

1. To Connect with Fans

During his career’s peak, pop fans used to follow artists with such an image of being party animals and drinking guys. Thus, many believe that this was his strategy to connect with his fans and be more memorable for them. 

Whether it is true for Dean Martin or not, there have been many artists, especially in the music industry, who had to change their image among the public due to similar reasons.

2. Distancing from Rat Pack

After starting his individual career, Dean Martin needed to change his clean-cut image to something new. It is to make sure that he can be different from his other band members and has his own individual image. 

This is another common practice in this industry to bring quick changes to setup oneself apart from old peers. Even though it might seem a bit dragged, one thing is for sure if he did it, he was not the first one.

His Friends and Family’s Thoughts

As per his family members, Dean Martin used to drink alcohol, but not as much as most people expected. In several interviews, his family members mentioned that Dean Martin used to be as joyful after drinking as before. Dean Martin never got out of control after drinking and always used to prioritize his family over anything else.

On the other end, his friends also agree with his slight drinking habit but also speak about his kindness and great sense of humor, which used to remain despite being drunk or not. His drinking habit was a part of his play as an entertainer, and this habit will always be remembered in his life and career.

Dean Martin’s Answer to People who call him Alcoholic

Back in the year 1983, an interviewer asked Dean Martin and said to him that when someone mentions the name, Dean Martin, the first 3 things to come to mind are wine, women, and songs. 

Dean Martin first had a little smile; then he said that he wanted to associate with women and songs only, not wine. He also mentioned that where ever he goes, people call him for drinking, but he does not drink that much. 

This statement might seem straightforward, but it also gives some indications about some disappointment or regret he may have for this alcoholic image he has built. 


Even today, we remember Dean Martin as one of the greatest entertainers and a celebrity people look up to. Despite all the amazing things he did, arguably, he is most popular for being a crazy alcoholic who is nothing more than a myth. Of course, he had a small habit of drinking, but not the way his fans expected. He portrayed a false image of an alcoholic for unknown reasons. Over the years, this industry forced countless entertainers to put a mask on their faces and live their entire life as an actor, and sadly, Dean Martin was also one of them.

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