L.A. Italia Fest to Celebrate Dean Martin

Getty Images

The upcoming festival will honor the centennial of the Italian-American actor’s birth.

Dean Martin's life and works will be celebrated at the 12th annual L.A. Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival to mark the centennial of the 'King of Cool's birth.

Martin, who died in 1995, is considered one of the most popular Italian-American icons of all time.

The festival will showcase a complete retrospective of Martin’s films, as well as a number of surprise music performances to honor the singer, actor, comedian and film producer.

“Dean Martin was a true Italian-American show business legend, and we are pleased to commemorate the centennial of his birth with a tribute that will highlight his exceptional career via an homage of his most memorable motion pictures,” said festival director Pascal Vicedomini. “We’ll also have several other surprises that will be reflective of this multi-talented, revered entertainer.”

Martin was born to an Italian father and an Italian-American mother in Ohio in 1917. He gained fame in the 1940s after teaming up with comedian Jerry Lewis. They starred in 16 movies together over 11 years. His successful solo career saw him starring alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in The Young Lions (1958), Frank Sinatra in Some Came Running (1958) and John Wayne in Rio Bravo (1959) and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965).

Martin later formed the Rat Pack with Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, shooting classic films including Oceans 11 and Robin and the 7.

In 1965 Martin launched the Golden Globe-winning variety series The Dean Martin Show on NBC, which ran until 1974. He also enjoyed a long career as a Vegas entertainer. His chart-topping songs including “Ain't That a Kick in the Head", "Sway," "You're Nobody ‘Till Somebody Loves You," "That's Amore" and "Everybody Loves Somebody" have been featured in films including Casino, Goodfellas and Moonstruck.

The L.A. Italia Fest takes place Feb. 19-25, directly preceding the Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center. The upcoming festival is dedicated to Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni and will also feature a complete retrospective of his films.