This section has been so much fun to scrap. I took photos of stars on the Walk of Fame or their handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater (or both) and these celebrity pages have either the star or the handprint (or both) and a bio on them as well as photos of them from the internet. There are also some personal stories about them ocassionally thrown in.
Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "Mambo Italiano", "Sway", "Volare" and smash hit "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" Nicknamed the "King of Cool", he was one of the members of the "Rat Pack" and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
As Martin's solo career grew, he and Frank Sinatra became close friends. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Martin and Sinatra, along with friends Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. formed the legendary Rat Pack. The men made films together, formed an important part of the Hollywood social scene in those years, and were politically influential.
Martin, a life-long smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center on 16 September 1993. He died of acute respiratory failure resulting from emphysema at his Beverly Hills home on Christmas morning 1995, at the age of 78. The lights of the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed in his honor.
Frank Sinatra started out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A. system), until he eventually got work as a band singer; first with The Hoboken Four, then with Harry James, and then Tommy Dorsey.
In 1942 he started his solo career, instantly finding fame as the king of the bobbysoxers - the young women and girls adored him! About that time his film career was also starting in earnest, striking box-office gold early on with a lead role in Anchors Aweigh (1945). His career on a high, Sinatra went from strength-to-strength on record, on stage and on screen, peaking in 1949, once again with Gene Kelly, in the MGM musical On the Town (1949) and Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949).
A vocal cord hemorrhage nearly ended his career in the early 50's but he fought back, winning the coveted role of Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953). He followed this with Suddenly (1954) and arguably a career best performance and Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in the powerful drama The Man With the Golden Arm (1955). He continued to give strong and memorable performances in such films as Guys and Dolls (1955), The Joker is Wild (1957) and Some Came Running (1958).
Lighter roles along side Rat Pack buddies Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr were lucrative, especially the famed Ocean's 11 (1960). However, Sinatra alternated such projects with more stern offerings, such as The Manchurian Candidate, arguably Sinatra's finest picture. That same year Von Ryan's Express (1965) was a box office sensation.
In 1967 he starred as private investigator Tony Rome (1967), a role he reprised in the sequel, Lady in Cement (1968). He also starred in The Detective (1968). After a 7 year break, Sinatra returned to the big screen in The First Deadly Sin (1980) once again playing a New York detective with a moving, understated performance that was a fitting coda to his career as a leading man
his final acting performance was in Magnum P.I. in 1987 as a retired detective seeking vengeance on the killers of his granddaughter in an episode entitled Laura.
The 1960s version of the Rat Pack included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and for a brief stint, Norman Fell (Mr. Roper on Three's Company). Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Juliet Prowse, and Shirley MacLaine were often referred to as the "Rat Pack Mascots". (An earlier group calling themselves the Rat Pack included Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra.)
The Rat Pack were legendary for their Las Vegas performances. Las Vegas rooms were at a premium when the Rat Pack would appear, with many visitors sleeping in hotel lobbies or cars to get a chance to see the three men together. Their act (always in tuxedo) consisted of each singing individual numbers, duets and trios, along with much seemingly improvised slapstick and chatter. In the socially-charged 1960s, their jokes revolved around adult themes, such as Sinatra's infamous womanizing and Martin's legendary drinking, as well as many at the expense of Davis's race and Jewish religion. It was all good-natured male bonding; the three had great respect for each other. The Rat Pack was largely responsible for the integration of Las Vegas. Sinatra and Martin steadfastly refused to appear anywhere that barred Davis, forcing the casinos to open their doors to African-American entertainers and patrons and to drop restrictive covenants against Jews.
The five key members of the sixties Rat Pack are now all deceased:
Peter Lawford died on December 24, 1984 of cardiac arrest complicated by kidney and liver failure at the age of 61.
Sammy Davis, Jr. died at the age of 64 on May 16, 1990, of complications from throat cancer.
Dean Martin died at home on the morning of December 25, 1995, aged 78.
Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998, at the age of 82.
Joey Bishop, the last surviving and longest-lived Rat Pack member, died on October 17, 2007 at the age of 89.