Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were married several times, but their love for one another was steadfast. The friends and collaborators performed in songs, comedic sketches, and feature-length films. As a symbol of their lasting friendship, Sinatra had rings specially made for them.
Frank Sinatra took over the Rat Pack from Humphrey Bogart
The Rat Pack initially formed after a debaucherous weekend in Las Vegas. Sinatra and several friends spent their days and night at parties. By the fourth day, everyone was noticeably worn out. According to the book Bogart: In Search of My Father, actor Lauren Bacall told the bedraggled group, “You look like a goddamn rat pack.”
Though Sinatra preferred names like “the Clan” and “the Summit,” Rat Pack stuck. Humphrey Bogart was the group’s leader, with Sinatra, Bacall, Judy Garland, and others holding leadership positions. The group frequently met at Bacall and Bogart’s Los Angeles home.
After Bogart’s death in 1957, Sinatra took on the leading position in the Rat Pack. He brought in members like Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford.
He and Dean Martin were close friends
As performers and members of the Rat Pack, Sinatra and Martin grew particularly close, with Martin becoming known as Sinatra’s right-hand man. Their chemistry was apparent to anyone watching them on stage.
“To watch them on stage together was brilliant because you could see the love in their eyes, the respect for each other,” Martin’s daughter Deana told the Desert Sun.
The two played off their friendship in comedy skits, joking about their relationship.
“If you were a girl, I would probably go for you,” Martin once said to Sinatra. “Darn it. Why aren’t you a girl?”
In Ocean’s 11, their dynamic was on full display, something Deana believes attracted audiences to the film.
“In Oceans 11, they seemed like teenage boys on the loose, though they were all in their mid-40s,” she wrote in the book Memories Are Made of This. “That film was a great success and became a cult favorite, not least for the glimpse it offered of the inner workings of the Rat Pack.”
On a more intimate level, Sinatra showed his appreciation for Martin through custom-made pinky rings with an emerald-cut diamond. Martin reportedly never took his off.
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin hosted a Christmas special with their families
In a further display of their friendship, Martin and Sinatra put on a Christmas special that featured their families. Martin, his wife, and their seven children joined Sinatra and his three children. The group sang holiday songs and tossed jokes back and forth.
“It was so fun to be with Dad and Uncle Frank, because they were just so funny,” Martin’s daughter Gail told People. “And they had the best time – but they always had the best time together.”
Sinatra and Martin’s friendship meant that their families were close as well.
“We were close-knit and far more average than most people thought,” Tina Sinatra said. “The camaraderie between families started with the youngest and went to the oldest, and that’s really true. My mother and Jeanne [Martin] were fond of each other, so it was heartfelt, every bit of it.”