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Tributes to late, great Dean Martin planned in June

By Norm Clarke  (VSiN Columnist) 

May 12, 2017 09:00 PM

The late Dean Martin will be the toast of many towns in June, including Las Vegas, to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday.

Martin’s daughter, Deana, said “it’s going to be an amazing, amazing month” with tributes also planned in Dino’s hometown of Steubenville, Ohio, and the Friars’ Club in New York City. has learned the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority met this week to discuss the dimming of lights June 7 on the Strip for Martin’s birthday salute.

Deana Martin has a June 23-24 engagement in the South Point showroom. She’ll be singing many of her father’s greatest hits.

The next week, on June 26 at the South Point, she will be hosting the inaugural Deana Martin’s Celebrity Roast, a spinoff of her father’s hit TV series in the 1970s and 80s. The honoree will be longtime Las Vegas entertainer and radio host Dennis Bono, who turns 70 on July 1.

Among the entertainment personalities roasting Bono during the showroom event will be Jack Jones, Tony Orlando and Frankie Scinta. Comedy legend Ruth Buzzi of “Rowan & Martin Laugh-In” fame is reportedly being recruited. She appeared on many of Martin’s celebrity roasts as the cranky spinster who clobbered male tormentors with her purse.

After Deana Martin’s roast, the party will move to the South Point’s Grandview Lounge, where many local entertainers will get a chance to scorch Bono, who got a big career assist from Frank Sinatra.

Bono’s wife, Lorraine, was a catalyst in setting up the Martin birthday event. She brought it to the attention of the LVCVA, which got behind the honoring of comedy giant Don Rickles last month with a light-dimming tribute and the flashing of Rickles’ image on more than a dozen digital marquees.

Rickles died April 6 at the age of 90.

In a telephone interview, Deana Martin said she has contacted members of the famed Golddiggers and invited them to her show. The song-and-dance troupe appeared on the “Dean Martin Show” on NBC for years.

Lorraine Bono said the tribute to Dean Martin was well-deserved. “Dean, as well as Frank Sinatra, helped put us in the global spotlight” through their Rat Pack antics and years of headlining here.

“The enormous appeal of Dean’s TV show brought untold millions of visitors to Las Vegas. He was a super cool guy,” she said.

Also in the works to honor Dean Martin is a documentary, his daughter said.

Among those who participated in a documentary about Dean Martin include: Angie Dickinson, Bob Newhart, the late Florence Henderson, Tommy Tune, George Schlatter, Regis Philbin, Norman Lear and Lee Hale of The Golddiggers.

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On this day…

May 12, 1959: After converting to Judaism, Elizabeth Taylor marries singer Eddie Fisher (who divorced Debbie Reynolds earlier the same day), at Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas. They divorce five years later.

May 13, 1967: Actress Lesley Warren marries hairdresser Jon Peters at the Sahara. They divorce 10 years later and one son later, after he becomes an obnoxious and widely detested Hollywood mogul and takes up with Barbra Streisand.


At Intrigue (Wynn) on Thursday: Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” judge Mark Cuban; Oscar winner Sean Penn, with friends and English soccer star Aaron Wilbraham, who plays for Bristol City, with teammates.

Journey bass player Ross Valory, with his wife, Mary, and friends at Carmine’s (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Thursday…

U.S.-born soccer standout DeAndre Yedlin, with friends from Newcastle United, at Tao nightclub (Venetian) on Thursday…

Journey drummer Steve Smith, dining with a group at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway (Wynn) on Thursday, after the band’s performance at the Hard Rock Hotel…

Journey keyboard Jonathan Cain, at MB Steak (Hard Rock Hotel) on Wednesday, after the group’s performances.

The punch line

“A senator made history this week by breastfeeding in the Senate Chamber. The bad news is, it was Mitch McConnell.’’ – Conan O’Brien.

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