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Bobby Darin Poster

Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 14 May 1936The Bronx, New York, USA
Date of Death 20 December 1973Los Angeles, California, USA  (after open-heart surgery)
Birth NameWalden Robert Cassotto
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Walden Robert Cassotto, nicknamed "Bobby", was born in The Bronx, New York, in 1936. Severe rheumatic fever as a child scarred his heart and led to an overprotected and pampered childhood. He was the focal point of a family that fostered and encouraged his love of music. His music career started out with writing songs and taking demos around to different music producers. In 1958 he performed the song "Splish, Splash" on Dick Clark's New American Bandstand 1965 (1952). It was a huge hit and eventually would sell over one million copies. The next year was a big one - he won two Grammies, for Best Record ("Mack the Knife") and Best New Artist. "Mack the Knife" stayed in the top ten for 52 weeks, nine of those at #1. This was Bobby's fourth gold record. His next goal was to make a movie, and that opportunity came in 1960 with the film Come September (1961), for which he also wrote the title song. The movie was filmed in Rome and that's where he met Sandra Dee. She was 16 years old and at the top of her career. They were engaged two months after they met and their son, Dodd Darin, was born a year later. Bobby continued to perform in night clubs and make movies. In 1964 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Captain Newman, M.D. (1963). Despite very good reviews, he lost the Oscar to Melvyn Douglas. In 1967 he asked for and was granted a divorce. Sandra was quoted as saying, "He just woke up one morning and didn't want to be married anymore". More realistically, their careers had kept them apart more often than not, and they had struggled with the marriage practically from the beginning. He went in for heart surgery in 1971 and from that point on he had bouts of ill health. After his recovery he continued to do nightclub acts and the next year he did a popular summer variety show called The Bobby Darin Show (1973). The last year of his life was spent dealing with health problems related to his heart, yet he continued to work when he could. He died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on December 20, l973, following open heart surgery.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sheryl Reeder (sherry@reeder.com)

Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto on May 14, 1936. Growing up in a rough section of the Bronx, New York, Bobby barely survived several serious bouts of rheumatic fever that left him with a damaged heart (which undoubtedly contributed to his early death). Bobby's ambition was to become a legend by the time he was 25. Thinking that his damaged heart would eventually kill him, he planned to live life as fully as he could. One story is that he got his new last name, "Darin", from a neon sign on a Chinese restaurant that was supposed to say "Mandarin" but the first three letters were burned out (another story is that he got it out a phone book). Bobby taught himself to play the drums, piano and guitar. In his late teens he met fledgling music publisher Don Kirshner in a candy store, and the two soon got together and collaborated on commercial jingles. Kirshner helped arrange a trial run at Atco Records.

In 1958, after several forgettable recordings, Bobby came up with his first big hit, "Splish Splash", which he claimed took only 12 minutes to write. "Mack the Knife", climbed to the top-ten music charts the following year. Bobby moved to Hollywood in 1960, and met and later married his wife Sandra Dee. He starred with her in Come September (1961) and received an Oscar nomination for his role in Captain Newman, M.D. (1963).

In the mid-1960s Bobby made several movies (garnering especially good reviews for his performance in the World War II drama Hell Is for Heroes (1962)), toured college campuses and played in Las Vegas. His song "If I Were a Carpenter", written by Tim Hardin, shot to #8 in 1966. However, after his divorce from Sandra, Bobby went into a career decline. In 1968 he worked tirelessly for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, despite his heart condition. After Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in June 1968 Bobby, disillusioned with life in general and the state of the world in particular, retreated from the entertainment world. He sold his house and all his possessions, and lived in seclusion in a mobile home in Big Sur. After a year away from the public eye, Bobby realized that he couldn't deny his talent to the public and returned to the recording industry in 1969, and started his own record company, Direction Records, releasing an album "Born Walden Robert Cassotto".

He married for the second time and returned to performing on the Las Vegas stage, although he was less driven to it than he had been because of his failing heart. In January 1971 he suffered a mild heart attack and underwent open-heart surgery to have two artificial valves planted in his heart. After spending most of the year in ill health, Bobby gradually recovered and returned to the stage. By 1973 his life seem to be back on track. In December the artificial valves in his weakening heart malfunctioned and he checked himself into Los Angeles' Cedars of Lebanon Hospital for another round of open heart surgery for the valves to be replaced. On December 20, 1973, the surgery began. A five-man surgical team worked for over six hours to save his life. But although the surgery was partially successful, Darin died literally minutes afterward in the recovery room without regaining consciousness. One of the doctors' diagnoses of Bobby's death was that he was just too weak to recover. There was no formal funeral ceremony. He willed that his body be donated to the UCLA Medical Facility for research.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay

Spouse (2)

Andrea Joy Yeager (26 June 1973 - 24 October 1973) (divorced)
Sandra Dee (1 December 1960 - 7 March 1967) (divorced) (1 son)

Trivia (20)

Son, Dodd Mitchell Cassotto (aka Dodd Darin), with Sandra Dee.
Rather than internment, his body was donated to the UCLA Medical Center.
Did not find out until the age of 32 that the woman he thought to be his sister was in fact his mother and and the woman he thought was his deceased mother was in fact his grandmother. This was listed in VH1's The Greatest: 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll History (2001).
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
When he was still a struggling songwriter at the now famous Brill Building he met then up-and-coming singer Connie Francis. After a rocky beginning, the two hit it off and were soon madly in love. He had wanted to marry Connie but her overprotective father wouldn't let her date, let alone marry, anyone. When Darin suggested the two elope, he was chased from one of her shows by her father with a gun. The two only saw one another twice after that incident, once during a television appearance in which the two sang together and once during the filming of This Is Your Life (1952) of which Connie was the subject, in which the announcer had congratulated Bobby on his recent marriage to actress Sandra Dee. Connie has stated several times that not marrying Bobby was one of the biggest mistakes she has ever made in her life.
Italian-American.
He lost his hair in his early 20s and wore a toupee thereafter.
Went to the Bronx High School of Science
Recorded with legendary Nashville guitarist Hank Garland.
His #1 hit song, "Mack the Knife", had a strange connection with the number "59": it was the 59th #1 single of the rock era, it entered the Billboard charts at #59, and was the second biggest-selling record of 1959.
He signed Wayne Newton to his record producing company (TM Music) and had him record "Danke Schoen", which was originally supposed to be recorded by Darin himself.
Was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in Beyond the Sea (2004).
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 1964, he was "The Heart Ambassador" for The Heart Fund charity.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1735 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Seriously campaigned for the role of "Tony" in West Side Story (1961). Ironically, he would wind up winning his only Golden Globe in 1962 for "Most Promising Newcomer" in a virtual tie with with Richard Beymer, who got the role as "Tony" and Warren Beatty, who had also seriously campaigned for the same role.
Early in his career, while performing "Rock Island Line" on The Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show (1954), he had the lyrics written on the palms of his hands, as he had to learn the song on short notice.
He made his TV debut on March 10, 1956, on The Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show (1954), performing "Rock Island Line".
On April 24, 1958, just weeks prior to release of his breakthrough hit of "Splish Splash" for Atco Records, Darin recorded "Early In The Morning" and "Now We're One", for Decca Records. At that time, he had a few days left on his contract with Atco and was expecting to be released, but as it turned out, he was retained. Following the release of "Splish Splash", on Atco, Decca, through their subsidiary Brunswick, released "Early In The Morning"/"Now We're One" as a single, under the name of "The Rinky Dinks", Darin's back up girl group, for his Decca sessions. After Darin's voice was easily discovered on The Brunswick recordings and as he was under contract to Atco, his Brunswick recordings were withdrawn from the market and secured by Atco. Atco then , released "Early In The Morning"/ "Now We're One", by "Bobby Darin and The Rinky Dinks". In a subsequent move by Decca Records, Decca had Buddy Holly cover the both songs on a single for their subsidiary, Coral Records, where Holly was already established with such hits as "Peggy Sue and,"Rave On". Decca was hoping to recover the loss from the earlier withdrawn single. Darin's version of "Early In The Morning" entered Billboard's Pop 100 first and peaked at #24, Holly's version reached #32.
Half-brother of Gary Walden.

Personal Quotes (2)

Conceit is thinking you're great; egotism is knowing it.
I want to be a legend by the time I'm twenty-five.

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