Monday, December 27, 2004

Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin was one of the most popular teen idols of the 1950's.

A new feature film is set to be released starring Kevin Spacey as the Bronx born musician. I haven't seen it yet, but it should be amazing, simply because Bobby Darin's life was as fascinating and bizarre as any in show business history.

Robert Walden Cassotto was born May 14, 1936, but with a name Robert Walden Cassotto you wouldn't sell many records. Unless you work at the Virgin Mega Store, but that's really not the same thing.

Bobby is said to have chosen Darin because he saw a Chinese Restaurant with the word 'Mandarin' in neon letters. The letters 'M-A-N' were all burned out so the sign just said 'darin.'

I wish the sign had said 'Manslaughter'. Then his name would be Bobby Slaughter.

But, I would have avoided THAT Chinese Restaurant.

Bobby was a sickly child, with a serious heart condition. As a youth, he overheard doctors saying he would not live to be 16. This news emboldened Darin who worked very hard at his goal of becoming a superstar.

Eventually he climbed the ladder of the music industry with such diverse hits as 'Splish Splash' and 'Mack the Knife.'

Bobby was a brash and outspoken entertainer saying on one occasion that he wanted to be "bigger than Sinatra."

This goal was accomplished early as Darin easily eclipsed the 5' 8" Sinatra in both height and weight. Later proclamations that he would be bigger than 'that tall guy that plays Lurch' was never fulfilled.

After becoming a standout musician Darin turned to the movie screen. Darin made several movies, beginning Come September in 1960. His leading lady Sandra Dee later became his wife. Darin was a fine actor receiving an Oscar nomination for his work in the 1963 film Capt. Newman M.D.

In 1967 Sandra Dee and Darin divorced. It is said that the divorce came because Darin was upset that Dee stole his 'stage name story' and told people she named herself after a Mandees clothing store with bunch of broken lights. Then she would laugh like Vincent Price.

Bobby was very into politics at the time, working hard for Robert Kennedy. After Kennedy was shot, Bobby felt so moved he gave up all of his worldly goods and purchased a mobile home in California.

In 1968, Darin discovered his was actually his GRANDMOTHER and his sister was really his mother.

His birth mother had him out of wedlock and the family decided the 'lie' would keep shame from the family.

The family also decided to pretend that their parlor was really a living room.

These two lies haunted Darin for the rest of his life.

Speaking of life, at this point, Darin had long ago surpassed his 16 year death sentence, but was still dealing with a bad heart.

During the latter stages of his career, Bobby starred in a few low budget films, had put out several albums of very different musical styles and married Andrea Joy Yeager in June 1972.

The next year Bobby died during a heart condition. As part of his will, there was no funeral and his body was donated to the UCLA Medical Center for research purposes.

The new Bobby Darin film is called 'Beyond the Sea' and was written and directed by star Kevin Spacey. Kevin is 45 years old, Bobby died at age 37. Lurch became a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. In 2004 ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign against President George Bush.


  1. I saw "Cpt. Newman MD" it was more like "Cpt. OSCAR, MD"

  2. Gene Hackman is so cool that Bobby Darin fans post comments nobody gets under Blog articles about him!!

  3. Anonymous12/27/2004

    Sgt. Slaughter's attorney wrote:

    Sweetie: the story about a celebrity adopting the last name "Slaughter" because he saw a sign saying Manslaughter is NOT your intellectual property. That is the true story of how wrestler Sgt. Slaughter got his name. Sgt. Slaughter's real name was Sgt. Kill, but he thought a name that violent wouldn't sell with the public. He was reading his local paper's Public Safety log and decided on Sgt. Slaughter after reading about a person charged with Manslaughter. He also briefly considered "Sgt. Drunk Driving" and "Sgt. Retail Theft." But his manager agreed that "Sgt. Slaughter" had the best ring to it.

    If you don't cease and desist and remove this joke from your blog, we will go forward with a copywright infringement lawsuit. I haven't seen copywright infringement this bad since that guy pretended to be M. Night Shamalan.

  4. I saw the poster for "Beyond the Sea" at my local movie theater this weekend. The tagline, reads "Kevin Spacey IS Bobby Darin."

    All I could think was, "It's about time they found out."

  5. You know what would be AWESOME? If "Beyond the Sea" features the scene where Bobby Darin bet Evel Knievel that he couldn't jump "Beyond the Sea". If I remember correctly, Knievel took the bet because he thought even if reached Beyond the Sea, Aquaman would save him. So Knievel jumped off the Santa Monica Pier and was hoping to jump all the way to Japan. He even put rocket thrusters on his motorcycle to give him more speed. However, Knievel only jumped, like 20 feet. So he paid the thousand dollars he bet Darin. I heard a rumor that Darin donated the money to a charity that buys Star Trek commorative plates for needy children. Oh man that was SSSSSSSSSSSSWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Darin, that kid was koo-koo bananas. Good kid, though.

  7. Good stuff, but I think I will pass on the movie. It reminds me of that Andy Kauffman movie with Jim Carrey (I know they are both different, but perhaps it's the biography part that makes them seem the same.)
    I hated that movie.

  8. Anonymous12/27/2004

    I can't belive Darin was daring Evel. It's crazy!

  9. Anonymous12/27/2004

    I think Mack The Knife is the greatest song ever written.

    Long live Bobby D!

  10. "Unless you work at the Virgin Mega Store, but that's really not the same thing"

    great line!

  11. mandees clothing store with bunch of broken lights. Then she would laugh like Vincent Price.

    This line, too.

  12. To learn more about Bobby Darin, please visit your local library.

    I am going to see Fat Albert next. I will tell ya what I think.