The Rat Pack – Gone But Not Forgotten
The 1950s was a time when style counted for everything, when you had to have the right look, the right attitude and the right connections. The undoubted leaders were the Rat Pack, the small but influential group of entertainers who inspired legendary tales of drinking, partying and simply having fun. The five cool dudes are no longer with us, of course, but their legends live on.
The undoubted leader of the gang, Ol’ Blue Eyes was perhaps the most famous singer in the world during his lifetime. He became a megastar in his 20s and stayed that way until his 80s. Four marriages and a string of relationships with the world’s most beautiful women merely added to his aura, and an Academy Award for his role in From Here to Eternity proved he was no slouch at acting, either. He died in 1998 at the age of 82.
Born Dino Paul Crocetti in 1917, Dean Martin was best known for his singing, although he was also a popular actor and comedian. His capacity for alcohol intake was well-known, and many of his stage performances saw him with a microphone in one hand and a drink in the other. He formed a popular movie partnership with Jerry Lewis, and he passed away in 1995 at the age of 78.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Samuel George Davis, Jr. was born into a vaudeville family and began performing at the age of three. He was a hugely popular singer, actor and dancer who also did a well-loved range of impressions. An African American, Davis was a regular victim of the casual racism that was prevalent in the USA at the time. These days, he’s perhaps best known for his hit song The Candy Man. He died aged 64 in 1990.
The well-connected son of Lieutenant-General Sir Sydney Turing Barlow Lawford, Peter was born in London in 1923 and went on to become a successful Hollywood actor. His films include Easter Parade, Exodus and The Longest Day, and he also appeared in many influential TV shows. He was once married to the sister of John F Kennedy, although they divorced in 1966. He died in 1994 at the age of 61.
Born in The Bronx in 1918, Joey Bishop made his name as a stand-up comedian before becoming a major star of television in the 1950s. He starred in the original Ocean’s 11 movie with the rest of the Rat Pack, and went on to perform with them in many of their legendary live shows in Las Vegas. The last of the gang to pass away, he died in 2007 at the ripe old age of 89.
David Showell lives in the UK and is a big fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood. He works for a company that provides cheap car hire through its easy to negotiate website.