Tuesday, December 22, 2015
I feel dirty watching Dewey Martin, too. This actor, whose career spanned much of the 1950s, was once considered a candidate for leading man.
Martin was born December 8, 1923, in Katemcy, Texas. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot, and after the war took up a career as a scuba diver in Malibu, California. He was well-known for his stunning body (he never went to the gym), and for his willingness to flirt with both men and women. He got the acting bug after leaving the military, and made his film debut in Knock on Any Door (1949). Howard Harks took notice of him, and began mentoring his career. It was Hawks who gave Martin his breakout role in The Thing (1951). Martin then co-starred with Kirk Douglas in The Big Sky in 1952, wearing a buckskin tunic that was so tight it couldn't be laced up. He starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Desperate Hours in 1955, the same year he was cast as the half-naked lead in Land of the Pharaohs.
His career in film basically ended with the flop Ten Thousand Bedrooms in 1957. He showed up in bit parts in The Longest Day (1962), Savage Sam (1963), Flight to Fury (1964), Assault on the Wayne (1971), and Seven Alone (1974), but most of his work in the 1960s was in television. Martin starred in The Twilight Zone episode "I Shot an Arrow Into the Air" (which first aired in 1960) and The Outer Limits episode "The Premonition" (which first aired in 1965).
His last attempt at fame occurred in 1960, when he played Daniel Boone on four episodes of Walt Disney Presents. The outing was an unsuccessful attempt to duplicate the national Davey Crockett craze five years earlier.
Martin married singer Peggy Lee in 1955, but the marriage lasted just for two years.
Martin continue to work once or twice a year in guest-shot roles on television until 1975. His final acting job was on an episode of Police Story in 1978. He retired at the age of 55. Martin spent about a decade working at a California gym until the mid 1980s. He apparently married a second time, and is still living in California.