Jeanne Martin (1927 - 2016)

Jeanne Martin, the second wife of Dean Martin, died Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, according to her family. Martin, who had cancer, was 89.

Her death comes just weeks after the Aug. 3 death of their son, Ricci Martin.

Born Dorothy Jean Biegger March 27, 1927, in Coral Gables, Florida, she was a model before she met her husband, and she was voted Orange Bowl Queen in 1947.

It was a year later when she met Martin, whom she insisted she had never heard of before she went to see his show with Jerry Lewis at Miami's Beachcomber Club. Jeanne called it love at first sight, later telling Martin’s biographer, "We locked eyes and I knew. We just fell madly in love."


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They were married in 1949, and when Martin gained custody of his four children from his first marriage, Jeanne began raising them. Three children of their own followed: Dean Paul, Gina, and Ricci.

The couple became the toast of Hollywood, often photographed and considered among the happiest celebrity couples. That perception ended when they announced their divorce in 1969. When it was finalized in 1972, Martin remarried, though his ex-wife never did. After a period of estrangement, they became friends again upon the death of their son, Dean Paul, in 1987. They remained friendly until Martin’s death in 1995.

Jeanne Martin is survived by her daughter, Gina, as well as by three of the children from Dean Martin's first marriage: Craig, Gail, and Deana. In addition to her sons, she was preceded in death by daughter Claudia Martin, who died in 2001 of breast cancer.

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