Bobby Darin

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Bobby Darin (May 14, 1936 – December 20, 1973), born Walden Robert Perciville Cassotto, was a two-time Grammy Award-winning American singer, Oscar-nominated actor and accomplished musician.[1]

Darin performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk and country. Although unknown to the public, his health was dangerously fragile and strongly motivated him to succeed within the limited lifetime he feared he would, and ultimately did, have.

Darin married Sandra Dee; they met while making the film Come September (1961). They made a few more movies together at Universal Studios that were moderately successful. They had one son, Dodd Mitchell Darin (also known as Morgan Mitchell Darin). Darin and Dee divorced in 1967.

He was also an actor, singer/songwriter and music business entrepreneur. His wish for a legacy was "to be remembered as a human being and as a great performer."[2] Among his many other contributions, he became a goodwill ambassador for the American Heart Association.


Early years

Bobby Darin was born in The Bronx to a poor, working-class family of mostly Italian descent. The person he believed to be his father (who was actually his grandfather) died in jail a few months before he was born. It was the height of the Great Depression, and Darin once remarked that his crib was a cardboard box, then later a dresser drawer. He was initially raised by his Anglo-American mother Polly and his sister Nina, subsisting on Home Relief until Nina later married and started a family with her new husband, Charlie Maffia. It was not until Darin was an adult that he learned that Nina&emdash;17 years his senior&emdash;was in fact his birth mother, and that Polly, the woman he thought was his mother, was really his grandmother.[3] He was never told the identity of his real father, other than that his birth father had no idea Nina was pregnant, and thus never knew that Bobby was even born. Polly mothered him well, despite her own medical history resulting in her addiction to morphine. It was Polly who took the young Bobby to what was left of the old vaudeville circuit in New York&emdash;places like the Bronx Opera House, and the RKO Jefferson in Manhattan, where he received his first show business inspiration, and where he saw performers like Sophie Tucker, whom he loved.[4]

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