Bobby Darin – singer and actor
Bobby Darin was an American singer and actor of Italian descent. He was one of the most popular performers of jazz and rock and roll in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Darin is widely known for his performance in several musical genres, including pop, rock and roll, jazz, folk and blues. Bobby starred in 12 films from 1961 to 1973. He wanted “to remain in the memory of the audience a great performer of his time.” Darin was also a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
Walden Robert Cassotto (his birth name) was born on May 14, 1936 in Bronx, New York. His father disappeared a few months before the birth of his son. This time, went down in history as the height of the Great Depression. As a result, his mother had to take care of his son alone. This lasted until he became an adult, and learned that the woman, who raised him, in fact, was his grandmother, and the second woman, whom Darin thought his sister was actually his mother. Darin was extremely weak from infancy. His main disease from an early age was a heart defect. Thanks to his talent for music he was able to achieve success. He played the piano, drums, guitar, harmonica and xylophone.
An outstanding student with a high IQ, Darin graduated from the prestigious Bronx High School Science and then studied at Hunter College in Manhattan. He wanted to make theater career in New York and left college to devote himself to show business and began to play in nightclubs. In the resort area Catskill Mountains he worked as a driver of a tour bus.
In 1956, he met music producer Don Kirshner and began writing songs for Aldon Music and then signed a contract with Decca Records. Soon Bobby’s manager organized cooperation between the two aspiring stars –Darin and American singer Connie Francis.
In the summer of 1958 his song Splish Splash became the anthem of American teenagers.
In 1959, Bobby recorded the song Dream Lover.
The song Mack the Knife became the only successful breakthrough to the top of the US charts and earned him two Grammy for best debut and best male vocal.
In 1964, Darin was the manager of the football club – Rosey Grier.
In 1960, he became the first and the only actor, who signed several contracts with five Hollywood studios. He composed music for several films. In 1961, he starred together with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida in the film Come September. On the set of the film 18-year-old actress Sandra Dee was his partner. They fell in love with each other and got married. Their son Dodd Mitchell was born in 1961. The marriage broke up seven years later, in 1967.
He won Golden Globe in 1962 and in 1963 was nominated for Oscar. Darin was awarded the French Film Critics Award in the category Best Actor.
In 1966, together with country singer Tim Hardin, he released another hit – If I Were Carpenter.
In 1968, Darin took an active part in the election campaign of his friend and admirer Robert Kennedy. Kennedy’s death in June 1968 became a shock for him. Darin traveled with Kennedy to Los Angeles and was in the same hotel where Kennedy was killed.
In 1969, Darin signed a contract with Direction Records and recorded the song Simple Song of Freedom.
In 1972, he launched his own television show on NBC – The Bobby Darin Amusement Company. This television program was canceled after his sudden death.
In 1973, Bobby married his secretary Andrea Yeager.
Bobby Darin died on December 20, 1973 in Los Angeles. Shortly before his death Darin divorced Andrea.
In 1999, Darin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On May 14, 2007 a star with his name was opened on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.