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05-25-2008, 05:07 AM
Legendary Comedian and Director Dick Martin Dies in Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 24, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Dick Martin, who co-created and co-hosted Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In - a show which forever changed the face of television - and who championed free speech and satire as staples in American media, died today of respiratory complications, while surrounded by his wife, family, and friends. He was 86 years young.

In addition to a 25-year career in nightclubs and the success of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Dick Martin began a second career as a television director in 1976, starting with The Bob Newhart Show. He was the chief director of the 1980s sitcom Newhart as well as the host of the short-lived Mindreaders game show in the late 1970s. By the time he retired from his second career, he had directed over 200 hours of television.

He married Britain's first Playboy Playmate Dolly Read (Dolly Martin) in 1971. Dolly Read had starred in the cult classic feature film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Martin was formerly married to Peggy Connelly. He has two sons, Richard Martin and Cary Martin.

Dick Martin was born on January 30, 1922, in Battle Creek, Michigan. He took an early interest in comedy and in his twenties worked briefly as a staff writer for the radio show Duffy's Tavern, working with the author and Broadway director Abe Burrows.

In 1951 he had a bit part in the Vincente Minnelli film Father's Little Dividend, alongside Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, but it took him several more years to begin carving out a career for himself in television comedy. This began with an appearance on The Bob Hope Show, in an episode which also featured Diana Dors and Betty Grable. He then appeared in two episodes of The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, the first of which featured Shirley MacLaine and the second of which involved his first appearance with Dan Rowan, who was to become the other half of his famous double-act.

It was 1952 when Dan Rowan and Dick Martin met. Dick Martin, who had just seen Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis perform at Slapsie Maxie's nightclub, decided "that looked like a lot of fun." Nine days later, Rowan and Martin broke in their act at Charlie Foy's Supper Club in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. They didn't do all that well but while sitting at the bar after the show, comedian Joe Frisco came up to them and said "Don't give up kids - you've got class."

05-25-2008, 05:48 AM
I only remember him from the match game...

05-25-2008, 07:52 AM
Laugh In is one of the first shows I remember watching on TV. that and Batman and Lassie and The Monkees.

05-25-2008, 09:15 AM
that and snl were the only two shows we would stay home or make sure we were somewhere we wouldnt miss them ... rip .... x****

05-25-2008, 09:34 AM
Laugh-In was the first show I remember in color. And that was at a motel, because we had b/w tv's at home.

05-25-2008, 10:12 AM
Wow, a thread where I won't be harrassed about my age! Thanks to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, I learned about body paints at a young age!

05-26-2008, 08:44 PM
Laugh-in was one of the few shows I stayed up late to watch. That and Mission Impossible.