“Most Saturday nights, Dean Martin and his second wife, Jeannie (who helped raise his children from his first marriage, and three more of theirs together), had a party in their big house on Mountain Drive just above Sunset—often the setting for an argument between Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. “Dad said, ‘Oh, swell! The Saturday-night fights,”’ recalls Gail Martin Downey, who abandoned her own singing career to raise a family and now lives quietly in Rancho Mirage, California, and who would babysit for little Jamie Lee Curtis.
Weeknights involved a stricter regimen. In exchange for letting Dean play golf more or less whenever he wanted, Jeannie insisted only that he be home for dinner with the kids each night by six sharp. One night, while filming a movie with Sinatra, he brought Frank home for dinner right on time, only to find his seven little Martins, the prodigious issue of his loins, each with a guest, filling all the chairs. [So] Dean said to Frank, ‘How about that? I fucked myself out of a seat at the dining-room table!’”