Bobby Darin (born Walden Robert Cassotto; May 14, 1936 – December 20, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, and actor of film and television. He performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock'n'roll, folk, and country.
He started as a songwriter for Connie Francis, and recorded his own first million-seller "Splish Splash" in 1958. This was followed by "Dream Lover", "Mack the Knife", and "Beyond the Sea", which brought him world fame. In 1962, he won a Golden Globe for his first film Come September, co-starring his first wife, Sandra Dee.
Throughout the 1960s, he became more politically active and worked on Robert Kennedy's Democratic presidential campaign. He was present on the night of June 4/5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at the time of Kennedy's assassination. The same year, he discovered that he had been brought up by his grandmother, not his mother, and that the girl he had thought to be his sister was actually his mother. These events deeply affected Darin and sent him into a long period of seclusion.
Although he made a successful television comeback, his health was beginning to fail, as he had always expected, following bouts of rheumatic fever in childhood. This knowledge of his vulnerability had always spurred him on to exploit his musical talent while still young. He died at age 37, following a heart operation in Los Angeles.
By Dean Hanley
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