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March 17, 2020

Fascinating Vintage Photos of the Famous ‘Rat Pack’

Originated as a group of friends led by Humphrey Bogart in Los Angeles, by the turn of the 1960s, it gave way to a new version, featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop among others, with Sinatra, Martin and Davis regarded as the lead members. Other “mascots” of the pack included Shirley MacLaine, Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Juliet Prowse and Buddy Greco.

Between the late 1950s and late 1960s, the group released more than a dozen films, notably including Ocean’s 11 (1960), Sergeants 3 (1962) and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), while night by night they dazzled audiences on stage – mostly centered on the Las Vegas casino venue. As the original bad boys and the epitome of the era’s masculinity and swagger, their reputation was followed closely by their high-living, hard-drinking and womanizing lifestyle. After splintering apart in the late ‘60s, the three leading members of the group got together for a 29-date reunion tour called Together Again in 1987.

Let’s take a look back at the then unrivalled kings of showbiz:

Sammy Davis Jr. visited Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin at MGM Studios, where the duo were making 'Some Came Running' in 1958. Photo by Allan Grant/LIFE.

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin shared a light moment in the recording studio, 1958. Photo by Allan Grant/LIFE.

Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Frank Sinatra in 'Ocean's Eleven,' 1960. Photo by Underwood Archives.

Members of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop) posing in a full-length studio portrait, circa 1960. Photo by CBS Photo Archive.

Members of The Rat Pack at a photocall for the film 'Ocean's 11' with the owner of the Sands Hotel, Jack Entratter, Las Vegas, February 1960. Photo by Bob Willoughby/Redferns.
Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin from the Rat Pack posed on the Summit at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, February 1960. Photo by Bob Willoughby/Redferns.

Members of the Rat Pack perform on stage at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, February 1960. Photo by Hulton Archive.

Members of the Rat Pack performing live onstage at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, February 1960. Photo by Bob Willoughby/Redferns.

Members of the Rat Pack performing live onstage, with Dean Martin being held up by Peter Lawford, at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, February 1960. Photo by Bob Willoughby/Redferns.

Entertainers and Rat Pack members Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra enjoy dinner wearing cowboy costumes, circa 1960. Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives.

Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford at Sammy Davis Jr.'s wedding to Swedish-born actress May Britt, November 1960. Photo by Bettmann.

Tony Curtis photographing Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra on the set of 'Sergeants 3,' 1961. Photo by Bettmann.

Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin kill some time between takes of 'Sergeants 3' in Kanab, Utah, December 1961. Photo by Bettmann.

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra present Peter Lawford with a large teddy bear for his fourth, newborn, daughter, 1961. They are making the film 'Sergeants 3.' Photo by Bettmann.

Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr., at the Cedars of Lebanon charity dinner, July 1961. Sammy's pals are congratulating him on his baby daughter. Photo by Bettmann.

Jan Murray sits alongside Rat Pack members as the group unwinds backstage at Carnegie Hall after entertaining at a benefit performance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1961. Photo by Bettmann.

Entertainers and members of the Rat Pack pose for a portrait outside The Sands Hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, 1962. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives.

Members of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. perform onstage, 1962. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives.

Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra record in the studio in Los Angeles, California, October 1962. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives.

Entertainers and members of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. record in the studio, 1962. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives.

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tooled around the Warner Bros. lot while making the film 'Marriage on the Rocks,' 1965. Photo by John Dominis/LIFE.

The Rat Pack perform on stage with host Johnny Carson as part of a benefit concert at the Keil Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri, June 1965. Photo by CBS Photo Archive.

Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr. at Heathrow Airport, London, 1967. They are to appear in the film 'Salt and Pepper.' Photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis.

Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra sing on stage during the taping of 'The Dean Martin Variety Show' in Los Angeles, California, circa 1967. Photo by Martin Mills.

Members of the Rat Pack during the filming of the comedy 'Cannonball Run II,' 1983. Photo by Bettmann.

Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, and Frank Sinatra get together for a performance as they help kickoff opening ceremonies for the renaming of the Golden Nugget Hotel to Bally's Grand Hotel, 1987. Photo by Bettmann.

The Rat Pack gather at Davis' house in Beverly Hills to rehearse for their 29-city tour which begins in Oakland, March 1988. Photo by Bettmann.

Rat Pack members Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra sing together on stage during a concert tour, 1988. Photo by Bettmann.




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