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|Also Known As:||Walden Robert Cassotto||Died:||December 20, 1973|
|Born:||May 14, 1936||Cause of Death:||congestive heart failure resulting from implanted valves that malfunctioned after open-heart surgery|
|Birth Place:||Bronx, New York, USA||Profession:||Music ... actor singer songwriter master of ceremonies drummer janitor at metal factory gun cleaner for Navy|
Brash, self-confident musical performer who in a few brief years from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s rose from teen singing idol to smooth, polished nightclub headliner to Oscar-nominated actor (as a shell-shocked GI in 1964's "Captain Newman, M.D."). Sickly from early childhood, with recurring bouts of rheumatic fever which weakened his heart, Darin developed a swaggering, finger-snapping assertive style as a performer. With a keen understanding of the music industry, he wrote popular songs for the teen market while developing a wider, more adult audience by branching out with pop renditions of more sophisticated fare such as Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife" winning him nightclub popularity, numerous TV appearances (earning up to $40,000 a show) and two film contracts. Darin appeared in fifteen films over a thirteen-year span, mostly light romantic comedies with a few forays into more dramatic fare (John Cassavetes' "Too Late Blues" 1961 and "Pressure Point" 1962) and wrote songs and often the scores for most of the films in which he appeared. His wildly diverse career was cut short by a fatal heart ailment that originally seemed poised to fell him as a young boy, possibly the reason he packed so much into his brief life. Darin's story was eventualy told on film, and stylishly, by one if his most ardent admirers, actor Kevin Spacey, who co-wrote, directed and starred in "Beyond the Sea" in 2004.
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