Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto on May 14, 1936 in New York City. His father left his mother right before he was born, leaving the new family to fend for themselves during the depression. His mother had to get on welfare in order to care for Bobby and told him that she was his sister to avoid embarrassment.
Bobby became afflicted with rheumatic fever at the age of eight, which left him with a bad heart. The doctors told him that he could die at any time, but Bobby decided to make the most of his time and pursue the musical arts. His mother worked hard to purchase him instruments, all of which he learned to play during his free time.
After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, Bobby received a scholarship to go to college. However, he dropped out not long after starting to perform with a music group at local nightclubs.
In 1956, he decided to change his name to Bobby Darin to appear more Americanized. That same year, he was able to get a record contract with Decca Records. His talent was suppressed by the executives at Decca, eventually causing him to leave the company.
Shortly after, he signed a contract with Atlantic Records, where he was allowed to write music for himself and other music groups on the label. It was there that he wrote his first hit song "Splish Splash", which he wrote based on a bet that he couldn't write a hit song that started with the two words. The song was a surprise hit and sold over a million copies in 1958.
In 1959, he recorded "Dream Lover", another smash hit that further increased his fame. His next single was a cover of "Mack the Knife", which he gave an energetic twist to. This single was a number one hit, sold millions of copies, and showed the world that he wasn't just a one hit wonder.
In 1960, his "Mack the Knife" album was nominated for record of the year and Bobby was nominated for best new artist at the Grammy Awards. He managed to win both awards and later received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for the same record.
Later that year, he covered Charles Trenet's hit song "La Mer" in English as "Beyond the Sea". The song was a smash hit and established him as a popular artist in Europe, particularly France.
At the height of his popularity, Darin began to explore other art and began working in motion pictures. He wrote the music for several hit films and even began costarring, where he met the famous actress named Sandra Dee. He married her in 1960 and they had a son, Dodd, in 1961.
Darin began seeking more serious movie roles and starred in 1962's "Pressure Point" opposite Sidney Poitier. In 1963, he played a shell shocked soldier in "Captain Newman M.D." In his free time, he performed at concerts in Las Vegas and around the rest of the United States.
Unfortunately, despite his massive success in music and films, Bobby's personal life was ailing. His marriage to Sandra Dee was crumbling since she felt that Bobby was ignoring his family to pursue fame and money. They divorced in 1967, after which Bobby became a political activist, first working on Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign.
After Kennedy was tragically assassinated, Darin was deeply traumatized and produced two folk music albums. One of them featured his hit song "If I Were a Carpenter", which showed that Bobby Darin could write more than pop songs.
In 1971, he had heart surgery in an attempt to repair the damage done to it from his childhood. A year later, he starred in a variety show on NBC, which was cut short by his unfortunate death on December 20, 1973.
In 2000, Kevin Spacey, a big fan of Darin, produced and acted in "Beyond the Sea". The movie was a musical biopic that received rave reviews, but unfortunately failed at the box office.