(born Walden Robert Cassotto; May 14, 1936 â€“ December 20, 1973)
was an American singer who performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, 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 wife Sandra Dee.
Through the 1960s he became more political, and worked on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. He was present on the night of his assassination. This deeply affected him and sent him into a period of seclusion.
Although he made a successful television comeback, his health was starting to fail, as he had always expected, following bouts of rheumatic fever in childhood. This knowledge had always spurred him on to exploit his musical talent while still young. He died at 37, following a heart operation in Los Angeles.
Darin was born in The Bronx. His maternal grandfather, Saverio Antonio Cassotto, was of Italian descent. His maternal grandmother, Vivian Fern (Walden), was of English ("Old Yankee") and Danish ancestry. He was raised by his maternal grandmother, a vaudeville singer. It was not until he was 32 that he learned that Giovannina Cassotto, the woman he believed to be his elder sister, was his birth mother.
By the time he was a teenager he could play several instruments, including piano, drums and guitar. He later added harmonica and xylophone.
Graduating from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, Darin chose not to attend Hunter College. Instead, he dropped out in order to play small nightclubs around the city with a musical combo.