Who’s Who

April 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

To help kick off our new site, we wanted to put names to the faces of as many of the ladies as we could identify in the images displayed on our Home page. While that objective posed no problem with respect to the members of The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters depicted, the challenge loomed larger when it came to the women known as Dean’s Girls. But if any of our readers can assist in filling in some of the blanks, we would more than welcome their contributions.

Dean’s Girls

Even before The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters became household names, The Dean Martin Show, from its very beginnings, had a sizable and salient on-screen distaff contingent — known among the show’s personnel as Dean’s Girls — to keep their debonair host company each week.

The only gal we can place in this scene from the episode of The Dean Martin Show that originally aired on April 21, 1966 is Larri Thomas, a staple of the series’ first three seasons, who’s just barely visible in the upper right-hand corner of the screen capture above. Because we hate to see such a pretty face obscured, we’ve posted another still from the same sequence below, portraying Larri from a more advantageous angle.


There are at least a few more readily recognizable faces in this group shot circa 1968, with Kate Kahn seen third from the left of the gals seated on the bench, and two longtime members of Jack Halloran’s choir, Melissa Stafford and Diana Lee, standing in the back row, second and third from the left, respectively.

As Dean savors a two-sided buss on the cheeks during this closing segment of his show from the 1969-70 season, we’re not certain who’s doing the smooching on the left, but on the right, that’s definitely Diane Davis.

Though mistakenly identified elsewhere on the Internet as members of The Golddiggers, the phalanx of mini-skirted females behind Dean in the picture above actually comprised a set of freelance performers hired to play faux orchestra members in two numbers with Dean — “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and “There’s A Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” — shown on different episodes of the ninth and final season of the series (1973-74), when it was retitled The Dean Martin Comedy Hour.

The Golddiggers

Moving now into much more familiar territory, we can provide definitive I.D.s for the remainder of our Home page homegirls, starting with the gals whose collective moniker became synonymous with youthful beauty and glamour from 1968 onward.

From the 1969-1970 Golddiggers, left to right: (front row) Nancy Bonetti, Patricia Mickey, Susan Lund, Debi McFarland; (second row) Suzy Cadham, Rosetta Cox, Peggy Hansen, Sheila Mann; (top row) Barbara Sanders, Sheryl Ullman, Paula Cinko, Michelle DellaFave, Jackie Chidsey.

The 1970 Golddiggers, who headlined the summer smash hit Dean Martin Presents The Golddiggers In London, and later returned to the States to become the regular singer-dancers on the 6th season (1970-71) of Dean’s series: left to right: (bottom row) Pat Mickey, Susie Lund, Wanda Bailey; (second row) Tara Leigh, Rosie Cox, Micki McGlone, Pauline Antony; (top row) Jackie Chidsey, Paula Cinko, Michelle DellaFave.

The 1971-72 Golddiggers, who had their own weekly half-hour showcase on the syndicated series Chevrolet Presents The Golddiggers: left to right: (front row) Liz Kelley, Susie Lund, Janice Whitby, Nancy Reichert; (back row) Jimmi Cannon, Jackie Chidsey, Lee Crawford, Francie Mendenhall, Tanya DellaFave.

The Dingaling Sisters

The first iteration of this quartet was spun off from the larger group of Golddiggers and debuted during the 1970-71 season of Dean’s series, appearing only on an occasional basis and performing more rock- and soul-driven songs than the bigger ensemble from which they were drawn. When The Golddiggers embarked on their own syndicated series in the fall of 1971, a revamped lineup of Dingalings succeeded them as Dean’s weekly song-and-dance partners for the next two years of his program.

The first set of Dinagling Sisters, from 1970-71: left to right: (bottom row) Susan Lund, Wanda Bailey; (top row) Michelle DellaFave, Tara Leigh.

The Dings who fronted the famous “Don’t Touch Your Dial” opening of The Dean Martin Show’s 7th year on the air, and appeared with the star week in and week out during that 1971-72 season: (clockwise from bottom) Tara Leigh, Taffy Jones, Michelle DellaFave, Lynne Latham.

The final four Dingaling Sisters, who made up the second set featured during the 1972-73 season of Dean’s series: (left to right) Lindsay Bloom, Jayne Kennedy, Michelle DellaFave, Helen Funai.

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