Dick Martin, the comedian and television director who achieved TV immortality as the co-host of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967) as the comic foil to straight man Dan Rowan, was born on January 30, 1922 in Battle Creek, Michigan. The young Martin was a writer for the popular radio sit-com "Duffy's Tavern" before teaming up with Rowan in the 1950s. The duo achieved success playing the nightclub circuit and Las Vegas, leading to Martin's being cast in a recurring role on "The Lucy Show" (1962) as series start Lucille Ball's next door neighbor "Harry Conners" when Lucy's new series debuted in 1962, Martin remained as a regular on "Lucy" through the 1963-64 season.
As the success of their act increased, Rowan & Martin began making appearances on TV during the 1960s. In 1966, the duo were cast as the co-hosts for the "The Dean Martin Summer Show" (1966) on N.B.C.. The following year, when N.B.C. decided it wanted a new comic variety show that would have cross-generational appeal, producers Ed Friendly and George Schlatter hired Rowan & Martin to co-host a one-time special, "Laugh-In", that would serve as a pilot for the potential series. The special was a success, and "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967) debuted the following year. It was a smash hit, proving to be one of the top-rated shows of the late 1960s, and had a huge impact on American pop culture during the first years of its five-year run. The series was canceled in 1973.
In 1969, Rowan & Martin made an attempt to recapture the small-screen magic of "Laugh-In" on the big screen, but The Maltese Bippy (1969) was a flop. After the cancellation of their series, Rowan & Martin generally parted ways, professionally, as Dan Rowan was a diabetic and limited his work. Like Rowan, Martin became a frequent panelist on game shows such as "Match Game 73" (1973). He also hosted the "Mindreaders" (1979) game show in 1979, but the show was not a success. Martin eventually launched a new career as a TV director, serving as the chief director of the 1980s sitcom "Newhart" (1982).
On the personal front, Martin was most known for his two marriages to Playboy Playmate of the Year Dolly Read (1971-75; 1978-present). Martin's first wife was the former Peggy Connelly, by whom he had two sons, Richard Martin, Jr. and Cary Martin.