“I’m a sucker for Grandpa’s song Dream Lover. And I think I look a lot like him. His strong, Italian features were definitely passed down to me and some say I was lucky enough to get my grandma’s eyes and lips.”

It’s a story as old as time that grandchildren and grandparents share a profound connection that’s genuinely heartwarming. But for the grandkids of the two world-famous artists from the 1950s, this also translated into an uncanny resemblance.

Bobby Darin was a musician, singer, and actor. He began his career as a songwriter and recorded his first single in 1958. After his stellar performance on the charts, he was prepared to try his luck on the silver screen.

He got his big shot in 1960 when he earned the role of a junior lead opposite Sandra Dee in the Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida film, “Come September.” While on location in Italy, Bobby immediately started to pursue Dee.

Interestingly, Bobby didn’t miss a single chance to confess his feelings for Dee. Their son, Dodd Mitchell Darin, revealed:

“He [Bobby] was standing on the shore wearing a yellow suit, and she [Sandra] was in a boat just pulling in to dock. ‘Will you marry me?’ He called out to her. ‘Not today,’ she replied.”

Dee wasn’t impressed with her co-star’s tactics, and she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She found his methods conniving and didn’t want anything to do with him, said Dodd.

American singer Bobby Darin (1936 - 1973) and his wife, actress Sandra Dee (1942 - 2005), circa 1964. | Source: Getty images

But Bobby was determined to turn things around, and he resorted to juvenile tactics. Whenever he saw Dee, he shouted, “Sandra Dee has a flea.” Moreover, he also wooed Dee’s gorgeous young mother, Mary, with his charming demeanor.

Fortunately, his methods worked, and Mary finally convinced Dee to accompany Bobby on a carriage ride. The fateful meeting enabled Bobby to voice his feelings openly. Regarding the lovely evening, Dodd mentioned:

“Bobby told her he acted as he did because he was scared. He was out of his element. He wasn’t the main attraction. He was falling in love with her and was at a loss how to get her to pay attention to him.”

Soon afterward, the two became a thing, laughing and flirting all across Rome. The couple eloped on December 1, 1960, much to the annoyance of everyone, including Dee’s mom. But Dee’s initial thoughts about Bobby had finally changed. She told Dodd:

“I do remember my thoughts that first morning when I woke up in bed with my husband. I thought I had never felt so safe in my life as I felt with Bobby.”

American actor and singer Bobby Darin with his wife, actress Sandra Dee at the 33rd Academy Awards, Santa Monica, California on April 17, 1961. | Source: Getty Images

By 1963, things drastically changed for the couple, and their juvenile antics caught up with them. Bobby became convinced that his wife was having an affair with her “Tammy and the Doctor” co-star Peter Fonda, and he had a lackey tell her he wanted a divorce.

But Dodd stated that Dee denied the allegations and said she and Fonda were merely good co-workers. The couple’s separation was short-lived, and they reconciled soon afterward. In 1961, they welcomed their son, Dodd.

But things went awry again when in 1966, Bobby saw Dee conversing with Warren Beatty at a buffet at the home of Joan Collins and Anthony Newley. He immediately had their psychiatrist tell her he wanted a divorce. Sadly, this time, it was permanent.

The late 60s were cumbersome for the former lovers. Bobby became furious, bitter, and scared. He knew he wouldn’t live to be an older man as he developed sepsis and suffered from dementia. On his son’s twelfth birthday, he called to wish from the hospital.

Dodd recalled that his father sounded hysterical and unintelligible and sobbed as he confessed his love and apologized for his absence. A few days later, on December 19, 1973, Dodd was at his best friend John’s house when Bobby died at 37 after open-heart surgery.

Dee called Kay Gable, Clark Gable’s widow, and said she was coming to get Dodd. Kay, whose son John was born after his father’s demise, comforted Dee and told her to let Dodd have a good night’s sleep.

American singer Bobby Darin (1936 - 1973) celebrates the birthday of his wife, actress Sandra Dee (1942 - 2005), with their son Dodd, circa 1966. | Source: Getty Images

Despite their separation, Bobby’s death changed Dee most unusually, and Dodd witnessed his mom reeling from the irreparable loss. Dodd recounted:

“My mom never recovered from my dad’s passing. They were divorced and hadn’t been together for years but a lot of her died the day he died.”

When Bobby was posthumously inducted into “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” on January 17, 1990, Dodd accepted the award on his behalf. He also took the responsibility of overseeing his father’s music catalog and became in charge of marketing his parents’ names.

In 1993, Dodd tied the knot with the love of his life, Audrey Tannenbaum, the costume designer on NBC’s show “Mad About You.” The couple welcomed two girls, Olivia Darin and Alexa Rose Darin.


Olivia and Alexa are the granddaughters of Hollywood’s dream couple, Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. Dodd’s eldest daughter, Alexa, is named after Dee, born “Alexandra Zuck.”

In an interview with DailyMail in 2014, the Darin sisters shared that they didn’t carry their grandpa’s singing gene, but they wanted to follow in their late grandma’s footsteps.

Alexa revealed that she loved writing and saw it as a form of self-expression and was interested in modeling and acting. Olivia agreed that she enjoyed modeling, dancing, and doing plays and had also taken acting lessons.

Both the sisters dabbled in modeling and already had a thing for the camera since they were young. Alexa divulged that she considered herself lucky to own her late grandma’s signature white sunglasses. Regarding her late grandfather, she stated:

“I’m a sucker for Grandpa’s song Dream Lover. And I think I look a lot like him. His strong, Italian features were definitely passed down to me and some say I was lucky enough to get my grandma’s eyes and lips.”

On the other hand, Olivia expressed that she has seen a few of her grandma’s movies, and “Gidget” was her favorite. She also admitted to listening to her grandfather’s music. Further, she added:

“I think I look like my grandma, but a brunette version of her. And I have a pair of her high heels. My mom has her charm bracelet and some of her jewelry.”

Alexa revealed that she was always learning more about her grandparents. Unfortunately, the Darin sisters never met Bobby, as he died when their father was only 12. However, they considered themselves lucky to spend a few years with Dee.

Alexa recalled that her grandma told her fascinating stories about how it felt to live in the public eye. Dodd also shared exciting stories about his father’s life with Alexa and Olivia. Regarding her grandparents, Alexa said:

“I think one of the most interesting facts about my grandparents is that when my grandfather died, he and Sandra were not married. After seeing them as a couple in countless photos, not to mention movies, it was hard for me to picture them apart.”

Deep down inside, Alexa and Olivia longed to sit down with their grandparents and ask them endless questions. Olivia stated that she would love to spend an entire day getting to know her grandpa and grandma, while Alexa yearned for an opportunity to meet her grandfather.

The oldest Darin sister said she was curious about her grandparents’ intriguing lifestyles and wanted to know them personally. Even though she had seen their pictures and heard stories about them, she still felt a strong urge to talk to them.

The sisters admitted they learned about grandpa from their father, who always told them stories and showed them videos. However, it wasn’t until Alexa turned 15 and Olivia was ten that the girls realized the magnitude of their grandparents’ fame and the many lives they touched.

Both girls planned to attend college and were inspired by their grandpa’s sheer strength and determination to strive and go in the direction of their heartfelt dreams and aspirations. Alexa graduated from college in 2018.

The Darin sisters are pretty close, and Olivia often shares candid and cuddly images with Alexa. For Alexa’s 24th birthday in July 2020, Olivia took to her Instagram and posted a beautiful collage with the birthday girl. The caption read:

“To my wiener dog loving, cocktail making, one of a kind GAL! you give the expression “built in best friend” a whole new meaning. i couldn’t love you more! to 24 years baby (sic).”

In addition to giving the netizens a glimpse into her life, Olivia has posted heartwarming images from yesteryear to honor her late grandparents. The pictures served as befitting tributes to legendary stars, Bobby and Dee, garnering sheer love from people far and wide.

One of the photos showed the dreamy couple in their full bloom, pictured with their only child and Olivia and Alexa’s father, Dodd. Another one captured the couple’s dazzling chemistry and undeniable attraction, vivid enough despite the black and white background.

While Bobby’s premature death deprived him of the chance to see his son become a father, Dodd tried his best to tell his daughters about their grandpa and grandma.

Alexa and Olivia are not only the perfect mix of their famous grandparents, but the sisters are also inspired to follow in Bobby and Dee’s footsteps, and we hope they make good on their hopes and wishes.