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What happened to Frank Sinatra’s first wife?



Nancy Sinatra Sr

Before his death, Frank Sinatra explored reconciling with his first wife, Nancy Sinatra Sr., according to a friend

Nancy Sinatra Sr

Nancy Sinatra Sr : During his dying years, Frank Sinatra supposedly explored reconciling with his first wife, Nancy Sinatra Sr.

Tony Oppedisano, a member of the late star’s management team who also managed comedian and close friend Don Rickles, made the assertion.

The award-winning producer just published “Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours,” a memoir about their lengthy connection, which began when Oppedisano was only 21 years old.

Nancy, he said Fox News, was the one who encouraged him to tell his storey before she died in 2018 at the age of 101.

“Nancy was perhaps the single longest friendship he’d ever had,” Oppedisano added.

“And there was a sense of security there. But that didn’t change the fact that Frank was clearly head over heels in love with Barbara, his previous wife.

Their marriage lasted 22 years, which was the longest of any in his storey.

And it was probably never going to happen because there would have been just too many people injured.

“There was no way of putting that connection back together by revisiting a marriage without what would have transpired between him and Barbara at the time,” Oppedisano remarked about his pal.

“As a result, he was caught between a rock and a hard place. They did, however, remain really close.”

Nancy and Sinatra met as youngsters and married in 1939, just as the singer’s career was beginning to take off.

He had earned a 15-minute radio show on local station WAAT three years before marrying the former Nancy Barbato.

The Sinatras lived in a small apartment in Jersey City during the early years of their marriage, when their two eldest children were born.

Nancy worked as a secretary for a time while her husband worked as a singing waiter.

The pair went to Los Angeles after Sinatra became a pop music phenomenon in the 1940s, where he became a movie star and infamous womaniser.

After his liaison with actress Ava Gardner became known, Nancy left Sinatra.

Sinatra married Gardner just weeks after the couple’s divorce was finalised in 1951. Nancy raised Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina, their three children.


Nancy committed herself to family and numerous famous friends after the divorce and Gardner marriage gossip died down, essentially retiring from the spotlight.

She outlived not just her ex-husband, who passed away in 1998, but also her son, who passed away in 2016.

“Nancy genuinely cared about Frank,” claimed Oppedisano. “After a time, I felt confident enough to ask her some personal things, and she didn’t object.

‘When you first learnt about Frank and Ava, why didn’t you give him a divorce right away?’ I inquired.

“‘Well, since that was just one facet of his life,’ she explained. He always came home to me at the end of the day.

He was a fantastic father from the start. No matter what, dad was always there for the kids.

The only reason I eventually granted him a divorce was that, back then, if you were a public figure, like he was, and you were having an affair with someone, and it was discovered that you were married and had children, it could seriously harm your career.'”

‘It was hurting him professionally,’ Nancy remarked, according to Oppedisano. “‘And so that’s why I divorced him.’ Let us talk about love.”

Nancy had a friendly relationship with Sinatra. He was alleged to have put in requests for pasta and other Italian meals she was known to be an expert at preparing over the years.

“There is no hatred between Sinatra and his first wife, simply great respect and fondness,” Gary Talese stated in 1966.

“And he’s been welcomed into her home for a long time, and he’s even been known to show up at weird hours, stoke the fire, lie on the sofa, and fall asleep.”

Nancy never married again. And for her, the choice was clear.

“I recall asking her, ‘Why didn’t you ever remarry?'” Oppedisano said. “‘For one thing, the kids were small,’ she explained.

I never wanted my children to have any doubts about who their father was.

That was always my top priority. And [through the years], I considered it.

And I thought to myself, ‘How am I going to surpass it now that you’ve married Frank Sinatra?'”

Nancy, according to Oppedisano, may have clung to the hope that the pair will have a Hollywood ending at some point in their lives.

He added, “I think that was something she dreamt about, that they may be able to figure out a way to get back together.” “However, they understood it was unlikely to happen.”

He argued, though, that their deep bond was apparent.

He explained, “They both shared the same mindset regarding a relationship, whether it would last or not.” “It’s wonderful to engage into a marriage.

However, if that marriage isn’t built on the foundation of a strong relationship, you’re constructing houses on sand. It’s going to fall apart sooner or later.

Nancy was always a strong supporter of Frank during his formative years, when he was attempting to make a name for himself.

As the mother of his children, she remained dedicated.”

Sinatra and Gardner were married from 1951 to 1957. He later married actress Mia Farrow, with whom he had a brief relationship from 1966 until 1968.

The celebrity married Barbara Sinatra for the second time, from 1976 to his death at the age of 82.

Barbara, a former model who went on to become a well-known child advocate and philanthropist, died in 2017 at the age of 90.

At her funeral, Oppedisano said he was an honorary pallbearer.

Barbara met Sinatra through her second husband, comedian Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Until she left Marx for Sinatra in 1973, the couple had been close friends and neighbours with the singer.

In her 2011 biography, “Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank Sinatra,” she remembered that Sinatra didn’t ask his fourth wife to marry him until she threatened to leave.

“The world loved Frank Sinatra,” Oppedisano smiled, “but at the end of the day, he was just a regular person with a dream who cared a lot about people.”

This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.

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