Frank Sinatra's first wife  Nancy dies at the age of 101

by 14/07/2018 02:07:00 0 comments 1 Views

'She was a blessing' Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy dies at the age of 101

  • Nancy Sr. died peacefully on Friday evening, according to her daughter Nancy Sinatra Jr.
  • Frank married New Jersey native Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children together; singer Nancy Jr., Frank Jr. and Tina
  • Nancy was his childhood sweetheart and they married before his singing and acting career took off
  • They divorced in 1951 after Frank's affair with Ava Gardner became public 
  • Frank's daughter, Nancy Jr., a singer in her own right famed for Somethin' Stupid, said he always regretted divorcing his first love
  • The legendary Rat Pack singer went onto marry Gardner in 1951, in a union that lasted just six years, before wedding actress Mia Farrow for just two
  • His fourth and final wife was Vegas showgirl Barbara Blakeley who he married in 1976 and they were together until his death in 1998 
  • Nancy Sr. never remarried but remained friendly with her ex-husband, who would occasionally request her Italian specialties

By Hannah Parry For Dailymail.com and Associated Press

Published: 01:19 EDT, 14 July 2018 | Updated: 02:07 EDT, 14 July 2018

Frank Sinatra's first wife and childhood sweetheart Nancy has died aged 101.

Nancy Sr. died peacefully on Friday evening, according to her daughter Nancy Sinatra Jr.

Frank married New Jersey native Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children together before they divorced in 1951. The legendary singer would go onto marry another three times.  

'My mother passed away peacefully tonight at the age of 101. She was a blessing and the light of my life. Godspeed, Momma. Thank you for everything,' Nancy Jr. tweeted.

Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy (pictured with him on October 23, 1946) has died aged 101
Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy (pictured with him on October 23, 1946) has died aged 101

Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy (pictured with him on October 23, 1946) has died aged 101

Nancy Sr. died peacefully on Friday evening, according to her daughter Nancy Sinatra Jr. (pictured with her in Beverly Hills in 2011) 
Nancy Sr. died peacefully on Friday evening, according to her daughter Nancy Sinatra Jr. (pictured with her in Beverly Hills in 2011) 

Nancy Sr. died peacefully on Friday evening, according to her daughter Nancy Sinatra Jr. (pictured with her in Beverly Hills in 2011) 

Attempts to reach representatives for Sinatra Jr. late Friday were unsuccessful. 

Nancy Sr., was Frank's childhood sweetheart. 

The couple began dating as teenagers tied the knot at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey - just as Frank's singing career was about to take off.

During the marriage's early years, the Sinatras lived in a modest apartment in Jersey City, where their two eldest children were born. For a time she was employed as a secretary while her husband worked as a singing waiter.

After Frank became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town - as well as a notorious womanizer.

Frank and Nancy Sinatra on March 11, 1946, at a crowded table at Ciro's, after Sinatra won an Oscar for his performance in the film "The House I Live In" 
Frank and Nancy Sinatra on March 11, 1946, at a crowded table at Ciro's, after Sinatra won an Oscar for his performance in the film "The House I Live In" 

Frank and Nancy Sinatra on March 11, 1946, at a crowded table at Ciro's, after Sinatra won an Oscar for his performance in the film 'The House I Live In' 

Frank Sinatra crouches to kiss his daughter, Nancy Jr., goodbye while his then-wife, Nancy, watches at a train platform in 1942 - three years after they got married
Frank Sinatra crouches to kiss his daughter, Nancy Jr., goodbye while his then-wife, Nancy, watches at a train platform in 1942 - three years after they got married

Frank Sinatra crouches to kiss his daughter, Nancy Jr., goodbye while his then-wife, Nancy, watches at a train platform in 1942 - three years after they got married

Nancy Sinatra holds her newborn son, Frank, at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City, N.J in 1944
Nancy Sinatra holds her newborn son, Frank, at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City, N.J in 1944

Nancy Sinatra holds her newborn son, Frank, at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City, N.J in 1944

Nancy Sinatra Sr., sits beside a piano with her young children, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Tina Sinatra circa 1960's. She was left to raise their children after the divorce 
Nancy Sinatra Sr., sits beside a piano with her young children, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Tina Sinatra circa 1960's. She was left to raise their children after the divorce 

Nancy Sinatra Sr., sits beside a piano with her young children, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Tina Sinatra circa 1960's. She was left to raise their children after the divorce 

Eventually Nancy left him after his affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge. 

Weeks after the pair's divorce became final in 1951, Frank married Gardner, while Nancy went on to raise the couple's three children: Nancy Jr., Frank Jr. and Tina.

Their union only lasted two years because they were both 'high-strung people', Gardner later claimed.

The legendary Rat Pack singer would go onto marry actress Mia Farrow, in a marriage that lasted just two years from 1966 to 1968, before tying the knot for a fourth and final time to Vegas showgirl Barbara Blakeley in 1976 and they were together until his death in 1998.

Nancy Sinatra Sr. smiles with Paramount Pictures producer A.C. Lyles, as they attend the unveiling of a 10-ft. image of the Frank Sinatra commemorative postal stamp in 2007
Nancy Sinatra Sr. smiles with Paramount Pictures producer A.C. Lyles, as they attend the unveiling of a 10-ft. image of the Frank Sinatra commemorative postal stamp in 2007

Nancy Sinatra Sr. smiles with Paramount Pictures producer A.C. Lyles, as they attend the unveiling of a 10-ft. image of the Frank Sinatra commemorative postal stamp in 2007

Happier times: Sinatra married first love Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children before divorcing in 1951
Happier times: Sinatra married first love Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children before divorcing in 1951

Happier times: Sinatra married first love Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children before divorcing in 1951

Proud dad: Frank (pictured in 1968) with his three children Frank Jr, Tina (L) and Nancy (R) 
Proud dad: Frank (pictured in 1968) with his three children Frank Jr, Tina (L) and Nancy (R) 

Proud dad: Frank (pictured in 1968) with his three children Frank Jr, Tina (L) and Nancy (R) 

 Frank Jr, Nancy and Tina Sinatra pictured at the 85th Anniversary of Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California
 Frank Jr, Nancy and Tina Sinatra pictured at the 85th Anniversary of Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California

 Frank Jr, Nancy and Tina Sinatra pictured at the 85th Anniversary of Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank, California

Yet Frank's daughter, Nancy Jr., a singer in her own right famed for Somethin' Stupid, said he always regretted divorcing his first love. 

She told Mo Rocca onCBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood that Frank once told her that if he could go back in time he would have stayed with her mother. 

Frank hit 'rock bottom' during his divorce to Nancy Sr. and wished he could have his time over again, she said. 

Nancy Jr. told CBS: 'My mum had one great love of her life and that was her dad. To this day she still loves him and adores him.

'I asked him once, if he had it to do all over again, would he leave mom for Ava? And he said no.

'I think he hit rock bottom pretty much at that period (the divorce), in terms of work and emotion, and it was tough. I never knew anyone, and I still don't know anyone else, who felt things as deeply and took things to heart the way he did.'

But his marriage to Gardner did do wonders for Frank's career.  

She got him the role of Private Angelo Maggio in 'From Here to Eternity', which salvaged his career and won him an Oscar.  

Regrets; Frank Sinatra's daughter claims that he regretted leaving her mother to marry screen siren Ava Gardner (pictured )
Regrets; Frank Sinatra's daughter claims that he regretted leaving her mother to marry screen siren Ava Gardner (pictured )

Regrets; Frank Sinatra's daughter claims that he regretted leaving her mother to marry screen siren Ava Gardner (pictured )

The legendary Rat Pack singer would go onto marry actress Mia Farrow, in a marriage that lasted just two years from 1966 to 1968
The legendary Rat Pack singer would go onto marry actress Mia Farrow, in a marriage that lasted just two years from 1966 to 1968

The legendary Rat Pack singer would go onto marry actress Mia Farrow, in a marriage that lasted just two years from 1966 to 1968

Meanwhile, after the gossip over the divorce and Gardner marriage died down, Nancy Sinatra Sr. devoted herself to family and numerous celebrity friends, largely withdrawing from the spotlight. 

She not only outlived her husband, who died in 1998, but her son, who died in 2016. 

Sinatra on his wedding day to his fourth wife Barbara Marx, a former Las Vegas showgirl
Sinatra on his wedding day to his fourth wife Barbara Marx, a former Las Vegas showgirl

Sinatra on his wedding day to his fourth wife Barbara Marx, a former Las Vegas showgirl

She is credited, under the name Nancy Barbato, on the Internet Movie Database with just two TV and film appearances, in her daughter Nancy's 1975 concert film, 'Nancy and Lee in Las Vegas,' and in 1974 on her friend Dinah Shore's talk show.

In later years she would become known as Nancy Sr., especially after daughter Nancy became a 1960s singing star in her own right with 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' and other hit songs.

She also remained friendly with her ex-husband, the latter being said to have put in requests over the years for pasta and other Italian food dishes she was known to be an expert at preparing. 

She never remarried.

'There is no bitterness, only great respect and affection between Sinatra and his first wife,' Gay Talese wrote in 1966, 'and he has long been welcome in her home and has even been known to wander in at odd hours, stoke the fire, lie on the sofa, and fall asleep.'

 

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