Feature

Taking Sinatra his way

Barbara Sinatra felt like “the luckiest woman in the world” to be Frank Sinatra's wife for 22 years.

Barbara Sinatra never had any illusions about the man she married, said Andrew Goldman in The New York Times Magazine. The former showgirl became Frank Sinatra’s fourth wife after meeting him at a party; during a game of charades, she called time on Sinatra, and he responded by grabbing the clock and smashing it against a wall. “He came from Hoboken, where the streets were very tough,” Barbara says. “I guess some of that came back when he was drinking.”

Other people might have taken the boozing and the outbursts as a warning to stay away, but Barbara found Sinatra irresistible. “He had the most vibrant, electric, deep blue eyes in the world. He had a sexual energy all his own. Even Elvis Presley, whom I’d met in Vegas, never had it quite like that.” Despite his moodiness, Sinatra showered her with diamonds, gifts, and affection. “He was always very much a gentleman, and he really cared about treating me well.”

To keep the peace, she turned a blind eye to his carousing, believing it was immaterial to their marriage. “I tried not to meddle in his personal business.’’ She felt like “the luckiest woman in the world” to be his wife for 22 years, until he died in her arms at 82. “Once he turned on the charm,” she says, “all my defenses rolled away like tumbleweed.”

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