×

Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra’s First Wife, Dies at 101

Nancy Sinatra Sr., the former wife of Frank Sinatra and mother of his three children, has died. She was 101.

According to a tweet posted by Sinatra’s daughter Nancy, she died Friday. “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 wrote. The cause and location of death was not released.

Sinatra, then Nancy Barbato, met Frank Sinatra in summer of 1934 in Long Branch, N.J. and they were married roughly five years later, on Feb. 4, 1939 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, N.J. Before Sinatra’s singing career took off, the couple lived in an apartment in Jersey City. Nancy Sr found work as a secretary while Frank worked as a singing waiter.

The couple’s first child, Nancy, who would go on to become a singer in her own right with the ’60s hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” was born June 8, 1940. Their son, Frank Jr., was born Jan. 10, 1944.

In 1944, after Frank had become a pop music star, the family moved to Toluca Lake, Calif. from their Jersey City home, and had a third child, Tina, on June 20, 1948.

Two years later, the Sinatras separated after Frank’s affair with Ava Gardner became public knowledge, with Frank marrying Gardner, the second of his four wives, shortly after.

Nancy Sinatra never remarried, but there was little enmity between she and her former husband. Nancy outlived both Frank, who died in 1998, and her son, who died in 2016.

“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.”

(Pictured: Nancy Sinatra Sr., right, with Mitzi Gaynor)

More Film

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

  • SONDRA LOCKESONDRA LOCKE - 1986

    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content