Back To:- Desert Memorial Park - Celebrity Graves - Celebrity Graves out of LA
The Final Resting Place of Frank Sinatra.
12th.December 1915 - 14th.May 1998 Anthony Dolly Vincent Mazzola
Plot 148 Plot 149 Plot 150 Plot 151
Plot B is the first lawned area ahead on your right, as you
enter the front gate. Count to the 8th.row and
Frank's grave can be found about 20yds to your right, 3 past his father.
Cause of Death - Heart Attack.
Francis Albert Sinatra was a popular and highly acclaimed male vocalist. Renowned for his impeccable phrasing and timing, critics place him alongside such artists as Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles as one of the most important, popular and influential musical figures of the 20th
century. Sinatra had a larger-than-life presence in the public eye, and over a seven decade career in show business, became an American icon, his brash, sometimes swaggering attitude, was embodied by his signature song "My Way", and his frequent gutsy cinematic performances. He also garnered considerable attention due to his alleged connections with the Mafia.
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1915. He was the only child of a quiet Sicilian fireman, Anthony Martin Sinatra (1894-1969). Anthony had immigrated to the United States in 1895. His mother, Natalie Della Gavarante (1896-1977), was a talented, tempestuous Ligurian, who worked as a part-time abortionist. Known as "Hatpin Dolly," she emigrated in 1897. Although it is part of the Sinatra folklore that Frank had an impoverished childhood, he was actually brought up in middle-class surroundings, due to his father's secure job as a fireman and his mother's strong political ties to the Democratic Party in Hoboken. Following his teen years in New Jersey, Sinatra was interested in serving his country during World War II. But on December 9, 1941, close to his 26th birthday, Sinatra was classified as 4-F at Newark Induction Center, due to a punctured eardrum he suffered from a difficult forceps delivery. This allowed Sinatra to pursue entertainment, rather than being enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
In September of 1935 he appeared on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour as part a group called the Hoboken Four. The group won the show's talent contest and toured with Bowes. Sinatra then took a job as a singing waiter and MC at the Rustic Club in Englewood, NJ. In 1939 bandleader and trumpet player Harry James heard Sinatra on the radio. James hired Sinatra and the two recorded together for the first time on July 13, 1939. At the end of the year he left James to join the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra where he rose to fame as a singer. His vast appeal to the "bobby soxers," as teenage girls were called, revealed a whole new audience for popular music, which had appealed mainly to adults up to that time. (The complete span of his career with Dorsey was released in the 1994 box set The Song Is You.) It was as a featured singer with Dorsey that Sinatra made his earliest film appearances, such as the 1942 Eleanor Powell/Red Skelton comedy, Ship Ahoy in which the uncredited singer performed a couple of songs. He later signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist with some success, particularly during the musicians' recording strikes. Vocalists were not part of the musician union and were allowed to record during the ban by using a cappella vocal backing.
Of this first phase of Sinatra's career, it can be said that it anticipated virtually every phase of what, in the 1960s, would be called "the youth movement." His sudden--and for many his alarming--appeal to teenagers became a topic of journalistic and even sociological comment. Later musical idols would pass through the same stages of massive initial appeal, decline, and retrenchment, but few, however, would manage to attract as many new audiences as Sinatra did. This became essential to any popular music career that aspired to longevity, and Sinatra did it in the 1950s and repeatedly afterward, even into the final decade of his career. Sinatra's singing career was in decline in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a period when novelty tunes became popular with audiences and during which Sinatra's ageing would cause some loss of appeal to new teen-age audiences. Nor was his career helped by the adverse publicity that follows would-be comebacks in the history of American show business: Sinatra would succeed not merely in re-establishing his popularity but in taking it far beyond what he had achieved in the 1940s. This renewal would come about not in the recording studio but in Hollywood.
Sinatra had begun appearing in movies in the early 1940s, but usually in musicals, often undistinguished ones. He also appeared on a weekly television show on CBS for two years from 1950-1952 (and would try again for one year on ABC from 1957-1958). What might be called Sinatra's second career began as a full-fledged dramatic actor when he played the scrappy Pvt. Angelo Maggio in the eve-of-Pearl Harbor drama "From Here to Eternity" (1953), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This role and performance became legendary at the time as the key comeback moment in Sinatra's career. Virtually overnight, his career recovered. The following year, Sinatra played a crazed, cold blooded assassin determined to kill the President in the thriller "Suddenly"; critics found Sinatra's performance one of the most chilling portrayals of a psychopath ever committed to film. This was followed in 1955 by his portrayal of a heroin addict in 1955's The Man with the Golden Arm, for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination.
Soon after "From Here to Eternity", Sinatra's singing career rebounded. During the 1950s, he signed with Capitol Records, where he worked with many of the finest arrangers of the era, most notably Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May, and with whom he made a series of highly-regarded recordings. By the early 1960s, he was a big enough star to start his own record label: Reprise Records. His position with the label earned him the long-lasting nickname "The Chairman of the Board".
The famous Sinatra comeback is the stuff of American legend, and, indeed, there seemed little in either his 1940s film career or his radio and television performances of the early 1950s to predict the dramatic success he would enjoy on screen in the 1950s and 1960s. However, the musical turnaround should not have been unexpected. At the very end of his Columbia recording career, in two performances in 1952 Sinatra had given advance warning of what would become the new sound he achieved in the 1950s at Capitol. In "The Birth of the Blues" it would be the sound of the new and "swinging" Sinatra: a hipper, tougher, more masculine persona than the sometimes boyish Sinatra of the 1940s. In "I'm A Fool To Want You" he anticipated the darker, melancholic sound of the great "torch" albums of the 1950s. Neither performance was sufficient to prevent Columbia from declining to renew his contract, in what must surely rank as one of the great errors in the business history of American popular music.
In the 1950s and 1960s, this new Sinatra would become the most popular attraction in Las Vegas, the venue of choice for performers of his era as the rise of rock and roll began to reduce the market for their recordings. He was friends with many other entertainers, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr, actor Peter Lawford, comedian Joey Bishop, and sometimes Shirley MacLaine. They formed the core of the Rat Pack, a loose group of entertainers who were friends and socialized together--and whose wild and unpredictable antics would dominate show business news for much of the period 1958-63.
Sinatra played a major role in the desegregation of Nevada hotels and casinos in the 1960s. Sinatra led his fellow members of the Rat Pack in refusing to patronize hotels and casinos that denied service to Sammy Davis Jr. With the release of the film Ocean's Eleven (1960), the Rat Pack became the subject of great media attention, and this gave the Rat Pack, Sinatra in particular the leverage the needed to force hotels and casinos to end segregation. In 2001, after Sinatra's death, Las Vegas named Frank Sinatra Drive, a new street parallel to Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard, in his honor.
Sinatra was close to the Kennedy family and was a friend and strong supporter of President John F. Kennedy. Years later, Sinatra's youngest daughter Tina would state that Sinatra and mob figure Sam Giancana had helped Kennedy win a crucial primary election in 1960 by helping to deliver the union vote. Sinatra is said to have introduced Kennedy to Judith Campbell, who had been a girlfriend of both Sinatra's and Giancana. Campbell allegedly began a relationship with Kennedy; eventually Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy became alarmed and told his brother to distance himself from Sinatra. Sinatra would lose his Nevada casino license in 1963 when Giancana was seen in the Cal-Neva Lodge casino, of which Sinatra was a part owner.
Sinatra resumed his strong film work with the 1962 paranoid classic The Manchurian Candidate, in which he plays the troubled, frequently blinking, but nonetheless resolute protagonist. In 1965's Von Ryan's Express, Sinatra added dimensionality to a World War II action role. Other film appearances during this time were either cameos or, as in the case of 1964's Robin and the Seven Hoods, critically-panned efforts to trade in on his image.
In the 1970s Sinatra staged a retirement and several comebacks, recording less frequently but continuing to perform in Las Vegas and around the world. It was a period during which, by taking to the road again, Sinatra sought to bring the great American songbook of the 1920s and 1930s to a much wider audience than the one that frequented the casinos of Las Vegas.
In 1981 Sinatra's Nevada casino license was reinstated after hearings by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Indeed, journalist Pete Hamill wrote in his book, Why Sinatra Matters, that Sinatra was "the most investigated American performer since John Wilkes Booth."
"Sure, I knew some of those guys," Sinatra himself said. "I spent a lot of time in saloons. And saloons are not run by the Christian Brothers. There were a lot of guys around, and they came out of Prohibition, and they ran pretty good saloons. I was a kid. I worked in the places that were open. They paid you, and the checks didn't bounce. I didn't meet any Nobel Prize winners in saloons. But if Francis of Assisi was a singer and worked in saloons, he would've met the same guys."
In 1986, investigative journalist Kitty Kelley published a biography of Sinatra entitled His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra went to court to try to prevent it from being published, bringing a $2 million lawsuit against her because he believed that the book painted him in an unattractive light, and he accused her of misrepresenting herself as his authorized biographer. He later withdrew his lawsuit amid much publicity and the book went on to become number one on the New York Times best seller list and was a huge seller not only in the US but also in England, Canada, and Australia. Another Sinatra nemesis, the Hollywood gossip columnist Rona Barrett, came closer to a depiction of his character in her roman a clef, The Lovo-maniacs, which attempted a fictional insight into his complex personality. Another book Sinatra might have prevented from being published had he still been alive is "Mr S: The Last Word on Frank Sinatra" (2003), co-written by his valet George Jacobs.
Sinatra's singing career continued into the 1990s, most notably with his commercially-successful Duets albums on which he sang with other stars such as U2's Bono. He continued to perform live until February 1995, but the nearly 80-year-old singer often had to rely on teleprompters for his lyrics, to compensate for his failing memory.
Marriage and family
Sinatra was married to his childhood sweetheart, Nancy Barbato, in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 4, 1939. They had three children together: Nancy Sinatra (born June 8, 1940), Frank Sinatra, Jr. (born January 10, 1944), and Christina "Tina" Sinatra (born June 20, 1948). Although Sinatra did not remain faithful to his wife, he was by many accounts a devoted father. However, his affair with Ava Gardner became public and the couple was separated in 1950. They were divorced on October 29, 1951 despite Nancy Sr.'s (as she was sometimes known) religious qualms and objections. According to public reports Frank and Nancy Sr. remained on at least civil terms, if not better, and Nancy would recount how Frank still loved her cooking and would send someone by to pick up her home-made specialties many decades after they separated. Sinatra married the actress Ava Gardner on November 7, 1951, only ten days after his divorce from his first wife became final. They were separated on October 27, 1953 but were not divorced until 1957. She was considered to be his truest love, but that did not guarantee marital success and stability in Hollywood. Sinatra proposed to actress Lauren Bacall, whom he had been seeing since shortly after her husband Humphrey Bogart died in 1957, but reneged when word of their relationship became public.
On December 8, 1963, Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped. Sinatra paid the kidnappers' $240,000 ransom demand (even offering $1,000,000 if only his son would be returned, though the kidnappers bizarrely turned down this offer), and his son was released unharmed on December 10. Because the kidnappers demanded that Sinatra call them only from payphones, Sinatra carried a roll of dimes with him throughout the ordeal, and this became a lifetime habit. The kidnappers were subsequently apprehended and convicted. A movie called "Stealing Sinatra" has been shot about this incident.
Sinatra married actress Mia Farrow, 30 years his junior, in 1966. They were divorced two years later. In 1976, Sinatra married Barbara Blakeley Marx (formerly married to Zeppo Marx), who converted to Catholicism to marry him. She remained his wife until his death, although her relations with Sinatra's children were consistently portrayed as stormy, something Nancy Sinatra (Jr.) confirmed when she publicly claimed that Barbara had not bothered to call Frank's children even when the end was near, although they were close by, and the children missed the opportunity to be at their father's bedside when he died.
Alleged organized crime links
Sinatra has been frequently linked to members of the Mafia and it has long been rumored that his career was aided behind the scenes by organized crime. Detailing allegations of extortion against Ronald Alpert for $100,000. Sinatra publicly rejected these accusations many times, and was never charged with any crimes in connection with them.
The character of Johnny Fontane in Mario Puzo's The Godfather was believed to have been based on Sinatra, though interviews by Kitty Kelley for her biography of Sinatra established that this wasn't the case.
A frequent visitor, property owner and benefactor in the Palm Springs, California area, Sinatra wished to be buried in the desert he grew to love so much. Frank Sinatra died at the age of 82 of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, following a long battle with coronary heart disease, kidney disease, bladder cancer, and dementia. He had undergone surgery to remove part of his intestines in 1986, and had suffered a bad fall from the stage in 1994.
His funeral was held on May 20, 1998 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Sinatra's last words were (according to his daughter Nancy Sinatra, as told to Variety senior columnist, Army Archerd): "I'm losing it." Sinatra was buried a few miles away from Palm Springs next to his parents in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, a quiet, unassuming cemetery near his famous compound in Rancho Mirage, California, which is located on the beautiful, tree-lined thoroughfare that bears his name. His longtime friend, Jilly Rizzo, who died in a Rancho Mirage car crash in 1992, is buried nearby as is pop star, former Palm Springs mayor and Congressman, Sonny Bono.
Legend has it that Sinatra was buried in a blue suit with a flask of Jack Daniel's whiskey, a roll of ten dimes (in reference to the kidnapping of his son, see above), a Zippo lighter (which some take to be a reference to his mob connections) and a pack of Camel cigarettes. The words "The Best is Yet to Come" are imprinted on his tombstone.