Frank Sinatra’s first wife 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
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.
Eventually Nancy left him after his affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge.
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’
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.
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.
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.’