Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Golddigger's Rewards

Barbara Sinatra chased Frank for between nine and 13 years (sources vary) and when he finally surrendered, he'd already been married three times - and, made to be together, Frank was Barbara's third husband!  The first was an executive with the Miss Universe syndicate back in the '40s.  The second was to Zeppo ("the unfunny one") Marx in the '50s.  Barbara's son from the first marriage took "Marx" as a new last name.  A dark hint of things to come...

When Barbara finally bagged Frank, she abandoned a long career as a Las Vegas show girl and turned to spending Frank's money and establishing the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, next door to the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Springs. 

She enjoyed swanning around in Frank's wake and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.  She began to set herself up as a ruling queen of the upper class.  Naturally, this cost money - but, hey!  Frank had money!

Frank's daughters, Nancy and Tina, had initially recognized that they were now adults with lives that had taken them in other directions.  Son Frankie, Jr. didn't care much either way; he'd felt pushed into a corner since childhood.

But when Mickey Rudin, Frank's long-stand (and long suffering) lawyer told the girls that Barbara was hammering Frank to adopt her son,  who was not a cute little tyke but a 25 year old man, they went ballistic.  The consensus?  "He hasn't earned it!  Blood comes fist!"

The battle lines were drawn.  Barbara was a fearful opponent, who charged right into the fray and by using her control over Frank, usually won.  One of the first things Tina accused her of doing was alienating Mickey Rudin from Sinatra.  Rudin had been Sinatra's lawyer and manager for much of his career.  Why did he have to go?  He held Frank's Power of Attorney. 

Sinatra died in 1998 when Barbara was 71.  Two years ago, a financial magazine wrote that she was now worth $100 million dollars.  She was 84 and now she is 86 and can pat herself on the back for a very profitable career as an "alternate financial manager."

"My Father's Daughter, A Memoir" by Tina Sinatra and Jeff Coplon   Simon & Schuster   313 pages   $26.    A great read if you like inside stories on famous people.  As a contrast or simply to be fair, read "Lady Blue Eyes," Barbara's memoir.  You will note that she elevated herself a bit in the title...  Apparently with $100 million in your kick, you can call yourself anything that you choose.   And "Lady" is considerably higher up the ladder than "chorine."

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