Frank Si­na­tra’s wife, Bar­bara, dies at age 90

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES - BY JOHN ROGERS

Bar­bara Si­na­tra, the fourth wife of leg­endary singer Frank Si­na­tra and a prom­i­nent chil­dren’s ad­vo­cate and phi­lan­thropist who raised mil­lions of dol­lars to help abused chil­dren, died Tues­day at 90.

Si­na­tra died of nat­u­ral causes at her Ran­cho Mi­rage, Cal­i­for­nia, home sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends, said John Thore­sen, di­rec­tor of the Bar­bara Si­na­tra Chil­dren’s Cen­ter.

With her hus­band’s help, Bar­bara Si­na­tra founded a non-prof­it­cen­tre in 1986 to pro­vide ther­apy and other sup­port to young vic­tims of phys­i­cal, sex­ual and emo­tional abuse.

In the years since, Thore­sen said, more than 20,000 chil­dren have been treated at the cen­tre in the desert city of Ran­cho Mi­rage and hun­dreds of thou­sands more through­out the world through videos it pro­vides.

A for­mer model and Las Ve­gas show­girl, Bar­bara Si­na­tra was a prom­i­nent Palm Springs so­cialite in her own right be­fore she mar­ried her hus­band in 1976 when he was 60 and she 49. They re­mained wed un­til his death at in 1998 age 82.

She met the singer through her pre­vi­ous hus­band, Zeppo Marx of the fa­mous Marx Broth­ers com­edy team. Marx and Frank Si­na­tra had been close friends and neigh­bours in Ran­cho Mi­rage un­til she left Marx.

It was her third mar­riage, Si­na­tra’s fourth and the most en­dur­ing union for both.

Frank Si­na­tra had pre­vi­ously been mar­ried to Nancy Si­na­tra (mother of their chil­dren Nancy and Frank Jr.), as well as ac­tresses Ava Gard­ner, who died in 1990, and Mia Far­row.

Over the years, Frank and Bar­bara Si­na­tra played an ac­tive role in the chil­dren’s cen­tre.

“Frank would come over and sit and read to the kids,” Thore­sen said of the some­times volatile en­ter­tainer.

“But the best way she used Frank,” he added with a chuckle, “was she would say, ‘I need a half-mil­lion dol­lars for this, so you do a con­cert and I get half the money.”’

She re­mained ac­tive at the cen­tre un­til re­cently, push­ing for cre­ation of the video pro­gram just last year and mak­ing sure the chil­dren had any­thing they needed, Thore­sen said.

AP PHOTO

In this July 11, 1996, photo, Frank Si­na­tra and his wife Bar­bara ar­rive at Our Lady of Mal­ibu church to re­new their wed­ding vows on their 20th wed­ding an­niver­sary in Mal­ibu, Calif. Bar­bara Si­na­tra, the widow of leg­endary singer Frank Si­na­tra died Tues­day of nat­u­ral causes at her Ran­cho Mi­rage, Cal­i­for­nia, home. She was 90.

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