‘There's room for just one star in this family,' Barbara Jane Blakely Marx Sinatra.
She looks like another pampered wife in the playground of the privileged where reality is airbrushed if not altogether abandoned. The fourth wife of Frank Sinatra is a Barbie of honey hair and Carnation complexion.
It's not butter but de-fatted spread that would not melt in her mouth. Her face is a mask of worry, wrinkle-free Revlon and her 66-year-old legs are Nautilus-toned, appendages that have seen her make the running all her life.
She's groomed like a mannequin, a perfect air-kisser who knew when it is appropriate to clasp a celebrity arm or nag her husband into ignoring that last Jack Daniels.
In the final says of the Frank Sinatra Clan it was Barbara Jane Blakely Marx Sinatra who was the business. And now is the business. The boss.The matriach. Among the family intimates she's known as Andre Previn -- the conductor of all that goes on.
Mostly off the record, she's also regarded as the Showgirl from Hell. The girl from the chorus who married the Chairman of the Board and is now the woman who runs the board. Runs everything Sinatra, in fact.
It was control rather than bliss which she introduced into the lives of Sinatra and his family when she married Ol' Blue Eyes twenty years ago this past summer. She found herself with three stepkids -- Frank Junior, Tina and Nancy who recalled:' She told me:'' Just because we are in the same family doesn't mean we have to like each other.” ‘
The beginnings were the stuff of Cinderella. Over the years the relationship between stepmum and the kids mellowed but not completely. They put on a united front with Frank Senior's rather surprising achievement of reaching 80 last December. Always simmering away, however, was the future of the family -- and the considerable royalties.
Sinatra didn't want his mug on a coffee mug but after his death people still want to be flown to the moon or find luck is a lady on this or that particular night. The marketing, merchandising and media madness which overwhelmed the man reaching 80 will be enormously escalated by his death.
His wife will pick up the pieces. The senior Sinatra lived a ten minute limousine away from Nancy Sinatra taking a hard left and a couple of tight turns off Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills . When they visited in the final days the tears were maudlin rather than angry.
Nancy Sinatra played it straight throughout the marketing of her coffee table book of her father which celebrated his 80th birthday. She nevertheless remembered that back in 1976 she was sure -- as were her brother and sister -- that her father would remarry their mother Nancy.' I will always wish that my parents had remarried. It was more than a child's wild fantasy. At one point it became a probability because they were spending a great deal of time together.
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