Frank was taken to the McCormick mortuary in Inglewood, to be pumped full of
the forever fluid. He was dressed in a blue suit. His body stayed there for 5
days. Mia Farrow visited the open casket in the mortuary, and I heard that she
slipped a ring in that said, "Dream," in the casket. Nancy announced this
on the website, and pissed Barbara off royally. I dont know if this is true
either, but Nancy (with the worst plastic surgery lips Ive ever seen -
trout pout) put
Tootsie Rolls, BlackJack gum and Cherry Life Savers in his pockets.
On Tuesday the 19th, there was a rosary service for Frank at Good
Shepherd Catholic Church.
Franks casket was brought in, covered with 1000
gardenias. Pallbearers included Don Rickles and Steve Lawrence. Little
Mass cards with a picture of Frank holding a puppy
were handed out.
His body stayed in the church overnight, for the funeral the next day. The
church was filled with white roses and cherry blossoms. Some of the attendees
included a very large Liza with a Z, Jack Nicholson, Jack Lemmon, Mia Farrow,
Dom DeLuise, Marlo Thomas, Tom Selleck, Bruce Springsteen, Lorna Luft (how did
she ever free her schedule?), Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis, Bob Dylan, Vic Damone,
Diahann Carroll, Debbie Reynolds, Larry King, Robert Wagner, Tony Curtis,
Gregory Peck and Wayne Newton. Deep breath. Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Ben
Vereen, Jill St. John, Milton Berle, Tim Conway, Connie Stevens, Don Rickles,
Kirk Douglas and Tony Danza also attended. Nancy Reagan showed up late, and the
Secret Service made Ed McMahon move.
Robert Wagner spoke, and reportedly broke down sobbing. Frank
Jr. spoke and
said his father "lived to a ripe old age, and it certainly wasnt because
he took care of himself." The rest of the spoiled ungrateful Sinatra
children spoke as well. Midway though the service, Franks song "Put Your
Dreams Away," was played. Nancy Sinatra supposedly slipped a mini bottle of
Jack Daniels into Franks casket (was there any more room?). Also stuck in the
big box were a pack of Camels, a Zippo lighter and 10 dimes. I guess the dimes
date back to the 1963 kidnapping attempt (long story, dont take me there) of
Frank Jr. He never wanted to get caught unable to make a phone call.
Afterwards, Franks casket
was taken by hearse to Van Nuys,
flown in a private plane destined for Palm Springs, to
be buried in Desert Memorial Park.
His burial vault is bronze lined.
Frank left his wife Barbara most of his estate and gave each of his kids
a significant sum of cash and royalties. Its legend that Barbara and the kids
did not get along. A provision in Franks will stated that if anyone contested
it, they would immediately be disinherited. A big ol "SHADDAP!" from
beyond the grave.
In January of 2000, Frank Jr announced that he is dropping the
"Junior" from his name. Now, imagine seeing "Frank Sinatra"
on a billboard now. It just doesnt seem right.
Trivia: The sign outside Franks Palm Spring Estate read, "Forget the
dog, beware of the Owner."
More: When Frank heard that Woody Allen was sleeping with Mias adopted
daughter, he reportedly offered to break Woodys legs.
Enough Trivia: "The Rat Pack," was originally lead by Humphrey
Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Just a bunch of drinking buddies that hung out at the
Bogie/Bacall house in Holmby Hills, and included Judy Garland. Once Bogie died,
Frank carried on the tradition. Made it his own, really.
Findadeath.com friend David Fowles took this snap of
star, in Palm Springs.
May 16, 2003: The post office in Hoboken, NJ, has been
renamed after Frank to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death. I'm sure
he would have been flattered. Nancy Sinatra was on hand for the festivities.
August 2003: Findadeath.com friend Matt Andrews
sends us this: Some new info from the Sinatra book that came out in June
2003. According to George Jacobs' book (Frank Sinatra's personal valet from
1953-1968), Sinatra had several personal quirks. He was a neat freak,
never showering less than four times a day. He hated drugs, booze-good,
drugs-bad (even though Peter Lawford and JFK did lines of cocaine at his Palm
Springs home). He wore "elevator" shoes and had a morning
"hairpiece ritual" that took 30 minutes every morning. He was
apparently quite well hung. He had affairs with everyone including Marilyn
Monroe, Greta Garbo, Lana Turner, etc, etc.
UPDATE February 2005, from Findadeath friend Eric:
Regarding the Manson Family - Susan Atkins had this to
say, "Frank Sinatra was on the list, they were going to hang him from a
meat hook while playing his music, skin him alive & then make purses that
would be sold in all the hippie shops in the district, that way everyone could
own a piece of Frank Sinatra."
I'm reading a book by Sinatra's valet George
Jacobs. Fascinating book. He didn't consider Frank a racist, but
Frank's nickname for George was "Spook." George is black.
Dean Martin was Wop, Gene Kelly was Shanty, Cary Grant was Sheenie, Jerry Lewis
was Jew, Laurence Harvey was Ladyboy and Johnny Mathis was the African Queen.
It's a great book, and really blows the lid off of
Frank and Mia's marriage, and really REALLY REALLY goes after Joe Kennedy.
Thanks for Mark and Donna for turning me on to that.
November 2003, my pal
Lisa Burks sends us this great information about Frank's bodyguard. Thanks
Lisa. Top research.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BANJO? -- Remember back
in 1976 when mobster-turned-informant Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno
squealed in open court that Frank Sinatra (through Jilly Rizzo, 'natch)
had asked The Family to break the legs of his own bodyguard,
Andy "Banjo" Celentano? This is the bodyguard whom Frank
later claimed to have never known, despite Shecky Greene and others going
on record as having had their clocks cleaned by the same man on Sinatra's
behalf. He said, he said, he said.
Anyway, The Weasel's widely-publicized
story goes that Mr. S. was none too pleased that Banjo had allegedly supplied
behind-the-scenes tidbits to the National Enquirer, and was
following up that no-no with plans to write a tell-all book. He
supposedly wasn't to be clipped -- at least not right away -- just
roughed up enough to convince him to put down his pen. Hospitalization
was the result of choice, says Jimmy, and it was a favor The
Weasel & Co. were willing to do, if only they could find the guy.
Banjo was living with his wife and kids in
Burbank, California at the time. Now, maybe it's just me
because I'm familiar with the area, but I can't imagine how a 6-foot-plus,
240-pounder sporting a handlebar mustache, who has been described by his own
daughter as being a dead-ringer for Tony Soprano, could blend in
unnoticed in such a quaint hamlet. But, according to Jimmy's
authorized biography "The Last Mafioso," Celentano wasn't listed in
the phone book so the job went by the wayside. (Editorial Note: Maybe the
problem was that they were looking up "Celamtano" (sic) as he
was repeatedly referred to in the book. Good thing for Andy that spell
check and Google hadn't been invented yet, yaknowwhatimean?)
According to "Last Mafioso" author
Orvid Demaris, Weasel associate Mike Rizzitello was found to be carrying a
piece of paper with Banjo's name on it when he was arrested by Los
Angeles police in January 1978. They questioned Jimmy about it, filed a
report, but nothing was ever done about it because they and the FBI wanted to
pick his brain about Bigger Fish for their frying pan. And, as it turned
out, unbeknownst to just about everyone involved, Banjo was already dead by
that then. Apparently they missed the October 11, 1977 front page
story in The Burbank Daily Review titled "Sinatra's bodyguard
dies in city hospital." *duh*
Author Demaris followed up on Banjo's
whereabouts, noting that his cause of death was a heart attack. But
seeing as he writes about him as Celamtano I wasn't convinced that
he had pulled the right death certificate. So I went directly to The
Celentano family with my concerns. His daughter, Toni, graciously sets
the record straight here, exclusively for Find-A-Death readers:
"In response to your question about my
father, he had heart disease and died of a massive coronary heart attack at
age 58 -- the same as all of his brothers who have since died the same death
at young ages. As for a 'contract being put out on my father,' it's all
fabricated nonsense. My father held Frank Sinatra in high regard, and from
what I understand, remained on good terms with Mr. Sinatra and his family
until his death."
As for the National Enquirer,
Toni confirmed to me that they have several close friends at the magazine (she
once published "Music Confidential" through the same
company) and that Banjo did indeed write a few stories, but they were all
decidedly pro-Sinatra. Nothing worth breaking bones over. She
says that the book rumor, however, is false.
Coincidentally, on October 8th -- about two
weeks prior to my pursuing this story -- Toni noted on her website this about her father: "Yesterday was the 26th anniversary of my
father's death. He died young of a heart attack and I remember how he used to
joke that we'd all hang out at his grave for the first few months and then
we'd stop coming around. That part is true, but I've never forgotten
I don't think he should be forgotten either --
you can visit his grave cyberly here.
Oh, and for those Enquiring minds who want
to know: Andy acquired his nickname early in life. Growing up he
wore round glasses that looked like banjos.
Back to Frank:
Findadeath.com friend Ken Barocas sends this: "I heard Mia Farrow on the Howard Stern show, and Howard
asked Mia if Frank offered to break Woody-Li's legs. Mia said yes, adding "Frank is so sweet" (Wow!). Double wow. Thanks, Ken.
Hey Scott, I was reading Lisa's tale about Sinatra's bodyguard, and thought
we'd all enjoy a spiritual moment with the following news, featured on imdb.com. The
"big hands" are a clear sign that this is the return of the late, lamented Mr. C.
Rachel Griffiths Gives Birth to Banjo
Six Feet Under actress Rachel Griffiths has given birth to her first child
with husband Andrew Taylor, a baby boy named Banjo. Banjo Patrick Taylor was born in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, weighing 3.4 kilograms - just a day
after Griffiths presented an award to actress pal Toni Collette at the Australian Film Institute Awards.
Griffiths' publicist, Maria Farmer, said mum, dad and
their baby were all well: "He's very blond and has big hands."
Thanks, Dr. K!
Also, that slag Barbara
Sinatra is selling Franko's death house, complete with furnishings!
Wanna see his
mailbox? Of course you do!