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Fuller Up: The Dead Musicians Directory

Frank Sinatra
Heart AttackMay 14, 1998
Age 82
Death Certificate
FBI Report

Frank Sinatra Dead At 82

                    Frank Sinatra, the premier American pop
                    stylist and Chairman of the Board to his
                    legions of fans, died Thursday night of a
                    heart attack. He was 82.

                    The singer, who had stayed out of public
                    view since a heart attack last year, was
                    pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m. in the
                    emergency room of Cedars-Sinai Medical
                    Center in Los Angeles.

                    The son of Italian immigrants, Francis Albert Sinatra released over 200
                    albums in his 40-year career; 32 of them reached the top 10 of the
                    Billboard pop albums chart, while nine of his singles achieved similar
                    success on the Hot 100. Among his most popular hits were "Somethin'
                    Stupid," "That's Life," "Strangers In The Night," "Witchcraft," "Hey! Jealous
                    Lover," "Love And Marriage," and his signature song, "My Way." He was
                    presented with the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1965.

                    Sinatra was a multitalented artist and businessman who segued into film
                    early in his career. His résumé included dozens of movies, ranging from
                    musicals like "High Society" to such gritty dramas as "The Manchurian
                    Candidate." He was awarded an Oscar for best supporting actor for his
                    career-revitalizing role in "From Here To Eternity," and garnered another
                    Oscar nomination for his part in "The Man With The Golden Arm."

                    Sinatra was one of the first artists to own his own record company; he sold
                    his label -- Reprise -- to Warner Bros. in 1963. He announced his
                    retirement from the music business in 1970, only to return three years later.
                    He continued to record for another 22 years, achieving success with sundry
                    best-of collections and the two well-received "Duets" albums.

                    A private funeral is planned.


                      Sinatra was a master craftsman and ranked as one of the most
                      influential singers in this country's history. In more than 200 albums,
                      his music led the evolution of Big Band to vocal American music.

                      Whether it was in song, on the silver screen or in nightclubs, few
                      could escape the charm of Ol' Blue Eyes. His voice carried over
                      countless phonographs, as lovers huddled listening to tunes like
                      "Try a Little Tenderness," "My Way," "I've Got You Under My
                      Skin" and "Strangers in the Night."

                      As a matinee idol, he appeared in blockbuster films such as "From
                      Here to Eternity," "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "The
                      Manchurian Candidate."

                      With some 1,800 music recordings, 60 film credits, nine Grammys
                      and an Academy Award, Sinatra was the grandmaster of
                      entertainment, an American icon of seeming immortality. He
                      recorded more top-40 albums than any artist: 51, three more than
                      Elvis Presley. And he holds an unrivaled record of longevity on
                      Billboard charts, where a Sinatra song was a fixture every week
                      from 1955 to 1995.

                     Or in the sing-song words of broadcaster Howard Cosell: "Frank Sinatra,
                     who has the phrasing, who has the control, who understands the composers;
                     who knows what losing means, as so many have, who made the great comeback,
                     who stands still -- eternally -- on top of the entertainment world.  Ladies and
                     gentlemen, from here on in, it's Frank Sinatra!"

                      From Hoboken to Hollywood

                      The son of an Italian immigrant fireman, Francis Albert Sinatra
                      started as a copyboy at a hometown newspaper in Hoboken, New
                      Jersey. Not content with a career in journalism he organized a
                      singing group, "The Hoboken Four." His father objected. "Singing
                      is for sissies," he said.

                      In 1937, Sinatra received his first break when he won first prize on
                      the "Major Bowes Amateur Hour" radio show. He was soon busy
                      with radio appearances and nightclub engagements. From 1939 to
                      1942 he fronted as a vocalist with the Harry James and Tommy
                      Dorsey bands, making $65 and $100 a week respectively.
                      It was with Dorsey that Sinatra developed his patented singing
                      style, marked by a careful phrasing of lyrics and long melodic lines.
                      Dorsey would glide through music with relative ease, he and his
                      trombone intertwined in romantic harmony. Young Frank took

                      "The thing that influenced me most was the way Tommy played his
                      trombone. He would take a musical phrase and play it all the way
                      through seemingly without breathing for 8, 10, maybe 16 bars,"
                      Sinatra wrote in a 1965 Life magazine article. "It was my idea to
                      make my voice work in the same way as a trombone or violin."

                      Sinatra opted to go solo in 1942, and soon he emerged as
                      America's darling. An eight-week engagement at New York's
                      Paramount Theater led to enormous popularity on stage, on radio,
                      in nightclubs and in musical films. Admiring fans dubbed him "The

                      To many, Sinatra personified the swinging times of post-World
                      War II America.

                     "It was a time where you brought a flower to your girlfriend, who
                      you were engaged to, and you sat down and swooned to Frank
                      Sinatra. It was a beautiful era," singer Tony Bennett once said.

                      Barbara Rush, Sinatra's co-star in the film "Come Blow Your
                      Horn," put it more precisely: "There was something about the man
                      larger than the man himself."

                      But by the early 1950s, Sinatra endured a number of hardships.
                      His longtime marriage to high school sweetheart Nancy Barbato
                      failed after his affair with actress Ava Gardner surfaced. Sinatra
                      married Gardner in 1951. The following year, his vocal cords
                      hemorrhaged and his career appeared finished, especially after his
                      talent agency, MCA, dropped him.

                      But Sinatra fought back. He begged Columbia Pictures to cast him
                      in Fred Zinnemann's 1953 film "From Here to Eternity." The studio
                      obliged, hiring him for a mere $8,000. He won an Oscar as best
                      supporting actor for his work.

                      In 1955, he was nominated for a best actor award for his
                      performance in "The Man with the Golden Arm."

                      The kudos kept rolling in. He scored big again in "Guys and
                      Dolls," acting alongside Marlon Brando. Meanwhile, his voice
                      returned to top form and his singing style matured. Within a few
                      years, he was a superstar in movies, TV and music -- his
                      popularity, enormous.

                      "I saw Sinatra and the pope on TV when I was 2 and said, 'Who's
                      that guy with Frank Sinatra?'" comedian Roseanne once quipped.

                      'You gotta love livin' baby'

                      Much like his casual on-stage swagger, Sinatra lived life with a
                      confident indulgence. He built one of the most important record
                      companies in the world, Reprise Records, which later merged with
                      Warner Brothers. And he accumulated millions, investing in various
                      business ventures, from industry and real estate to casinos and
                      racetracks. He acquired the nickname "Chairman of the Board of
                      Show Business." Twice more he married, to Mia Farrow and then
                      Barbara Marx.

                      His motto: "You gotta love livin' baby, 'cause dyin's a pain in the

                      Sinatra was often criticized for his quixotic tendencies. One minute,
                      he ate lunch with mobsters; the next, he was dining with the
                      president. A man with a hot temper and sometimes brash
                      demeanor, Sinatra barefisted photographers prying into his private
                      escapades on several occasions. Critics also derided him for his
                      unrelenting association with the underworld.

                      But, so too, Sinatra was known for his benevolence.
                      He took stars under his wing during the 1950s after
                      Hollywood blacklisted them. He also donated millions
                      to charitable causes.

                      "We lost track of how much he raised for charities around
                       the world -- way up in the millions," daughter Nancy once said.

                      His generosity won him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at
                      the 1971 Academy Awards. Shortly afterward, he announced his
                      retirement from entertainment world. And in June 1971, he
                      performed at what was billed his last public performance, ending
                      the show with the line: "Excuse me while I disappear."

                      But Ol' Blue Eyes couldn't stay away. He toured the nation with
                      Sammy Davis and Lizi Minnelli in the late 1980s and he turned out
                      another album, "Duets," in the early 1990s. President Ronald
                      Reagan awarded him with the Medal of Freedom, the highest
                      civilian honor. In 1994, he was honored at the Grammys with the
                      prestigious Legend Award for his lifetime of musical accomplishments.

                      Singer Vic Damone once said, "There will never be another Frank
                      Sinatra. He is all by himself with what he's done with his life as a
                      performer and as a man. He's had his ups and downs, but he really
                      is a great, great man."

                      More than anything, Sinatra left behind a legacy few will ever forget.

CNN Showbiz                          
Sinatra's Death Certificate Revealed

                 LOS ANGELES - Frank Sinatra was stricken by a heart attack at his
                 Beverly Hills estate two hours before he died in the emergency room,
                 his death certificate showed.

                 The certificate signed by Dr. Jeffrey Helfenstein, the entertainer's doctor
                 for five years, provided only stark detail about Sinatra's final hours. It
                 was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

                 Two hours prior to death, the entertainer was at home when he was
                 stricken with acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart
                 attack, and paramedics called to the residence rushed him to

                 His wife, Barbara, was dining with friends at a nearby restaurant when
                 she was notified and she went to the hospital and stayed at his side until

                 Thirty minutes before his death at 10:50 p.m. on May 14, Sinatra
                 suffered cardiorespiratory arrest - his heart and lungs stopped
                 functioning - while in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center emergency 
                 room, the county Department of Health Services document showed.

                 Sinatra was 82.

                 By The Associated Press

F.B.I. Releases Its Sinatra File, With Tidbits Old and New
New York Times



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