Barbara Sinatra, the fourth wife of singer Frank Sinatra, died on Tuesday at the age of 90, her representative said.
John Thoresen, director of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Centre in Rancho Mirage, California, said in a statement that Sinatra died of natural causes, surrounded by her family and friends at her home in the desert city.
Born Barbara Blakely, she was a former model and Las Vegas showgirl who married the famed singer and actor in 1976. She had been married to him for 22 years when he died of a heart attack in 1998. She had previously been married to Zeppo Marx, the youngest of the Marx Brothers comedy team.
It was the longest of Frank Sinatra’s marriages, which included unions with actresses Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow, and teenage sweetheart Nancy Barbato.
Following his failed marriages, she said she wasn’t sure why the singer wanted to marry again.
“”I’ve tried to analyse it,” she told the Desert Sun. “I think it’s because we were friends before anything romantic happened. He would call and chat, but it wasn’t romantic until later. It’s something you can’t explain why or how it happened.”
Frank and Barbara Sinatra founded the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Centre in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs, in 1986. The centre counsels physically, sexually and emotionally abused children. Barbara and Frank did not have any children together.
Reuters with Fairfax Media