Frank Sinatra’s eardrum was punctured at birth, causing some hearing problems. This worsened when he got older and suffered age-related intermittent hearing problems, something he was very sensitive about.
Frank learned music by ear and he never learned how to read music.
It is said that the character of Johnny Fontane, the crooner helped by the mafia, in The Godfather is based on Frank.
He reportedly kept a picture of Ava Gardner on his mirror long after their break-up.
Few people know that Frank was an accomplished painter. He not only recorded the Grammy winning album ‘Frank Sinatra sings for the Lonely’(1958), but he designed the cover art as well.
Frank was the first choice the play the title role in Dirty Harry, but he broke his finger before shooting began and had to bow out of the production.
Famous director, producer and writer Frank Capra (‘It’s a Wonderful Life’) claimed that Frank had the potential to be the best actor there ever was. He even advised him to quit his musical career and focus solely on acting.
According to Mia Farrow, Frank offered to have Woody Allen’s legs broken when she found out he had an affair with her daughter Soon-Yi. She declined.
He is one of only five actors/actresses to have both a number 1 single and an Oscar for acting. The other four are Cher, Barbra Streisand, Jamie Foxx and Bing Crosby.
He disliked Marlon Brando. Although they co-starred in Guys and Dolls, Frank felt he should have played Marlon’s part with Gene Kelly in the other role. Marlon got a lot of parts Frank really wanted, like the lead role in On the Waterfront. Sinatra nicknamed Marlon Mr. Mumbles and Marlon called him Mr. Baldy.
Although Frank is most associated with his hit My Way, he initially did not want to record it because he thought it was ‘self-serving and indulgent’.
Frank suffered from mood swings and bouts of depression. In her memoirs My Father’s Daughter, his daughter Tina wrote: ‘As flippant as Dad could be about his mental state, I believe that a Zoloft a day might have kept his demons away. But that kind of medicine was decades off’.
At his funeral, friends and family members placed items in his coffin that they associated with him. They reportedly include ten dimes, Life Savers candy, a ring engraved with the word ‘dream’, a mini bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey, Camel cigarettes and a Zippo lighter.
The epitaph on his headstone reads: ‘the best is yet to come’.
His version of New York, New York is played at the Yankee Stadium after every home win. Liza Minnelli’s version is played after every home loss.
Read more about Frank Sinatra’s life.