Barbara Sinatra, the fourth and final wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra, died Tuesday. She was 90 years old.
“She died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home,” said John Thoresen, director of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center.
Barbara Sinatra, a model and showgirl who married Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers in 1959, met Sinatra at the Palm Springs Racquet Club, where they began an affair. Her marriage to Marx ended in 1973. She married Sinatra in 1976.
Frank Sinatra died in 1998 at the age of 82.
Before marrying his fourth wife, Sinatra married Nancy Barbato, now 99, and the two were married for 12 years. Actress Ava Garder, who died in 1990, was married to Sinatra for six years. Actress Mia Farrow, now 72, was Sinatra’s wife for two years. He was married to Barbara Sinatra for 22 years.
Barbara Sinatra once told an interviewer she was unsure why the singer proposed.
“I’ve tried to analyze it,” she said. “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.”
In her 2011 book, she noted that life with the star had its moments.
“My first encounter with the fiery Italian side to Frank Sinatra came during a late-night game of charades,” she wrote. “His pals were divided into two teams, and I was put in charge of a big brass clock. So, naturally, it fell to me to call time on Frank’s team after they’d failed to guess his charade.”
After describing a few words between them, she said what happened next.
“Frank snatched the clock from my lap and gripped it tightly in his hands. For a moment, I thought he was going to hit me with it. His expression was full of anger and frustration, but there was something else — desire,” she wrote. “I think I knew then that something would happen between us someday.”
“Still, I refused to be intimidated,” she added. “So I stared him out until he turned and hurled the clock against the door, shattering it into pieces.”
Barbara Sinatra is survived by her son from a previous marriage, Robert Oliver Marx, his wife Hillary Roberts, and granddaughter Carina Blakeley Marx.
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