Nancy Sinatra, First Wife of Frank, Dies Aged 101

"She was a blessing and the light of my life", her daughter said. They Wednesday in February 1939; the marriage lasted 12 years.

Superstar and Hollywood icon Frank passed away in 1998, and the couple's son Frank Jr. died in 2016.

The couple officially separated in 1951, with Nancy Sinatra saying she suffered mental cruelty from the singer during the marriage, claiming he would disappear for days at a time as well as have a string of affairs, reports the BBC.

My mother passed away at 6:02pm tonight.

Born Nancy Barbato, the first of Frank's first wives met the singer back in 1934 at the New Jersey holiday resort of Long Branch, and just months later they were engaged. Nancy worked as a secretary while Frank worked as both a singer and a waiter. A black-and-white photo of Nancy was accompanied with the following message, "Godspeed, Momma and thank you for everything you did for us and for the world".

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As Nancy Barbato, she made two TV and film appearances, one in her daughter Nancy's 1975 concert film, Nancy and Lee in Las Vegas, and in 1974 on her friend Dinah Shore's talk show.

They began their marriage living in a modest apartment in Jersey City, where their two eldest children, Nancy Sinatra Jr. and Frank Sinatra Jr., were born.

The pair were married from 1939-51 and had three children - Nancy Junior, Frank Junior and actress Tina.

In 1944, after Frank had become a pop music star, the family moved to Toluca Lake, Calif. from their Jersey City home, and had a third child, Tina, on June 20, 1948.

"There is no bitterness, only great respect and affection between Sinatra and his first wife", Gay Talese wrote in 1966, "and he has always been welcome in her home and has even been known to wander in at odd hours, stoke the fire, lie on the sofa, and fall asleep".

  • Michelle Webb