Barbara Blakeley @ Frank Sinatra

A Cosmic Baseball Game

This game is part of the CBA's Frank Sinatra Centennial Series


Barbara Blakeley was Frank Sinatra's fourth and last wife. It was Barbara Sinatra's third marriage. The marriage began July 11, 1976 when Sinatra was near 61 and his new bride was 49. The marriage ended when Sinatra died on May 14, 1998. They had no children together. Of Sinatra's four marriages, the one to Barbara was the longest.


His fourth marriage brought my father full circle. Ava [Gardner] was sui generis, the great passion of his life. Mom [Nancy Barbato] and Mia [Farrow] were both sweetly maternal. But with his last try, with Barbara, Frank finally got it right.

He finally married his mother.

--(Tina Sinatra, My Father's Daughter. Simon & Schuster. New York: 2000. Page 161)

Barbara published her memoir, Lady Blue Eyes- My Life with Frank in 2011.

The most appalling omission has to do with Frank’s three children. Frankie Jr. is mentioned a total of three times, always in passing. Nancy Jr. and Tina are never included by name and, in fact, never discussed at all (apart from one fleeting reference to “Frank’s children.”) Surely, the calculated exclusion has to do with the well-publicized animosity that exists between the kids and wife number four. (From a book review of Lady Blue Eyes in Jazz Times by Christopher Loudon. 06/06/11)

New York Times: In the book you don’t mention his two daughters, with whom you’ve famously feuded.
Barbara Sinatra: I didn’t have the feud.
New York Times: You feel as if they had the feud?
Barbara Sinatra: Well, it obviously wasn’t me, so it had to be them, right?
New York Times: Was having a wife and two kids who didn’t get along difficult for your husband?
Barbara Sinatra: You’d have to ask him that.
(from an interview by Andrew Goldman with Barbara Sinatra in the New York Times Magazine on June 3, 2011)



The Barbaras

Irene Blakeley
Barbara Blakeley's Mother
Charles Blakeley
Barbara Blakeley's Father
Richard Blackwell
Fashion Designer
Bobby Oliver
Barbara Blakeley's Son
Robert Oliver
Barbara Blakeley's 1st Husband
Zeppo Marx
Barbara Blakeley's 2nd Husband
Dinah Shore
Barbara Blakeley's Friend
Bea Korshak
Barbara Blakeley's Friend
Barbara Blakeley
born 1927-

The Sinatras

Natalina "Dolly" Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's Mother
Nancy Barbato Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's 1st Wife
Ava Gardner Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's 2nd Wife
Frank SinatraJr
Frank Sinatra's Son
Mia Farrow Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's 3rd Wife
Nancy SinatraJr
Frank Sinatra's Daughter
Tina Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's Daughter
Anthony Sinatra
Frank Sinatra's Father
Frank Sinatra


Frank's youngest child, daughter Tina, thinks her father was marrying his mother when he married his fourth wife. Ironically, Frank's mother, Dolly, did not like Barbara.
Dolly would say just horrid things to Barbara, and there was nothing none of us could do to stop her...[Dolly] kept saying, 'I don't want no whore coming into this family.' (Celia Pickell, Dolly Sinatra's maid, as quoted by Kitty Kelley, His Way. Bantam Books. New York: 1986. Pages 435 and 437)

I'd heard through the grapevine that [Dolly Sinatra had] asked Frank, 'Aren't there enough whores around? Why do you have to work on your best friend's wife?' Not that I should have been surprised. Dolly was a feisty little dame who had a hold over Frank like no one else. They had such a love-hate relationship... (Barbara Sinatra in her memoir Lady Blue Eyes. Crown. New York: 2011. Page 153)


     Inn. 1: Barbaras
[Starter] Frank Sinatra
Irene Blakeley    4-3        . . .
Charles Blakeley  1B         . . X
Richard Blackwell 5-4 F      . . X
Bobby Oliver      1B         . X X
Robert Oliver     6-4 F      X . X
     Inn. 1: Sinatras
[Starter] Barbara Blakeley
Natalina Sinatra  5-3        . . .
Nancy Barbato     8          . . .
Ava Gardner       5          . . .
     Inn. 2: Barbaras
Zeppo Marx        7          . . .
Dinah Shore       7          . . .
Bea Korshak       1B         . . X
Barbara Blakeley  6-4 F      . . X
     Inn. 2: Sinatras
Frank SinatraJr   8          . . .
Mia Farrow        2 (Foul)   . . .
Nancy SinatraJr   6-3        . . .
     Inn. 3: Barbaras
Irene Blakeley    8          . . .
Charles Blakeley  6-3        . . .
Richard Blackwell 7          . . .
     Inn. 3: Sinatras
Tina Sinatra      BB         . . X
Anthony Sinatra   4-3        . X .
Frank Sinatra     8          . X .
Natalina Sinatra  8          . X .
     Inn. 4: Barbaras
Bobby Oliver      2B         . X .
Robert Oliver     1B         X . X
  Zeppo Marx        E-6        . X X 1
Dinah Shore       5-4-3 DP   X . .
  Bea Korshak       2B         . X . 1
Barbara Blakeley  5-3        . X .
     Inn. 4: Sinatras
Nancy Barbato     1B         . . X
Ava Gardner       6-4 F      . . X
Frank SinatraJr   6-4 F      . . X
Mia Farrow        6-3        . X .
     Inn. 5: Barbaras
Irene Blakeley    E-3        . . X
Charles Blakeley  K          . . X
Richard Blackwell E-4        . X X
Bobby Oliver      7          . X X
  Robert Oliver     E-9        . X . 2
Zeppo Marx        5-3        . X .
     Inn. 5: Sinatras
Nancy SinatraJr   7          . . .
Tina Sinatra      1B         . . X
Anthony Sinatra   6-4-3 DP   . . .
     Inn. 6: Barbaras
Dinah Shore       1-3        . . .
Bea Korshak       7          . . .
Barbara Blakeley  3B         X . .
Irene Blakeley    3-1        X . .
     Inn. 6: Sinatras
Frank Sinatra     6-3        . . .
Natalina Sinatra  E-6        . . X
Nancy Barbato     BB         . X X
Ava Gardner       5UN F      . X X
Frank SinatraJr   6-3        X X .
     Inn. 7: Barbaras
Charles Blakeley  5-3        . . .
Richard Blackwell 5-3        . . .
Bobby Oliver      5-3        . . .
     Inn. 7: Sinatras
Mia Farrow        6          . . .
Nancy SinatraJr   1B         . . X
Tina Sinatra      1B         . X X
Anthony Sinatra   4-6 F      X . X
Frank Sinatra     6-3        . X .
     Inn. 8: Barbaras
Robert Oliver     1B/E-9     . X .
Zeppo Marx        1B         X . X
Dinah Shore       5-3        X X .
Bea Korshak       5          X X .
                 WP            X . . 1
  Barbara Blakeley  1B         . . X 1
Irene Blakeley    4-3        . X .
     Inn. 8: Sinatras
Natalina Sinatra  1B         . . X
Nancy Barbato     5-4-3 DP   . . .
Ava Gardner       K          . . .
     Inn. 9: Barbaras
Charles Blakeley  6-3        . . .
Richard Blackwell 1B         . . X
Bobby Oliver      2B         X X .
  Robert Oliver     1B         . . X 1
X@4:Bobby Oliver  8-2        . . X
Zeppo Marx        BB         . X X
Dinah Shore       8          . X X
     Inn. 9: Sinatras
Frank SinatraJr   1B         . . X
Mia Farrow        4-3        . X .
Nancy SinatraJr   6          . X .
Tina Sinatra      5-3        . X .

Barbaras WIN Game, 7-0

Some did indeed see Barbara Sinatra as a gold digger. But that might not be the full story. After the failure of her first marriage, to a gambler, she took her young son and found her way to Las Vegas where she got a job as a showgirl at the Riviera Hotel. She met her second husband, Zeppo Marx while working at the Riviera in 1956. Barbara married the youngest Marx brother on September 18, 1959. She was 32, Zeppo was 58. She and her son moved to Zeppo's home in Palm Springs. That home was near Frank Sinatra's home. Barbara began socializing with people in the entertainment business. Dinah Shore, a popular television personality became her close friend.
Barbara's life hasn't been a bed of roses. Her son, Bobby, has always been the most important thing in her life. It wasn't easy raising him alone in Las Vegas. She was determined that life run smoothly for Bobby, and it has. He's a wonderful young man. (Dinah Shore as quoted in Kitty Kelley's His Way. Page 434.)
She wanted what was best for her son. That's the sign of a good and loving mother.
Tina Sinatra, claimed that, while married to Sinatra, Barbara persuaded Frank to legally adopt Bobby Marx - although Marx was a grown man and, subsequently, Sinatra's children intervened to prevent it. In the book Lady Blue Eyes, Barbara disputes this, claiming that Frank offered, but, despite their close relationship, Bobby did not want the adoption. (

As part of the healing process after Dolly's death [she died accidentally in a plane crash in January 1977 while flying to Las Vegas to watch her son perform] Frank made another decision...We were sitting across the aisle from each other on his plane...when he scribbled a note and handed it to me. 'I want to adopt Bobby...I love him and I want him to be my son.' Startled, I cried, 'But Frank! He's a fully grown man, not a boy. I'm not sure he wants to be adopted.' [Later my son] said, 'I have a father, and anyway, I already took Zeppo's name. It's very kind of Frank, but please tell him this isn't what I want at all.' (Barbara Sinatra in Lady Blue Eyes. Pages 206-207.)


GAME DATE March 16, 2015
GAME TIME 2 hours, 55 minutes
GAME WEATHER Clear, Hot, Humid,
87o F
Wind W 3mph
GAME UMPIRES Hillary Clinton

David Petraeus

David Vitter

Most Cosmic Player
Barbara Blakeley



End Notes

One thing this game did not have was a "homer" for the announcer. No one will accuse crooner Jimmy Roselli of a home team bias, despite the fact that both Roselli and Sinatra hail from Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Barbaras shut out the Sinatras probably because good parenting trumps pettiness. Barbara's devotion to her son is noteworthy and honorable. The Sinatra daughters are less honorable when they ridicule their third step-mother.

This game produced no evidence that Sinatra's fourth wife mirrored his mother, as Sinatra's daughter Tina suggests. Sinatra's mother Dolly did not like Barbara not because she felt threatened by her. Dolly did not like Barbara because Dolly thought Barbara was a whore. According to Paul Anka's autobiography, Dolly's death in a plane crash in January 1977 was related to her dislike of Barbara. "Dolly so hated Sinatra's new wife, she had refused to fly in the same plane with her." (see Paul Anka, My Way. St. Martin's Press, New York: 2013. Page 200)


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