‘Rat Pack’ Star Frank Sinatra Almost Died at Birth + Other Interesting Facts About His Life

American singer and actor Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) smiles while holding a cigarette and a cup of coffee in a recording studio, 1950s.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Frank Sinatra was one of the most legendary singers and actors on this planet. Nicknamed Ol’ Blue Eyes, he knew how to croon like no other and became a very successful star. Even so, he wasn’t without his troubles, which actually began at birth. In honor of the late star, who died on May 14, 1998, let’s learn some interesting facts about his life and career.

His grandmother saved him at birth

Frank Sinatra as young boy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frank_Sinatra_as_a_small_boy.jpg

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He was born in his parent’s kitchen on December 12, 1915, and was thought to be stillborn. The doctor thought he was dead so he went to attend to Sinatra’s mother. His grandmother didn’t want to give up so she ran him under cold water and slapped him on his back until he started breathing.

Before he was ‘Ol Blue Eyes, he was called Scarface

378027 03: FILE PHOTO: An undated promotional photo of singer, actor and entertainer Frank Sinatra

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His traumatic birth caused severe scarring to his left cheek, ear, and neck. As a teen, the scar got worse when he started getting cystic acne and his peers started calling him “Scarface.” He eventually started wearing makeup to hide the scars but remained self-conscious about them. He was also reportedly insecure about his height of 5’7 and often wore elevated shoes.

He was one of the first teen idols

American singer and actor Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) is escorted by five policemen through a crowd of teenage girls outside Benjamin Franklin High School, New York City, 1940s

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Sinatra was one of the very first teen idols in the United States. While many girls were excited to see him perform, at first, his publicist would pay girls $5 to scream at his shows. It wasn’t long before they didn’t need to pay anyone anymore.

He had a signature drink

Singer Frank Sinatra performing with a drink in his hand on the stage at the Fontainebleau Hotel

Ray Fisher/Getty Images

Sinatra always drank Jack Daniel’s whiskey with four ice cubes and a splash of water. He called it a “gentleman’s drink.”

Despite being a musician, he couldn’t read music

March 1967: Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) sharing a joke with his daughter, Nancy during a joint recording session in Hollywood.

Keystone Features/Getty Images

He never learned to read sheet music but sang by ear.

He sadly attempted suicide several times

February 1952: American singer and actor Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) and the actress Ava Gardner (1922 - 1990) attending a Hollywood party. The two were married in 1948 and later divorced in 1957

Keystone/Getty Images

Although Sinatra had a very exciting life, things weren’t always what they seemed. In the 1950s, he felt his career had washed up and attempted suicide by putting his head in the stove and turning on the gas. His manager found him before anything happened. Later on, he made several more attempts during his tumultuous relationship with actress Ava Gardner.

His tombstone reads “The Best is Yet to Come”

It was engraved after his popular song and was the last song he sang in public when he was 79 years old. He died at the age of 82.


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Classic Hollywood Hunks

September 2019

Cary Grant, Sean Connery, Rock Hudson and Paul Newman, smoldered onscreen and, in addition to being smokin’ hot, they were effortlessly cool.

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