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Frank Sinatra was married four times and maintained relationships with each former wife after they split. He was perhaps closest to his second wife, Ava Gardner, who many say was the love of his life. When he married his third wife, Mia Farrow, he called Gardner to assure her that despite the marriage, he would always hold love for her. Later, Gardner told Farrow about the phone conversation. 

Frank Sinatra wears a suit and sits in front of a red background.
Frank Sinatra | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Frank Sinatra’s third wife was Mia Farrow

When Sinatra first met Farrow, she dropped her purse and scattered its contents everywhere. Embarrassed, she rushed to pack up her belongings and flee. When she made eye contact with him on the way out, though, she felt a bolt of connection to him.

“I thought the only thing I could do was to get out of there with any shred of dignity that might remain,” she said in the book Frank Sinatra: Behind the Legend by J. Randy Taraborrelli, per the New York Post. “And as I stood up to leave, his eyes met mine, and my heart stopped, you know? Everything came together. I was just so alive in that moment.”

Sinatra felt similarly. 

“I was hers, instantly,” he said. “I loved that hair, man. I think the hair’s what got me.”

Two years later, the couple married. Given their 30 year age difference, this came as somewhat of a shock to their friends and family members.

Frank Sinatra called his second wife, Ava Gardner, on his wedding day

Not long after their wedding, Sinatra and Farrow went to London, where he was filming The Naked Runner. While here, they went to visit Gardner. 

“The three of us walked up to Ava’s door, knocked on it, and when it opened, there stood magnificent Ava, with all of this raven hair all teased out like a big black cloud around her face,” Sinatra’s valet George Jacobs said. “She took one look at Mia with her short, short haircut and her mouth dropped wide open. But she recovered quickly and welcomed us into her home.”

Gardner insisted that Sinatra and Jacobs walk her dog so that she and Farrow could talk. When the two men returned, they found Farrow and Gardner getting along well.

“Ava and Mia were sitting on the couch, having cocktails and laughing away,” Jacobs said. “Mia was just fine. Ava was very tipsy. Obviously she’d had a head start on us.”

When Sinatra got back in the room, though, things took a turn. Gardner let it slip that Sinatra had called her on the day of his wedding to Farrow. 

“Remember, you said, ‘Tomorrow, when you read about this wedding in the papers, know that no matter how I feel about this girl, I will always have a place in my heart for you,’” she said. “That was so sweet of him, wasn’t it, dear?”

Farrow nodded.

“Well, it is interesting, I’ll say that much about it,” she replied. “I think what’s even more interesting, though, is that he wouldn’t let me call my own mother, yet he called you, his ex-wife.”

According to Jacobs, Sinatra “looked like he wanted to dig a big hole in the floor and just jump right in.” 

The singer was a part of Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow’s life long after their divorces

Sinatra and Farrow’s relationship ended in 1968. Despite this, they remained close until his death 30 years later.

“She never stopped loving him,” Sinatra’s biographer Darwin Porter told Express. “Sinatra was the love of her life. It was a love affair that continued even after their divorce and they remained close till the end. She told friends that she was still very much in love with him.”


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He felt similarly about Gardner. He was crushed by her death in 1990, reportedly saying that he should have been there for her.