Nancy Sinatra, the first wife of singer Frank Sinatra, has died at age 101. Nancy Barbato Sinatra was the first of the legendary singer’s four wives and the mother his three children, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina.
Nancy Sinatra Sr.’s death was announced late Friday by her namesake daughter, Nancy, who tweeted, “My mother passed away peacefully tonight at the age of 101. She was a blessing and the light of my life. Godspeed, Momma. Thank you for everything.” The cause of death for Nancy Sinatra Sr. has not been announced.
Nancy Barbato met Frank Sinatra before he became famous, in the summer of 1934 in Long Branch, N.J., according to The Hollywood Reporter. The couple married on Feb. 4, 1939, in New Jersey. As a wedding present, Frank reportedly gave Nancy a record of a song called “Our Love” that he recorded for her, according to CNN. The Sinatras, who resided in Jersey City, welcomed their first daughter, Nancy, in June 1940. Frank Jr. was in 1944 and daughter Tina was born in 1948.
Nancy and Frank Sinatra split in 1950 and the legendary crooner married Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner in November 1951, just 10 days after his divorce from Nancy was finalized. A devout Catholic, Nancy Sinatra never remarried after her divorce from Ol’ Blue Eyes. Frank Sinatra would go on to divorce Gardner in 1957 then later marry Mia Farrow, followed by Barbara Marx, who was married to him until his death in 1998.
In honor of Nancy Sinatra’s 100th birthday last year, her oldest daughter paid tribute to her. According to The Chicago Tribune, Nancy Jr. shared rare family photographs on her official website with the message: “Happy 100th Birthday, Mom! We celebrate you, your charm, grace and wisdom; 100 years of pride and purpose and decades of patience, love and guidance. How can we possibly thank you, Mom? You are the best! I love you so much.”
Nancy Jr. also shared a song she recorded for her mother as well as some personal stories about her mom, including a cute tale of how he would stash extra packs of restaurant crackers in her purse “in case anyone ever got hungry later.”
The death of Nancy Sinatra Sr. sparked some confusion on social media. Some Twitter users confused the death announcement to be about Nancy Jr., the 78-year-old singer who shot to fame with her 1966 signature hit “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’.” After Nancy Sinatra Sr.’s death was announced, a few confused fans said their goodbyes to the “style icon” and told her to “rest easy in those boots.”