2nd June 2011, 10:20 PM
O'l Blue Eyes smelled great
Frank Sinatra's widow has given a glimpse inside the private life and often troubled times of Ol' Blue Eyes.
Barbara Sinatra has recalled how the late singer was both a generous romantic full of charisma and a terrible drunk with a furious temper.
He was also, rather surprisingly, obsessed with cleanliness and was entered a room surrounded by a gentle waft of flowers.
She said: 'He was a guy who took about 12 showers a day. I mean, he was neat. He always smelled of lavender.'
He also signed his love notes to her, Charlie Neat.
Barbara, 84, the star's fourth wife, is promoting new memoir, Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank.
He died in her arms in 1998 at the age of 82 after 22 years of marriage.
The former Vegas showgirl told a US TV show said she didn't even know who he was when she first met him partying with his Rat Pack buddies.
'I didn't recognise him,' she said. 'I recognised some of the others. I said, "I don't care. I'm not dealing with a bunch of drunks".'
But in her book she recalls how she was very quickly won over by him.
'Once he turned on the charm, my defenses rolled away like tumbleweed,' she writes. 'Inhaling his heady scent of lavender water, Camel cigarettes, and Jack Daniel's,
'I could do nothing but savour the moment of intoxication, oblivious to the consequences.
'He had a sexual energy all his own. Even Elvis Presley, whom I'd met in Vegas, never had it quite like that.'
Barbara was married to American film star Zeppo Marx when they first met and in her telling, it was Sinatra, then in his mid-50s, who initiated their long-term affair.
After their relationship began, she quit smoking at his request because he considers it unfeminine. He never gave up the habit himself. His feisty mother, Dolly, was not pleased with their liaison and subsequent marriage, and asked him: 'Aren't there enough whores around?'
Of the famous attribute that earned him his nickname, she says: 'He had the most vibrant, electric, deep blue eyes in the world. You could say they were shockingly blue.'
In his quiet moments at home, he loved to eat grilled cheese sandwiches, read and was also a crossword puzzle ace.
But Barbara also told how she wouldn't want to deal with the mercurial star if he was drinking gin.
'I don't know that I handled his moods. I lived with them,' she told Good Morning America.
'He could be moody. I didn't want to be around him if he drank gin.
'Gin, I think, made him mean. [If I saw] a gin bottle on the bar I'd turn right around and go back in the room and lock the door because I didn't want to deal with that.'
She has revealed how he once hurled a brass clock into a wall during a game of charades - something she described as part of his 'dangerous' charm.
When a female columnist once raised his infidelities in an interview, he screamed at her in anger, before stuffing two dollar bills into the woman's glass.
Barbara viewed is aggression as exciting and accepted that her husband's inner demons came with the glitz and glamour.
Asked if he ever apologised, she said: 'Never. Absolutely never.'
Of Sinatra's notorious reputation as a womaniser, Barbara says she took the advice of her Palm Springs neighbour, Lee Annenberg, and 'looked the other way'.
While he was generous and had a 'good eye for a stone', he was also street smart - he had a prenup delivered to her on the morning of their wedding which she signed.
Despite his 'Jekyll and Hyde personality', she says she was the 'luckiest woman in the world' to be his wife.
Sinatra had three children, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina, with his first wife, Nancy Barbato, whom he divorced in 1951.
He was married to Ava Gardner from 1951 to 1957 and Mia Farrow from 1966 to 1968. He wed Barbara in 1976.
Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank by Barbara Sinatra ($24.99, Crown Archetype)
'Obsessive Frank Sinatra took 12 showers a day and always smelled of lavender,' reveals his widow | Mail Online
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