Frank Sinatra's Daughter Cut Ties With Him When She Wasn't Invited to His Birthday

TL;DR:

  • Frank Sinatra and his daughter were close.
  • Frank Sinatra’s daughter did not receive an invitation to his 80th birthday party.
  • Frank Sinatra’s daughter blames his wife for their temporary relationship breakdown.

Frank Sinatra’s daughter Tina shared that he valued his family, fostering close relationships with his children and even his ex-wives. Despite this, she temporarily cut off communication with her father toward the end of his life. She explained that their relationship grew fraught for the first time after his fourth marriage. The final straw came when Tina didn’t receive an invitation to his 80th birthday party.

Frank Sinatra’s daughter was close to him even though he was away a lot

Tina Sinatra’s parents separated when she was just a baby. Given her father’s celebrity status, he was often away when she was a child. Still, she said that they were close. He called every day and visited the family whenever possible. She described him as a parent who was never harsh with his children.

“My mother was always the disciplinarian,” she told the National Post in 2000. “He was never good that way. He wouldn’t ground you, he’d reason with you, he’d make you think about what you did so you could feel really stupid about it. He was very gentle with his wisdom.”

Tina explained that because her father was away so often, he was closer with his friends than his family. 

“He was a wonderful friend to people,” she said, “at times, probably a better friend than parent. He could be more available to friends than to a little kid … But that happens with parents who are gone a lot. And he was gone a lot.”

She cut off contact with her father after she didn’t receive an invitation to his 80th birthday

While her father’s frequent absences caused some problems, Tina shared that she first began feeling a strain on their relationship when Sinatra married his fourth wife, Barbara. 

“There was this tug-of-war [between Frank’s children and Barbara] where there should be no war,” Tina explained. “Children are children and a fourth or ninth wife is a fourth or ninth wife … As far as I was concerned, these were interlopers, this woman and her son.”

Her frustration mounted, but the final straw came when Barbara did not invite the three Sinatra children to their father’s 80th birthday party. After this, Tina cut off all communication with her father and Barbara. As Sinatra’s health declined, she knew she was taking a risk.

“I was prepared to do that,” she said. “That’s how desperate I was. I also believed it was better for him … I just prayed for nothing fatal. I knew it would take something drastic to put us back together.”

After nearly a year, Sinatra had a heart attack, and the father and daughter mended their relationship. She remained close with him until the end of his life. 

Frank Sinatra’s daughter had a fraught relationship with his wife

The tension between Barbara and Sinatra’s children persisted long after his death. They were furious that Barbara did not call them when Sinatra went to the hospital before his death. They had to find out that he’d died through his doctor. 

In Barbara’s memoir Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank, she did not mention Tina or her sister Nancy. The sisters hardly included Barbara in the documentary Sinatra: All or Nothing at All. Neither sister received an invitation to Barbara’s funeral in 2017.

“With all the family bickering,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, per the Desert Sun, “the Sinatra name no longer means harmony.”

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