The first wife and childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra, Nancy, has died aged 101, her daughter has announced.
The news was posted on Twitter by Nancy Jr, famed for her song These Boots Were Made For Walkin’, early on Saturday morning.
She wrote: “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.”
Nancy Sinatra Sr was born as Nancy Barbato on 25 March 1917.
Frank and Nancy met in 1934 at the New Jersey holiday resort of Long Branch when he was 19 and she was 17.
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. 😢💙
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) July 14, 2018
They got engaged almost immediately but over the next few years they rarely saw each other because of Sinatra’s almost non-stop work schedule.
When confronted by Nancy, Frank admitted he had been involved with another woman but he vowed it was a one-off and the pair married.
But in September 1950 Nancy was granted a legal separation because of his mental cruelty and an affair with actress Ava Gardner, who he later married.
Nancy Jr is the eldest of the couple’s three children, followed by singer Frank Jr, who died in 2016, and actress Tina.
Nancy devoted herself to family and friends and withdrew from the showbusiness spotlight after her divorce from Sinatra.
She outlived her husband, who died in 1998.
As Nancy Barbato, she made two TV and film appearances, one in her daughter Nancy’s 1975 concert film, Nancy and Lee in Las Vegas, and in 1974 on her friend Dinah Shore’s talk show.
Nancy, who never remarried, later became known as Nancy Sr after daughter Nancy became a 1960s singing star in her own right.
She also remained friendly with her ex-husband, who is said to have put in requests over the years for pasta and other Italian food dishes she was known to be an expert at preparing.
Sinatra went on to marry three other women – Gardner, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx – but had a string of affairs with some of Hollywood’s leading ladies, including Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Angie Dickinson.