Only in the new issue of 'Closer,' Frank Sinatra’s closest friends and family share their memories of the man only they knew, as the world prepares to celebrate the entertainer’s 100th birthday on Dec. 12.
“He was the most remarkable person,” son Frank Sinatra Jr. raves in the new issue of 'Closer.' “He had terrific integrity, and that’s something that seems to be vanishing in this day and age.” And granddaughter Amanda Erlinger agrees. “He was one of the most loving and caring people I’ve ever met,” Amanda tells 'Closer,' on newsstands now. “I’m proud to be able to say that’s my grandpa.”
Frank with his first wife, Nancy Barbato, and their children in January 1950. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
True, he was married four times, but Frank was always a family man, especially when it came to his kids and grandkids. “He was a wonderful father,” Nancy Sinatra gushes to 'Closer.'
He wasn’t always physically there, however. “I rarely saw him,” Frank Jr. recalls. “He was busy making a living so my family and I could go to school and have a life.”
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And for Frank, it was all about tough love. “He didn’t support my career,” says Frank Jr., himself a singer. “He said, ‘The kid’s gotta do what the kid’s gonna do.’”
But beneath his rough-and-tumble exterior beat the heart of a true softie. “He had a lot of rescue dogs and cats he took off the street,” Amanda reveals. “He had nine or 10 dogs in a pen that went all the way around his property, and cats roaming around. He was a lover of all creatures. There were birds — you name it!”
Frank performing in October 1947. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Another of Frank’s passion’s? He believed deeply in racial equality at a time when few celebs would take such a stand. His loved ones say that tenet is rooted in Frank’s upbringing as the only child of Italian immigrants in Hoboken, New Jersey.
“Where he lived, Italians were not the most respected,” explains Nancy to 'Closer.'' “Frank wanted to be on top,” Frank Marshall, a producer of the upcoming HBO documentary, Sinatra: All or Nothing at All, tells 'Closer.' “There was this feeling you could do whatever you wanted here in America, and he epitomized that.”
“No matter what happened, he was always true to himself and managed to pull himself back up and start again,” says Amanda. “You could never count him out. He always managed to get back in the game. And win!”
For more on Frank Sinatra’s friends and family, pick up the new issue of 'Closer,' on newsstands now.
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