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Original Rocky Fortune header art


The Rocky Fortune Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Rocky Fortune
Original Rocky Fortune cover art
Rocky Fortune MP3 Cover Art


WSYR 'Rocky Fortune' spot ad from October 13, 1953 thumb
WSYR 'Rocky Fortune' spot ad from October 13, 1953

October 12, 1953 news clipping from Hollywood thumb
October 12, 1953 news clipping from Hollywood

October 9, 1953 news clipping from New York thumb
October 9, 1953 news clipping from New York
As hard is it may be to believe by today's standards, Rocky Fortune was Frank Sinatra's only dramatic Radio program from The Golden Age of Radio as the lead in a recurring role. As a variety guest performer, Sinatra's Radiography goes on and on and on. But this was the program that a great many of the growing number of fans of Sinatra's acting work really wanted to hear.

NBC spared no expense to showcase this growing super-star of the 1940s and 1950s, and it shows in both production values and supporting voice talent. Frank Sinatra seemed very comfortable in the role of Rocco Fortunato--'Rocky Fortune'--and the scripts that George Lefferts and Ernest Kinoy wrote for Sinatra made for some fascinating adventures. The role was clearly written specifically for him, and more importantly for the more 'adult' persona his agents and publicity reps were trying to portray of him at this point in his career. He'd already done the teen and 20-something idol gig, and he had been expressing more of an interest in dramatic work.

Perhaps Sinatra's managers were simply hedging their bets. Sinatra's greatest initial dramatic role in From Here To Eternity was released October 19, 1953, just weeks after Rocky Fortune began its 26-week run on NBC. As we all know now, From Here to Eternity was a box-office smash, propelling Sinatra into a whole new career in Film. Thus, as with Alan Ladd in his Mayfair Productions program, Box-13, Sinatra--and Las Vegas and Hollywood--found a far greater immediate demand for his talent on stage and in Film. The Big-Screen's gain was Radio's loss. Compounding any hope of a second season of Rocky Fortune, Ava Gardner's movie Mogambo was also released on October 9, 1953. Thus, both Frank Sinatra's and Ava Gardner's careers were approaching critical junctures--a publicists dream, but rapidly dimming any possibility for a continuation of Rocky Fortune, or any other such Radio vehicle for Frank Sinatra.

NBC had auditioned two other such detective genre vehicles for Sinatra--'Frankie Galahad, Private Detective', and an Erle Stanley Gardner series. Some intriguing prospects to be sure. If only . . . .

Rocco Fortunato was a young New Yorker on his way up and out of the endless dead-end jobs his employment agency was sending him on, like the oyster-shucking job they sent him to that yielded only a handful of 'clams' for his efforts--but a bonus of 12 big hot pearls in the bargain. And much as Alan Ladd's character in Box 13, Rocky Fortune was clearly ready for a more vibrant, exciting, and financially rewarding career change.

So evolve the various lengths 'Rocky Fortune' was prepared to go, to either make a name for himself, or die in the process. During the short 26-week run of the program, Rocky Fortune travels the length and breadth of the United States, wins and loses fortunes, solves 24 complicated crimes, and leaves a gal in every port in the process.

The supporting cast of Rocky Fortune clearly loved the opportunity to work with Frank Sinatra behind the microphone. This cast represents--with rare few exceptions--virtually every important voice talent of the 1950s. And with the likes of Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts penning most of the scripts, the stories are all fast-paced, full of clever dialogue and interplay between characters, and cleverly resolved.

One day soon we'll have a complete, 26-episode set of Rocky Fortune to enjoy. But whether complete at 25 episodes or 26 episodes, this program remains as collectable as it is entertaining. Rocky Fortune is Frank Sinatra, and Frank Sinatra is Rocky Fortune--the perfect marriage of protagonist and talent.

Series Derivatives:

AFRTS END-530 Rocky Fortune Syndication; Rocky Fortune--Hunter of Jobs
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Crime Adventure Dramas
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 53-10-06 01 Oyster Shucker at The Fifty Fathoms [a.k.a. The Pearl Smugglers]
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 26 transcribed productions, running from 53-10-06 thru 54-03-30; Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. over the NBC Network.
Syndication: AFRTS
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Andrew C. Love, Fred Weihe, Howard Wiley
Principal Actors: Frank Sinatra, Marvin Miller, Lou Merrill, Jack Kruschen, Herb Ellis, Lynn Allen, Barney Philips, Vivi Janis, Georgia Ellis, Parley Baer, Ted Von Eltz, Norma Varden, Roger De Koven, Staats Cotsworth, Elaine Rost, James Monks, William Zuckert, Arnold Moss, Jan Miner, Joseph Julian, Ed Begley, Ted Osborne, Leon Janney, Mandel Kramer, Bryna Raeburn, David Pfeffer, Ken Williams, William Griffis, Mason Adams, Jeanne Bates, Alice Backes, Jerry Hausner, Herb Vigran, Nestor Paiva, Maurice Hart, Joe Forte, Jack Carroll, Maya Gregory, Don Diamond, June Foray, Gloria Grant, Howard Culver, Lou Krugman, Bert Holland, Betty Lou Gerson, John Stevenson, Raymond Burr, George Pirrone, Eda Reiss Merin, Edith Terry.
Recurring Character(s): Rocco Fortunato: Frank Sinatra
Protagonist(s): Rocco 'Rocky' Fortunato, an ambitious, young go-getter plagued by often ironic mis-fortune.
Author(s): Robert Cenedella, Ernest Kinoy
Writer(s) George Lefferts [Creator], Norm Sickle, Ernest Kinoy, 'Doc' Stanford,
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): From Billboard Magazine, November 7, 1953: The tune, "I Remember Harlem" by Bob Astor, Roy Eldridge, and George Williams is now being used by Frank Sinatra as the theme for his new radio seg, "Rocky Fortune," over the NBC network. Lynn Music is the publisher.
Announcer(s): Eddie King, Ray Barrett
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
1953-54 Run: 26 Episodes
AFRTS Syndication: Entire Run of 26 Episodes
Episodes in Circulation: 1953-54 Run: 25 Episodes
AFRTS Syndication: 17 Episodes
Total Episodes in Collection: 1953-54 Run: 25 Episodes
AFRTS Syndication: 2 Episodes
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Martin Grams' Radio Drama, 'The Directory of The Armed Forces Radio Service Series'.

Notes on Provenances:

The above cited provenances are for the most part in agreement. The most helpful provenances were the logs of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

You're welcome to compare our fully provenanced research with Rocky Fortune log from the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR. We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE, to protect our own ongoing due diligence.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

  • Episode #3, while ostensibly concerning an attempt to defraud an insurance company makes no mention whatsoever of the invocation of any double indemnity clause in the policy. It was a straight insurance fraud. The title promoted by NBC to the newspapers of the era, is clearly a play on the term double indemnity, intentionally and ambiguously titled, Double Identity.
  • In Episode #7, the word 'Hepcat' is never uttered in the broadcast. Nor is the term 'Hepcat' a word. The term used by the 'hip set' of the era was Hep Cat, two words.
  • 'Too Many Husbands' is an oft-cited apocryphal title for any number of circulating detective genre programs from the era. In this instance, NBC promoted the teaser, "blonde has a husband too many," an apt title as well, and more appropriate as "One Husband Too Many."

This was a transcribed production. The only clues to the episode title and program continuity arise from Rocky Fortune's narrative at the close of each production, wherein he describes the dilemma he faces in the following episode. The titles that have been attached to these episodes over the years are therefore completely anecdotal.

What is also anecdotal is the episode sequence between the November 3, 1953 broadcast and the December 15, 1953 broadcast.

Here are the 'known-knowns' and the 'known-unknowns' we uncovered in our attempt to log this program:

  • The long-standing myth that an episode of Rocky Fortune never aired on November 3, 1953 remains just that--a myth. We've established via 9 different states' newspaper listings that Rocky Fortune was not scheduled for pre-emption that day. There was no especially remarkable nationwide event on November 3, 1953. In other words, there was no other rational reason for that one specific episode to not have aired. Short of Frank Sinatra himself having issued a contractual demand to halt the airing of that one specific episode there appears to be no basis in fact proving that a specific episode of Rocky Fortune didn't air as scheduled on November 3, 1953.
  • Nor does a 'pre-empted for Election Reporting' myth hold water. With allowance for the possibility that some local dog-catcher election took place somewhere in the United States on November 3, 1953, it's clear that there were no National Elections taking place during that political off-year.
  • The only possible source of the original cross-contamination for all the logs in error appears to have been a misinterpretation of the RadioGoldIndex log. However, David Goldin has never represented any of his logs as being complete works. Indeed, he goes out of his way to qualify--especially among transcribed and syndicated programs--the dates, episode numbers and sequencing he provides. The fact that the RadioGoldIndex shows no episode for November 3, 1953, should not be construed to either prove or disprove the actual airing of the 53-11-03 episode.

So where did the original estimate of whether 25 or 26 episodes/scripts aired come from? We know that it was often the practice of both syndicators and networks alike to market blocks of 26 weeks worth of programming to their affiliates or prospective buyers. There are literally hundreds of 26-week programs in circulation. Therefore it's more than likely that this program was recorded from 26 scripts--indeed that 26 distinct episodes/scripts were actually recorded--rather than 25.

And where is the 'missing' episode, if there is one? The only program of the run that doesn't contain an closing 'teaser' by Frank Sinatra is 'Murder on the Midway'. The theme music continues on, but Frank Sinatra's teaser was either overdubbed on the original transcription/tape or was never recorded onto the transcription/tape in the first place. A P.S.A. occupies most of the remainder of exemplar recordings. The Museum Murder has also had its outro teaser cut--in this case deliberately. It would appear that any deliberate attempt to keep this program incomplete was either by NBC design, or, more likely, due to some mischief by one of the earliest traders of the original set of transcriptions/tapes.

What remains--and can be documented--is a complete record of 26 weeks worth of episodes having been announced as airing in literally hundreds of newspapers throughout the U.S.. So whether there were 25 scripts/episodes or 26 scripts/episodes is academic. Twenty-six weeks of Rocky Fortune programming actually aired--somewhere--between October 6, 1953 and March 30, 1954. That much can be proven. When a network announces programming as transcribed, it means just that. Much as syndicated programming is distributed to any number of local radio stations, network-transcribed programming was, by 1953, being routinely distributed to affiliate network outlets--or regional network hubs--in the same fashion: via transcription disc or open reel tape.

In fact, upon researching and evaluating the newspaper listings of the era, the only episode that's neither described or titled in newspaper listings of the era is episode #2 from October 13, 1953. Every one of the remaining twenty-five episodes can now be both identified and sequenced.

The lone 'missing' episode in all likelihood resides in one or more 'Old-School' collectors' holdings--and probably always has. Old-School Golden Age Radio collectors have long established the practice of holding back one--or several--'completer' episodes from a program they've either sold, given, or traded to other collectors. Why? Because in many instances , one or more 'commercial otr' sellers has/have welched on a past transaction--by either distributing a program in advance of an agreed upon release date, or by distributing a program to a larger audience than was agreed upon.


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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.







Rocky Fortune Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
53-10-06
1
Oyster Shucker at The Fifty Fathoms
Y
[ Premiere Episode ]

53-10-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Frank Sinatra (WMAQ):
new series.

53-10-06 Clearfield Progress
NEW YORK Wt-Frank Sinatra has done so well in the movies that he now has turned to radio to seek new laurels as an actor. His new program is one of the 28 NBC is spreading across the week in an attempt to revitalize its radio schedule.
The script is a who-dun-it format.
It casts Frankie as Rocky Fortune, detective. It was the third one tried. The others considered: "
Frankie Galahad, Private Eye," and an Erie Stanley Gardner series.
53-10-13
2
Title Unknown
N
53-10-13 Syracuse Herald Journal
Frank Sinatra's new series takes the name of Rocky Fortune at 9.35 p. m. today, WSYR. Frank is cast as a restless, footloose fellow with an attraction for trouble and excitement.
He holds all sorts of jobs and finds all sorts of adventures.
53-10-20
3
Double Identity
Steven In A Rest Home
Insurance Fraud
Shipboard Jewel Robbery
Double Indemnity
Y
53-10-20 Syracuse Post-Standard
Rocky Fortune (Frank Sinatra) lands a job as a chauffeur on tonight's adventure tale at 9,35 p. m., WSYR radio. With the job, Rocky nearly ends up as the victim of a well-planned murder. The title of the dramatization is "
Double Identity."
53-10-27
4
The Shipboard Jewel Robbery
Pint-Sized Payroll Bandit
Y
53-10-27 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): ship's steward discovers diamond robbery.
53-11-03
5
Pint-Sized Payroll Bandit
Messenger for Murder
Y
53-11-03 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): runaway boy gives hard time to police and hoodlum.
53-11-10
6
Messenger For Death
A Hepcat Kills the Canary
Y
53-11-10 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): "
Messenger For Death."
53-11-17
7
Some Cat's Killed the Canary
A Hepcat Kills the Canary
Murder on the Aisle
Y
53-11-17 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): musical engagement involves murder.
53-11-24
8
Murder on the Aisle
Murder Among the Statues
Y
53-11-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): critic stabbed during play's first night.
53-12-01
9
Murder Among the Statues
Carnival One Way
Y
[PSA-no outro]
53-12-01 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): handyman suspected in death of art gallery owner.
53-12-08
10
Murder on the Midway
N
53-12-08 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): "
Murder on the Midway."
53-12-15
11
Companion to a Chimp
Y
53-12-15 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): Kidnapping a monkey.
53-12-22
12
The Plot to Murder Santa Claus
Department Store Santa
Y
53-12-22 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): "
The Plot to Murder Santa Claus," tale of robbery plot.
53-12-29
13
The Prize Fight Fix
Y
53-12-29 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): boxing "fix" fails.
54-01-05
14
On the Trail of a Killer
Y
54-01-12
15
The Rodeo Murder Mystery
Rodeo Murder
Y
54-01-12 Long Beach Press-Telegram
Frank Sinatra, as "Rocky Fortune," gets a free ride on a bull while covering the Grand National Rodeo murder mystery on KFI at 6:35 p.m..
54-01-19
16
The Museum Murder
Y
[Outro Cut]

54-01-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): tourist becomes museum exhibit.
54-01-26
17
Hollywood or Boom
Rocky Hauls Nitro
Hauling Nitro
Y
54-01-26 Long Beach Press-Telegram
A truckload of nitroglycerine and an escaped killer are mixed proportionately on the "Rocky Fortune" mystery, starring Frank Sinatra, on KFI at 6:35 p.m.
54-02-02
18
The Football Fix
Y
54-02-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): gamblers ask football player to throw championship game.
54-02-09
19
The Catskills Cover-Up
Y
54-02-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): adventure at mountain resort.
54-02-16
20
One Husband Too Many
Too Many Husbands
Y
54-02-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): blonde has a husband too many.
54-02-23
21
A Sitting Duck for Death
Decoy for Death
Y
54-02-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): "
Sitting Duck for Death."
54-03-02
22
Honor Among Thieves
The Doctor's Dilemma
Y
54-03-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): "
Honor Among Thieves."
54-03-09
23
The Twice-Murdered Man
Incident in a Bar
Y
54-03-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): Frank Sinatra in story of twice-murdered man.
54-03-16
24
Psychological Murder
Y
54-03-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): enemies try to drive woman out of her mind.
54-03-23
25
Rocket Racket
Y
54-03-30
26
Boarding House Doublecross
Y
[ Last Episode ]

54-03-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8:35 p.m.--Rocky Fortune (WMAQ): well-planned double cross.

[Replaced by The Affairs of Peter Chambers]

54-04-05 The Bee
Frank Sinatra's first venture in radio Who-Dun Its, "Rocky Fortune Hunter of Jobs," is ended after 26 Tuesday nights on N.B.C. reason given other than end of contract.
Starting tomorrow in its place will be taken by "Crime and Peter Chambers," another mystery, with Dane Clark playing a private detective.





Rocky Fortune [AFRTS END-530] Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
Oyster Shucker at The Fifty Fathoms
Y
Double Identity
N
The Shipboard Jewel Robbery
N
The Pint-Sized Payroll Bandit
N
Messenger For Death
N
Murder on the Aisle
N
Murder Among the Statues
N
The Prize Fight Fix
N
Rodeo Murder
N
The Museum Murder
N
Rocky Hauls Nitro
N
The Football Fix
N
The Catskills Cover-Up
N
Honor Among Thieves
N
The Twice-Murdered Man
N
Psychological Murder
N
Rocket Racket
N






Rocky Fortune Biographies




Francis Albert 'Frank' Sinatra
('Rocky Fortune')
(1915-1998)
Stage, Screen, Recording, and Television Star

Birthplace: Hoboken, NJ

Education: Drake Business Institute, East Organge, NJ

Radiography:

1939 America Dances
1940 Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra
1942 Spotlight Champion of Champions
1942 Sign Up For Victory
1942 Sunday Evening With Tommy Dorsey
1942 The Tommy Dorsey Show
1943 America Salutes the President's Birthday
1943 Your Hit Parade
1943 Treasury Star Parade
1943 Texaco Star Theatre
1943 Command Performance
1943 The Burns and Allen Show
1943 Songs By Sinatra
1944 The Frank Sinatra Show
1944 Lux Radio Theatre
1944 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1944 The Lifebuoy Show
1944 Mail Call
1944 Your All-Time Hit Parade
1944 The Lucky Strike Program
1944 G.I. Journal
1944 Kraft Music Hall
1945 Music Fights For Infantile Paralysis
1945 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1945 A Date With Judy
1945 The Pepsodent Show
1945 The Abbott and Costello Show
1945 The Andrews Sisters Show
1945 Birds Eye Open House
1945 Music For Millions
1945 Jubilee
1945 The Danny Kaye Show
1945 The Fred Allen Show
1945 Bill Stern Colgate Sports Newsreel
1945 Showtime
1946 The Jimmy Durante Show
1946 The Jack Carson Show
1946 Stars In the Afternoon
1946 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1946 Radio Reader's Digest
1947 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1948 Frank Sinatra and Company
1948 Symphonies Under the Stars
1948 Spotlight Revue
1948 Here's To Veterans
1948 Guest Star
1948 The Ginny Simms Show
1949 Opportunity U.S.A.
1949 Light-Up Time
1950 Life With Luigi
1950 Meet Frank Sinatra
1951 The Bob Hope Show
1952 The Martin and Lewis Show
1953 The Buick-Berle Show
1953 Rocky Fortune
1953 To Be Perfectly Frank
1954 The Colgate Comedy Hour
1954 The Bing Crosby Show
1955 Heart To Heart
1955 Hallmark Hall of Fame
1955 Biography In Sound
1955 Top Tunes of the Week
1956 Recollections At 30
1956 The Freeway Club
1957 The Edsel Show
1958 The Chevy Show

Sinatra's 'This Is Sinatra' Album from his Capitol years
Sinatra's 'This Is Sinatra' Album from his Capitol years
Frank Sinatra publicity photo, ca. 1939
Frank Sinatra publicity photo, ca. 1939
Sinatra at the mike for CBS during his 'bobby-soxer' fame, ca. 1942
Sinatra at the mike for CBS during his 'bobby-soxer' fame, ca. 1942
Sinatra with Jimmy Durante, ca. 1945
Sinatra with Jimmy Durante, ca. 1945
Sinatra-Dorsey role reversal, specs and all, ca. 1942
Sinatra-Dorsey role reversal, specs and all, ca. 1942
Frank Sinatra at the mike for NBC, ca. 1947
Frank Sinatra at the mike for NBC, ca. 1947
Publicity still from 1953's From Here To Eternity
Publicity still from 1953's From Here To Eternity
Non-sequitur: Frank Sinatra on a 41-cent United States Postage Stamp
Non-sequitur: Frank Sinatra on a 41-cent United States Postage Stamp.
Hoboken's favorite son, Frank Sinatra is one of the top 20 super-stars of the 20th Century. There was no field of the Performing Arts in which he did not excel. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, as a teenager, he organized a singing group, The Hoboken Four, which won first prize on Radio's Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour. He'd return to Radio again, full-force within only a few more years.

After graduating from The Drake Business Institute, he spent years grinding through the New Jersey roadhouse circuit before finding work in the late 1930s as a studio singer for Radio in New York City. By 1939, while performing at a club in New Jersey, he was heard by Harry James, who signed him to appear with his new swing band. After touring with James for a year, Sinatra was offered a lead singer opportunity with Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra rose to prominence with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra between 1940 and 1942.

Finally making his break with Dorsey in 1943, 'Ole Blue Eyes' began working solo and serving as emcee on the popular radio program, Lucky Strike Hit Parade. His solo work and Radio exposure quickly propelled him to teen idol status across the U.S., eventually generating hysteria from his young ‘bobby-soxer’ fans. Indeed one of his appearances at the Paramount Theatre, New York, resulted in a full-fledged riot on Columbus Day, 1944.

He remained a popular Radio and Recording star throughout the 1940s, signing with Columbia Records from 1943 to 1952. But nine years with Columbia was enough for Sinatra. He'd matured as an artist and sought a chance to shake off his 'bobby soxer' following and begin a broader career with more fidelity to the music and new style he now felt confident to undertake as his own.

His move to Capitol Records between 1953 and 1962 gave him the freedom to express his own style, pace, and mood, and his legendary Capitol recording sessions created an entirely new popular American identity in Music. Sinatra's subtle tempo changes, moodier phrasing, and softened international jazz influences shaped American Music for the next 20 years. In 1960 he co-founded the equally legendary Reprise Records label, for which he recorded exclusively from 1963 on.

The 1940s also brought him a mildly successful career as a film actor, beginning as a straight actor in Higher and Higher (1943). But it wasn't until his real breakout performance in 1953's From Here To Eternity that Sinatra finally began to acheive the fame and respect he'd fought so hard to attain. His performance in From Here To Eternity brought him far more than an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. It opened up a complete second career for him, completely shaking off the 'skinny teen idol' image for good. His work in all of the Performing Arts was finally being taken seriously by serious critics. It firmly established him as a serious and mature adult performer and conscientious dramatic actor. He wasn't 'Frankie' any longer. He was Frank Sinatra; grown up actor, grown up performer, grown up businessman.

But paralleling his Film, Radio, and Recording work, were his early appearances in Las Vegas. He was one of a handful of performers who can truly be recognized as the performers that built Las Vegas. But his work in Las Vegas came at a price. The 'Las Vegas Lifestyle' was entirely at odds with the serious inroads he'd made into the Recording Industry and Film. Frank Sinatra was proud of the serious critical acclaim he'd acheived in Radio, early Television, Film, and Popular Music. His extraordinary Las Vegas success and its attendant, inevitable entanglements with underworld influences were hard to shake for the remainder of his career.

In all likelihood, the almost mythological escapades attributed to him during his Las Vegas and 'Rat-Pack' years, were equal part myth and fact. But they tainted the serious side of Sinatra and the talent he was continually driven to reassert for the remainder of his career.

His premature retirement in 1971 wasn't long-lived, though he used the time very effectively, with both his philanthropic interests, his private hobbies, and long overdue time with the family and friends he loved so much. But even though 'retired' he continued to contribute even more to popular music for the next 20 years, recording some of his most influential songs, including 1980's New York, New York, and his re-recording of It Was A Very Good Year, and My Way, which carried even more meaning during the last twenty years of the super-star's amazing, roller-coaster career. Indeed, it was that hit recording of New York, New York that gained him the unique status of being the first singer in History to acheive a hit record in five consecutive decades.

Sinatra passed away on May 14, 1998, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. His wife Barbara and daughter Nancy were at his side.




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