Barbara Sinatra, who rose to social prominence as “Lady Blue Eyes” and then developed a legacy of her own, has died at her Rancho Mirage home at age 90.
Daniela Franco/The Desert Sun
Suzanne Somers remembers throwing a birthday party for the late Barbara Sinatra back in the day when most of her dinner soirees included a room full of local celebrities.
One guest was singer Keely Smith, who had won a Grammy in the first year of those music awards for her duet of “That Old Black Magic” with then-husband, Louis Prima. When Somers discovered Smith’s birthday had been just the day before, she hurriedly added her name to Sinatra’s birthday cake – without realizing Smith had once been seriously involved with Barbara’s husband, Frank.
“And I’m asking them to blow out candles on the cake at the same time!” laughs Somers, 70 of Palm Springs. “But Barbara’s the type that says, ‘Oh, whatever.’ I remember sitting at a fashion luncheon table with her and there were women at the table that I had heard had had flings with Frank. I said, ‘How do you feel about that?’ And she said, ‘If I eliminated all the women who had had flings with Frank, I’d have no friends.’ How could you not love a woman like that?”
Somers, who gained fame in the 1970s as a star of TV’s “Three’s Company,” was enchanted by Palm Springs’ celebrity scene of the 1980s and ’90s. Sonny Bono was Palm Springs’ celebrity mayor before being elected to Congress. Bob and Dolores Hope hosted parties for all of the celebrities in the Bob Hope Desert Classic the night before their nationally-televised golf tournament. Barbara and Frank Sinatra threw three days of parties, including one that went all night, while presenting two days of…