You are probably wondering why we selected as a Monday Quiz subject a man so ridiculously famous by the time of his death in 1998 (at age 82) that you probably already know of just about everything relating to his phenomenal show business career.
But we are betting that there a some things you may not be aware of — not necessarily relating to his stature as a world famous chanteur or Jilly Rizzo or the ring-a-ding-ding Las Vegas days or mob-connection rumors that dogged him for much of his life.
Frank Sinatra primarily regarded himself, as he put it, a “saloon singer,” and played down his acting career. He may have under-rated himself. Fact remains that he made more than a few pretty good pictures, some of which surely qualify as classic films.
Our focus here is Sinatra the movie actor with perhaps a detour or two into his private life. So on that basis let’s see how much you know about “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” the movie actor. (Answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: Sinatra made his mark as a musical comedy star in which one of the following: 1944’s Step Lively with George Murphy and Gloria DeHaven; b) 1943’s Higher and Higher with French-born actress Michele Morgan; c) 1945’s Anchor’s Away with Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly; or d) 1942’s Ship Ahoy with Eleanor Powell and Red Skelton.
2) Question: MGM star Esther Williams and Sinatra were close friends during his early Hollywood period. Why? a) They had a brief love affair in between pictures; b) She assured an insecure Sinatra that his talent would eclipse his front office reputation as an excessive partier; c) She loaned him money when he desperately needed it; or d) They had similar approaches to acting.
3) Question: Which of the following had the most influence on Sinatra the actor? a) Adolphe Menjou; b) Montgomery Clift; c) Laurence Harvey; or d) Akim Tamiroff.
4) Question: What was Sinatra’s role in 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate, one of his most enduring films? a) A corrupt New Jersey politician; b) A crooked gambler; c) A former intelligence officer with nasty nightmares; or d) A washed up teen crooner.
5) Question: Of the members of so called “Rat Pack” that starred in 1960’s Ocean’s Eleven, Sinatra preferred the company of Sammy Davis Jr. to that of Dean Martin. a) True; or b) False.
6) Question: Exactly how tall was Sinatra? a) 5-feet 7-1/2 inches; b) 5-feet 9-inches; c) 6-feet; or d) 5-feet 11-inches.
7) Question: Given his stature (see above), Sinatra was reputed to have had a disproportionately large penis. a) True; or b) False.
8) Question: Sinatra’s performance as Pvt. Angelo Maggio in 1953’s From Here To Eternity won him a best supporting actor Oscar. But another actor was almost given the role Sinatra eventually won. Can you name him? a) Richard Conte; b) Harvey Lembeck; c) Eli Wallach; or d) Ben Gazzara.
9) Question: Which actor had the most influence on Sinatra as a musical comedy performer? a) Danny Kaye; b) Bert Lahr; c) Gene Kelly or d) Bing Crosby.
10) Question: According to his widow, Barbara, Sinatra carried a torch for this person until the day he died. a) Mia Farrow; b) First wife Nancy; c) Ava Gardner; or d) Marilyn Maxwell.