SINATRA IN BEVERLY HILLS - The Secret Hideaway of a Legend
by Kaya Morgan
On a secluded drive in Beverly Hills, Frank and Barbara Sinatra found a hideaway, that unlike their palatial estate in Palm Springs, was only shared with the closest circle of friends and family. Nicknamed "The Voice," Frank crooned as joyous honeymoon couples took their first spin across the dance floor, and offered solace to lonely souls in dingy smoke-filled bars making them feel that someone else understood their fear, misery and regret. A true philanthropist, Sinatra funded many non-profit foundations and received the nation's highest civilian accolade the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But, who was this alluring and powerful man with the smoldering voice?
As a world-renowned icon, Frank Sinatra's body of work is almost beyond belief with literally thousands of recordings, nine Grammys, two Academy Awards, over 60 films, worldwide tours, and television specials not to mention the millions of dollars raised for charities. According to Shirley MacLaine, one of only two female members of the famed Rat Pack, Sinatra was, "
the godfather of the musical depths of their sorrows, their lonely nights, their passionate silliness."
Yet, very few people know that his crooning days were inspired while in high school when he saw idol, Bing Crosby, perform live. After a short stint with Harry James, he accepted an invitation to join the Tommy Dorsey band that turned out to be the winning ticket that helped propel Sinatra to wide success as a solo vocalist.
Little wonder this man had such a powerful voice. His raw lung power alone could carry his voice through 16 bars straight without having to draw a single breath. But, more importantly, he believed that a singer should personalize the song since no two arrangements were alike. "He was the greatest interpreter of lyrics that ever lived," said singer Dionne Warwick. "He could sing the telephone book and make you believe it."
In 1954 after turning to acting as a new extension of his music career, he earned his first Oscar for the film, "From Here to Eternity" which led to a series of successful movies opposite Marlon Brando in "Guys and Dolls, as a junkie card shark in "The Man with the Golden Arm, and a prying journalist in "High Society." Then in 1962, he gave his finest film performance in the Cold War thriller, "The Manchurian Candidate," playing a Korean War vet. But, with the assassination of JFK in 1963, Sinatra was so horrified that he completely withdrew the film from circulation for 25 years.
The '60s brought visibility and popularity to the notorious Rat Pack. The core group centered around Frank the brains, Dean Martin (Dino) the heart, and Sammy Davis, Jr. the soul. With Sinatra known as the "Chairman of the Board" or "Il Padrone," their escapades were immortalized in films like "Ocean's 11" and "Robin and the 7 Hoods." Indeed, the Rat Pack stole the town during the production of "Ocean's 11" while in Las Vegas with the boys filming by day and performing at the Sands by night.
After a long break, Sinatra's 1973 comeback album "Ol' Blue Eyes is Back," went platinum with 1 million copies, and his televised 1974 Madison Square Garden concert "The Main Event," drew a worldwide viewership estimated in the hundreds of millions. During the last 16 years of his life, Sinatra recorded only five new albums the most popular, "Duets I and II," winning him two more Grammys.
The real love of his life, Barbara Marx, former wife of Marx Brother Zeppo became his wife in 1976 and the couple was together until his death, more than two decades later. Originally choosing Palm Springs, the hot spot for the Hollywood set, as their first home, it wasn't until 1984 when the couple purchased the Beverly Hills property as their quiet, private retreat.
Just a short walk from the Beverly Hills Hotel and Polo Lounge where the "who's who" of Hollywood regularly cavorts, the 14-room estate is the epitome of privacy and refinement. The 8,000-square-foot residence was designed in classic Southern California style, ever open to the sunshine and surrounded by a dramatic profusion of foliage. A sense of style and grace embrace the neutral earth tones that flow throughout its sun-filled rooms.
The first floor's lavish and enormous living room, dining room, den and sitting room have deep carpets that offer a warm and inviting accompaniment to the clean more stark surfaces of the marble, limestone and glass. The main guest room, with its sitting room and bath, could easily function as a second master suite all its own. A second guest room also has its own bath, while the third room doubles as an office.
The informal living room opens to the patio and swimming pool. The den boasts hand-carved display cabinets and a striking limestone fireplace while the shimmering refinement of the mirror-backed bar reflect the character and class that defined Sinatra over his career as a brilliant and sophisticated entertainer.
A spectacular stairway leads to the master suite, which occupies the home's entire upper level with separate his and her baths, dressing rooms and walk-in closets just off this magnificent room. A large gym opens onto a private rooftop terrace complete with spa and outdoor fireplace, ideal for private relaxation or entertaining in grand Beverly Hills style.
The resort-quality pool below is encircled by palms, foliage and surrounded by impeccably maintained grounds. Two maid's quarters with separate sitting areas and baths are conveniently located off the service porch behind the kitchen with its own outside entrance.
Merely minutes away from the cultural attractions of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the Sinatra's Beverly Hills Estate is truly an oasis of elegance.
Although there will never be another Frank, The Voice, ever present, still rings out perpetually telling tales of love, hope, heartbreak and wisdom his way. One of Sinatra's favorite toasts to make with glass in hand was, "May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine." Here, The Voice, so beloved by the world for more than 60 years will be heard for countless years to come but only in one final, mesmerizing, very private solo performance.
This supremely unique, beautifully appointed estate of Frank and Barbara Sinatra is offered for sale, furnished.
For more information, contact Hilton & Hyland at 310.278.3311 or at www.hiltonhyland.com
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