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Friday, May 15, 1998 Published at 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK


Screams to big screen idol
image: [ Sinatra won an Oscar in 1954 for his role in From Here to Eternity ]
Sinatra won an Oscar in 1954 for his role in From Here to Eternity

Frank Sinatra moved effortlessly from stage to silver screen.

He appeared in 58 films and many of his earlier ones became classics. He even won an Oscar for best supporting role in From Here to Eternity.

[ image: Teen idol Sinatra made an easy transition to films]
Teen idol Sinatra made an easy transition to films
Sinatra first appeared in a handful of movies as the vocalist with bandleader Tommy Dorsey's troupes, making his celluloid debut in 1941 with Las Vegas Nights.

But it was not until Higher And Higher, three years later, that he began to act.

Sinatra was already the idol of hundreds of teenage fans, so it was not surprising that his lightweight extravaganzas like Anchors Aweigh (1945) alongside Gene Kelly became hits.

Sinatra also teamed up with Kelly in On The Town (1949) and later with Grace Kelly in High Society (1956).

But in the early 1950s, Sinatra hit a slump as rock 'n' roll eclipsed the Big Bands. He suffered damaged vocal chords and his film career dried up.

In 1953 he staged a spectacular comeback with his performance in From Here To Eternity, playing the victim of army bullying. He won the Oscar for his role in the film in 1954.

In 1956 he was nominated for best actor in The Man With The Golden Arm and in 1957 won a Golden Globe for best actor in Pal Joey.

Wide ranging

Significant films in his 58 movie career, which ranged from all-singing, all-dancing musicals to action thrillers, include:

HIGHER AND HIGHER (1944) Sinatra plays a singer coping with the pressures of stardom.

ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945) Sinatra and Gene Kelly are sailors on leave in Los Angeles who befriend a small boy who wants to join the navy.

ON THE TOWN (1949) Again stars as a sailor on 24-hour shore leave and their romantic escapades in New York.

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) Established Sinatra as an actor with real talent. Depicts life in US barracks at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1956) Controversially deals with a poker dealer (Sinatra) who kicks his heroin habit.

HIGH SOCIETY (1956) A musical reworking of The Philadelphia Story with Sinatra as a scheming reporter at an upper crust wedding.

PAL JOEY (1957) Sinatra plays the eponymous anti-hero - a selfish gigolo who is on the up in the nightclub world.

CAN CAN (1959) Tells the tale of a Parisian nightclub dancer sued for performing the notorious dance the can can.

OCEAN'S ELEVEN (1960) Sinatra stars with his "rat pack" pals as a gang of friends who plan to rob a Las Vegas casino.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) An American prisoner returns from the Korean War brainwashed and programmed to kill the US President. Sinatra is the guy who fits all the pieces together.

ROBIN AND THE SEVEN HOODS (1964) A Robin Hood spoof set in the gangland Chicago of the 1920s.

VON RYAN'S EXPRESS (1965) Sinatra is an unpopular American in an Italian prisoner of war camp who overcomes the English inmates' scepticism to lead them on an escape.

TONY ROME (1967) Sinatra stars as a world-weary private eye solving an old-fashioned murder mystery.

THE DETECTIVE (1968) This time he is a New York detective fighting crime and corruption.


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15 May 98 | World
Farewell to Ol' Blue Eyes

15 May 98 | World
Frank Sinatra dies aged 82

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