Ol’ Blue Eyes is getting the bronze treatment. Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, unveiled a bronze statue of The Chairman of the Board Sunday on what would have been his 106th birthday.
The city planned a reveal the statue on Sunday at Sinatra Park. Joe Piscopo, who impersonated the Sultan of Swoon on Saturday Night Live, emceed the event that featured performances from students at Sinatra’s School of Music. They played some of his most famous songs such as “Fly Me To the Moon.”
“It sure is interesting because it’s Sinatra,” Piscopo told Fox News. “It’s international. … Visually it’s great and, again, it’s for the Italians. Mr. Sinatra would appreciate that.”
He tweeted a photo of the statue ahead of the ceremony.
“And it’s right down to Frank Sinatra’s pinky ring,” Piscopo detailed. “It’s really cool.”
The city hired sculptor and poet Carolyn Palmer to create the 6-foot-tall bronze statue. Palmer created several statues, including Pope Francis, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson. But she is most famous for her bronze model of Lucille Ball in Celoron, N.Y. Her statue replaced the infamous “Scary Lucy,” which critics said looked more like Steve Buscemi than the iconic comedienne.
Palmer said she modeled the Hoboken statue on a photo of a 45-year-old Frank Sinatra. City officials said they’re paying the estimated $80,000 to $100,000 price tag through private donations, NJ.com said.
Sintra was born in Hoboken, N.J. on Dec. 12, 1915. He died in 1998 at the age of 82.
Frank Sinatra’s Daughter Once Sent Ray Liotta a Horse’s Head
Frank Sintra’s daughters once made Ray Liotta an offer he probably shouldn’t have refused. The Goodfellas actor said in a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage that they sent him a message by way of a horse’s head after he turned down a film role.
Liotta said Tina and Nancy Sinatra asked him to portray their father in a miniseries they were producing in 1998, but he’d already signed on to play Frank Sinatra in HBO’s The Rat Pack. The actor said he felt uncomfortable playing the singer in competing projects, so he turned them down. They didn’t appreciate that.
“We were doing the movie, and I got delivered a horse’s head,” Liotta told Leno. “Obviously, it wasn’t a real one, but it was a horse’s head. And, you know, a horse’s head means you’re toast. It turned out that his daughters sent it and said, ‘Oh, you could do this one, but you couldn’t do the one that we wanted you to?’”
The horse’s head is a reference to the famous scene in The Godfather. In the movie, Luca Brasi cuts the head off of a movie producer’s prized racehorse and leaves it in his bed. The Corleone’s were sending a message to the producer: cast Johnny Fontane in your film or else.
The character of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather is based on Frank Sinatra. So, sending a horse’s head to Ray Liotta because he wouldn’t play Frank Sinatra in a film has a beautiful bit of dark irony to it.