Monroe died in 1962 at age 36 of “probable suicide.” Frank Sinatra died in 1998 at age 82 after a long life. Through all that time, his friend and manager Tony Oppedisano, says the icon “never got over” Marilyn’s death.
“He had a special place in his heart for Marilyn,” Oppedisano tells Fox News. “He felt she was a fragile girl who had been exploited by a lot of people. That’s part of the reason why he said, ‘Even though as pretty as she was, as attracted as I was to her, I just couldn’t bring myself to go there physically.'”
The revealing sentiments come courtesy of Oppedisano’s recent memoir, Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours. As a member of Frank Sinatra’s management team and lifelong friend, Oppedisano knew the legendary singer better than most.
According to Tony O., Marilyn even tried to pursue a relationship with Sinatra herself.
“But he said, ‘I just couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I didn’t want to be another older guy who appeared to take advantage of her and then leave her flat. I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do that,’” he quotes of the late Sinatra.
Frank Sinatra and the End of Marilyn Monroe
The two men became friends when Oppedisano was just 21-years-old and Frank Sinatra was at the height of his career. In his memoir, he reveals that Marilyn Monroe was ever-present in Sinatra’s life.
“He cared about her too much,” he recalls. “And again, his protective nature kept him from [pursuing Marilyn].”
Perhaps Tony O. feels it pertinent to clarify this. Rumors persist, after all, that the singer and starlet did have an affair in the years leading to her death. Other authors, such as J. Randall Taraborrelli (of Sinatra: The Man Behind The Myth), have written as much.
But it wasn’t meant to be. The two, Oppedisano insists, were “close friends but not lovers.”
Regardless, Marilyn Monroe would meet a terribly tragic death far too young. Her passing in 1962 came as an utter shock to the world – and devastated Frank Sinatra. To make matters worse for the singer, Monroe is said to have been playing her favorite records of his in her final hours as she made calls to dear friends.
“He felt her death was a real disaster that didn’t need to happen,” Oppedisano concludes for Fox News. “He did not believe she had an overdose… And he never got over it.”