How did Frank Sinatra influence Rosemary’s Baby?

14th July 1966: American actress Mia Farrow and actor singer Frank Sinatra (right) on board the ship 'Southern Breeze' before their marriage. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
14th July 1966: American actress Mia Farrow and actor singer Frank Sinatra (right) on board the ship 'Southern Breeze' before their marriage. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) /

Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow’s tumultuous marriage helped the actress give the performance of her life in Rosemary’s Baby.

Frank Sinatra is a Hollywood legend. He started off his career as a crooner with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra. His first hit was I’ll Never Smile Again. The song performed reasonably well and before the boy from Hoboken, New Jersey knew it, the 40’s cemented him as a bona fide celebrity, complete with women swooning all over the place.

The 1950’s saw Old Blue Eyes become a movie star complete with an Oscar win for his turn as Angelo Maggio in From Here to Eternity. However, soon afterwards Frank saw his popularity decline so by the time the 60’s rolled around; he was looking for ways to make a comeback.

It was during these trying times that Sinatra met and married the up and coming ingenue, Mia Farrow. The waifish actress was the star of the soap opera, Peyton Place. Smitten with her youthful beauty, the elder Chairman of the Board married her in 1966.

Segue to July 1967 and Mia Farrow wins a coveted role in Roman Polanski’s horror film, Rosemary’s Baby. Much like Hitchcock’s Psycho before it, controversy reigned with this production. Catholics were angered, England’s Board of Film Censors took umbrage with Rosemary’s sex scene with Satan but what was happening behind the scenes between Farrow and Sinatra had a direct impact on her performance.

Frank Sinatra
March 1967: Film actor and popular singer Frank Sinatra chats with his young wife, actress Mia Farrow during a break in a recording session at Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard recording studio. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images) /

According to Sloppy Horror Podcast, Farrow had promised her husband that she would take on the role of his mistress in his gritty film, The Detective. She had hoped to do double duty but the schedules for both productions didn’t mesh well so she had to choose between endeavors at Sinatra’s insistence.

Needless to say, this was a rough time for the young thespian. So, she sought the advice of famed producer, Robert Evans who was overseeing Polanski’s movie. He felt that Rosemary’s Baby would be the stronger career move for her and might garner her some industry attention.

Well, we all know the outcome. Farrow stayed and finished what would become a celebrated film in the horror genre. She divorced Frank who never forgave Robert Evans for convincing her to stay. During the time that she was shooting the production, her stress levels were through the roof which only served to make her performance of the increasingly paranoid Rosemary Woodhouse extremely convincing.

As a result, Mia won a Best Actress Golden Globe which kickstarted her career. It didn’t take long for Frank Sinatra to bounce back. His recording of Paul Anka’s My Way became a top 40 hit and his signature song.

In an odd way, because he issued Farrow an ultimatum, we ended up with the brilliant Rosemary’s Baby.

Next. Thoughts from the ledge: Five cool 1970s horror finds. dark

You can watch Rosemary’s Baby on You Tube, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon Prime, iTunes and Netflix.

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