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Collection Selections: Sinatra: A career on camera

Musician, film star, showman: Frank Sinatra was the perfect entertainer.

From the bright lights of Hollywood to the razzmatazz of Las Vegas, his sixty-year career was studded with film awards and record sales in the tens of millions. Equally renowned, his public appearances and turbulent personal life kept him firmly in the gaze of the world’s press.

To mark the centenary of his birth on 12 December 2015 we reveal rarely-seen gems from the Daily Herald photographic archive that show the many sides of the ‘Sultan of Swoon’.

Many of the photographs in the Daily Herald archive have press captions or articles on the reverse, which we have added below each picture. Often, you can also see the marks left by the picture editor to crop or highlight the photograph.

Still of Sinatra and Gene Kelly from 'Anchors Aweigh',
‘Anchors Aweigh’, 1945, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This photograph of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra was taken in 1945. It was reprinted by the Daily Herald in 1968 to advertise a Christmas Day screening of the famous musical.

Ava Gardener and Frank Sinatra on the set of 'The Flying Dutchman'
A Ring on Ava’s Finger!’, 1950 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“Tossa, Spain: Frank Sinatra, American crooner whose name has been romantically linked with Ava Gardener, left Spain for Paris after seeing Miss Gardener filming on location at this Catalonia fishing town for the Romulus production of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, co-starring actor James Mason.”

Frank Sinatra photographed at a costume ball
‘Frank Sinatra as a Red Indian’, 1962, Daily Herald Archive © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

“Photographed at a costume ball in Hollywood with actress Juliet Prowse.”

Photograph of Sinatra's arrival at Palladium
‘Frank Sinatra First Night at the Palladium’, 1950 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“Frank Sinatra arriving at the London Palladium to make his debut in this country. On his arrival his fans mobbed him: some even succeeded in grabbing his Bow Tie, and he is seen here passing through the fans with police escort with his bow untied.”

Sinatra on the set of 'None But the Brave'
‘Frank Sinatra in None But the Brave’ 1965 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive
Photograph of Frank Sinatra on his arrival at the airport
‘Frank Sinatra on his arrival at the airport’, 1961 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive
Photograph of Sinatra visiting home for children with visual impairements
‘Frank Sinatra Visits Sunshine Home for Blind Children at Northwood’, 1962 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“Judith, a four-year-old blind girl, meets Mr Frank Sinatra during his tour of the home.”

Photograph of Sinatra and Mia Farrow
‘Mr Frank Sinatra, Miss Mia Farrow, and their wedding present from Miss Elizabeth Taylor’, 1966 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“This, we repeat, is THE first picture of them taken together, and indicates that Mr Sinatra has for once conquered his pathological dislike of photographers. ‘I just can’t stand them’, he has said. Which, we may inform him, is just how Mr Sinatra affects many photographers.”

Still from 'Never So Few',
Sinatra in Never So Few, 1950  © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive
Still from 'The Manchurian Candidate'
‘Sinatra Swings Again’, 1962 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“A swinging smash with a right to the jaw from crooner Frank Sinatra (right) proves the ‘swinging’ Mr Sinatra packs quite a punch. The man on the receiving end is actor Henry Silva, pictured during the filming of the United Artists production The Manchurian Candidate.”

Untitled publicity stills
Untitled publicity stills, 1959 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive
Sinatra on set of 'Assault on a Queen'
‘Who’s the Man Behind the Mask?’, 1965 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum / Daily Herald Archive

“Recognise those eyes? It’s actor Frank Sinatra ready to play his part in his latest film called Assault on a Queen. In the new picture, Sinatra plays the role of a naval officer. The medical mask is part of an operation scene.”

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