Why Angie Dickinson Didn't Marry Frank Sinatra, Even Though He Was the "Love of Her Life"

"I was crazy about him. He was fabulous. He was absolutely the love of my life."

Frank Sinatra was married four times during his life, but his romantic history almost ended up looking a lot different. Sinatra and Angie Dickinson were in an on-and-off relationship for years, as the Police Woman star tells it, and they considered getting married. Dickinson, however, had some reasons for not wanting to make things official with the Rat Packer, even though she calls him the love of her life.

Dickinson is getting ready to take part in the TCM Classic Film Festival, and ahead of the event, the 91-year-old actor has been doing some interviews about her decades-long career and her personal life. Read on to see what she shared about Sinatra.

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Sinatra and Dickinson dated on-and-off for years.


Sinatra and Dickinson first met in 1953 when they both appeared on The Colgate Comedy Hour. As reported by the New York Post, at the 2015 TCM Film Festival, Dickinson explained that backstage at the variety show, Sinatra asked her if she was "attached." When she said yes, he asked if he should take her number.

At the time, Dickinson was married to her first husband, Gene Dickinson; Sinatra was married to his second wife, Ava Gardner. She gave him her number anyway.

The two went on to appear together in 1960's Ocean's 11, in which she played his character, Danny Ocean's, wife, Beatrice. That same year, she divorced her husband.

In 2016, Dickinson told Studio 10 of Sinatra, "He was the most important man in my life. We were lovers on-and-off for many years. "

They talked about getting married, but his lifestyle was an issue.

Frank Sinatra in a recording studio in 1962
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In a new interview with Fox News, Dickinson shared that she and Sinatra considered getting married in 1964.

"We actually talked about it," she said. "We were so comfortable with each other that it wasn't really necessary, but it did come up a couple of times. I wasn't keen on it. I would not have wanted to take that challenge on."

That "challenge" involved Sinatra's lifestyle, which saw him staying out well into the night.

"We just liked each other," Dickinson said in another recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I was crazy about him. He was fabulous. He was absolutely the love of my life. Though I would not have wanted to be married to him. He went to bed at 6 a.m."

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He said he didn't want to marry an actor.

Angie Dickinson at the 1964 Oscars
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Dickinson has also said that Sinatra had his own issue with marrying her: She was an actor.

"He actually did say, 'You know, I'm not going to marry a movie star.' And then he married Mia Farrow," Dickinson said in the Studio 10 interview. In addition to marrying Farrow in 1966, Sinatra was married to Gardner, also an actor, from 1951 to 1957.

Similarly, Dickinson told CBS Sunday Morning in 2019, "He said, 'You know, I'm not going to marry an actress.' And I said, 'Well, I don't blame you. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.'"

She added, "And I actually didn't want to marry him. So, I didn't want him to ask me to marry him. 'Cause I didn't wanna say no to Frank Sinatra!"

She has very fond memories of him.

Frank Sinatra at London Airport in 1958
J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images

Sinatra and Dickinson went on to be lifelong friends until Sinatra's death in 1998. As for who she did marry, Dickinson was wed to the late composer Burt Bacharach from 1965 to 1981, and they had one child.

She looks back very fondly on Sinatra today when it comes to both their relationship and his talent.

"Well, he's the love of my life," the Rio Bravo star told Fox News. "I just smile because it feels good to think about him. He was an extraordinary talent, to say the least … When you look at his ability to act and sing, he didn't always take challenges, but I think he could have sung anything."

She added, "He was also an extraordinary man. He was difficult, wonderful, brave and foolish."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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