Connie Francis Desires to Leave a Lasting Legacy of Overcoming Adversity and Personal Growth

Despite the passage of time and the trials she has faced, Connie Francis, the former teen popstar, remains as glamorous at the age of 85 as she was in 1958 when she captivated audiences with her hit song “Who’s Sorry Now,” her glossy lips belting out the lyrics.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Francis was renowned for her impeccable appearance, never appearing in public without false eyelashes and stiletto heels, which added a few inches to her petite frame of 1.56 meters.

GAB Archive/Redferns

During her 85th birthday celebration, she was dressed to impress, surrounded by what she referred to as “the largest gathering of lifelong friends and those closest to me.”

After skyrocketing to superstardom with the release of “Who’s Sorry Now,” Francis continued to enjoy further successes throughout the 1960s with hits like “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” “Lipstick on Your Collar,” and “Heartaches by the Number.”

However, despite the luxuries and fame, she carried the burden of heartbreak. Falling in love with teen idol Bobby Darin, who would later become the top male performer of the 1960s, was a fateful encounter for Francis, who was the best-selling female artist of the same era. Darin wrote some of her music, and they performed together, forming a deep love that endured for many years. Francis described Darin as her first and last love.

ABC Television / Wikipedia Commons

Reflecting on her love story with Darin in an interview with FOX News, Francis recounted their initial encounter and the instant spark that triggered his instinct to flee. Despite their deep connection, they were star-crossed lovers.

Francis’ Italian father, an authoritative and hot-tempered figure, vehemently disapproved of their budding romance. He even went so far as to hold the young Darin at gunpoint, forcing him out of her life. Speaking of her father’s intense dislike for Darin, Francis revealed that he had even attempted to shoot him, a dangerous situation considering Darin’s preexisting heart condition.

Following Darin’s untimely death at the age of 37 in 1973, where he left behind a legendary musical legacy, Francis, under her father’s strict guidance, focused on her career. She lent her voice to actors in films such as The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958), and later had her face grace the silver screen in the starring role of Where the Boys Are (1960), where she also performed the hit song of the same name. She appeared in a few more movies, with her final film being When the Boys Meet the Girls in 1965. However, acting never felt like her true calling, and she expressed her discomfort and relief at leaving the industry.

Wikipedia Commons

Following Darin’s passing, Francis continued her search for love, having relationships with comedian Don Rickles and forming a close friendship with the blue-eyed crooner Frank Sinatra.

Throughout her life, Francis experienced a series of tragedies. She was married and divorced four times, and her third husband, Joseph Garzilli, with whom she adopted a child, was the only relationship that lasted longer than one year. During this marriage, she endured a traumatic incident in 1974 when she was attacked by an intruder in her New York motel room, leading to a deep depression and a seven-year period of seclusion where she relied on Darvon.

In 1977, she underwent nasal surgery to correct a medical condition that prevented her from singing in air-conditioned rooms. Despite multiple surgeries, she was left without a voice for four years. Just as she began to make a comeback, her younger brother, George A. Franconero, a former district attorney acting as a government witness, was tragically killed in what the police deemed a “mob killing.”

In 2017, Francis courageously shared her life’s triumphs and tragedies in her tell-all book, “Among My Souvenirs,” offering a candid reflection on her successes overshadowed by a string of hardships.

In 2022, she experienced the loss of her partner of 18 years, Tony Ferretti, with whom she recorded a duet of “You Made Me Love You.” Looking at her life today, Francis expressed her desire to be remembered “

Related Posts