Nancy Sinatra provided this response in an interview to a British paper several years ago;
Interviewer: "It is often assumed that the way in which Frank Sinatra was cast in the 1953 film From Here To Eternity was as depicted in The Godfather film. The Mob used their influence - for which he won an Oscar - made him the model for Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather, the crooner whose gangster friends make the director an offer he can't refuse. Did we assume likewise?"
Nancy: "You know, it is so funny, that is asked in the UK a lot, but in America hardly at all. I guess that in Hollywood everybody knew it was a joke, although Dad didn't find it funny. He didn't like it. It stirred up some unpleasant stuff from the 1940s and 1950s, and in any case, he was not one to ask for favors. But later in life, he found a sense of humor about it."
"He got the role of Pvt. Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953) after Eli Wallach passed on it to do a Tennessee Williams play on stage, according to Wallach on a broadcast of "Morning Sedition" on "Air America Radio."
However, Tina Sinatra has stated that also providing assistance was Frank's wife Ava Gardner. Gardner's power in Hollywood (friendship with Columbia's studio chief Harry Cohn), helped Sinatra get to audition for From Here to Eternity (1953).
The salary has been reported as either $4000 or $8000.....far below his MGM level. As we all know, his subsequent Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor helped revitalize Frank Sinatra's professional career.
Frank and Ava separated in October 1953, and finally divorced in 1957.
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