Frank Sinatra's Death: The Aftermath, And How Seinfeld Was Involved
By | May 13, 2020
Left: Frank Sinatra sings on his 75th birthday. Right: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards in the 'Seinfeld' finale. Sources: Bettmann via Getty Images; IMDB.
The night Frank Sinatra died, America was busy watching Seinfeld. It was May 14, 1998, and Ol' Blue Eyes was going to the great Vegas showroom in the sky, but nobody could win this ratings battle -- Sinatra's finale vs. the Seinfeld finale. Talk around the office watercooler the following day wasn't focused on the Chairman of the Board, it was all about Seinfeld's bizarre and controversial ending, which found the show's characters arrested in a small town and put on trial for failing to help a person being mugged. Sinatra got his due, belatedly, as the unsatisfying (to many viewers) sitcom finale was quickly forgotten and the monumental career of the beloved entertainer became the subject of tributes and celebrity comments.
Over the last several years of his life, Sinatra was hospitalized for heart and breathing problems, pneumonia, high blood pressure, and bladder cancer. He had also been diagnosed with dementia. However, his former manager said that the antidepressant he was on for years, Elavil, was responsible for his failing health. He continued to believe that he would continue to live. Five days before Frank Sinatra’s death in 1998, he asked his daughter Tina how much longer it would be until the new millennium,. When she responded that it was coming in 18 months, he said he could do that; he was determined to celebrate it despite his health problems. However, he died at the age of 82 on May 14. The cause of death: a heart attack.