A STYLISH WOMAN IN SUNGLASSES walked briskly through the lobby of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles one day last week before she was stopped by a security guard. “Are you visiting someone?” he asked, not recognizing her.
“I’m Mrs. Sinatra,” she said. The guard waved her through.
At press time, Frank Sinatra, 81, remained in stable condition after what his doctors called “an uncomplicated heart attack” (one that doesn’t result in significant heart damage) on Jan. 9.
But about the only way to get close to America’s most famous hospital patient these days is to have a medical degree or the singer’s surname. Since Sinatra was brought to Cedars-Sinai by paramedics for his heart condition, the hospital has been teeming with a security force meant to intercept predatory paparazzi and adoring fans. But according to a source close to the situation, Ol’ Blue Eyes, who was expected to be released late last week, was still seeing red over his confinement. “He is nasty all the time,” says the source about the chairman of the bored.
Indeed, rumors that Sinatra—who reportedly continues to smoke in his room—might be near death are greatly exaggerated, say his doctors; his prognosis “is good,” insists his spokeswoman Susan Reynolds. Sinatra’s latest round of health problems started last November when he was admitted to the same hospital for a pinched nerve and pneumonia. He was released eight days later but returned on Jan. 6 for an undisclosed ailment.
In any case, loyal pals such as producer George Schlatter aren’t worried. “Frank is going to win this fight,” says Schlatter, who produced some of Sinatra’s TV specials. “He’s won more fights than anyone I know.” After a pause, Schlatter grins and adds: “He’s put enough people in the hospital, it’s probably his turn to go in one.”