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What's On: Theatre: Sinatra: I just do it his way.

Byline: By Diane Parkes

WHAT made Frank Sinatra so special? This is the question being pondered by Louis Hoover who has spent a good deal of the last five years playing Sinatra in shows.

Louis was the first Frank alongside Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin in original The Rat Pack show which was launched in 2000.

He was so impressive he went on to take centre stage in the UK and Ireland tour of Salute to Sinatra! which he also produced and directed.

And this December he is back in Christmas With The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas which aims to take the audience by storm at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre.

Having spent so much time being so close to the legend, Louis is well qualified to pass judgement on Sinatra's star quality.

"Sinatra never settled for second best," he says. "As an artist, singer and actor he was always in pursuit of the best of his art. "And this was the age of great songs by people like Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin. It was before the time of the singer songwriter so people like Sinatra concentrated on mastering their art while others were masters at writing, production, playing instruments etc."

According to Louis, Sinatra also knew how to play the fame game. "He was one of the first artists to realise that you have to

FRANK SINATRA FACTFILE

Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken New Jersey in 1915.

n Sinatra had lifelong scars on his head after a difficult forceps delivery.

n His mother Nathalie Della, known as Dolly, was born in Genoa and moved to the USA at the age of two months while his father was originally Sicilian. n Frank dropped out of school at the age of 15 - a decision he was to regret throughout his life.

n His performing career began in 1935 when he auditioned for a popular radio show Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour.

n His movie career included From Here To Eternity, Ocean's 11, The Manchurian Candidate and High Society.

n Sinatra split from first wife Nancy to begin an affair with actress Ava Gardner. They married and divorced and Sinatra then married actress Mia Farrow before they split. His fourth wife was Barbara Jane Blakely Marx, widow of Zeppo Marx.

n The Rat Pack was actually formed by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in 1955 but is best known as a later grouping of Sinatra, Davis, Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop

CAPTION(S):

RAT PACK... Tribute trio (from left) Rohan Rekord (Sammy Davis Junior), Louis Hoover (Frank Sinatra) and Michael Nelson (Dean Martin
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 11, 2005
Words:438
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