Connie Francis Still Loves Bobby Darin after Dad Broke Their Union & Suicide Attempt — She’s ‘Glam’ at 85 & Enjoying Life

Legendary musician Connie Francis looks glamorous at 85 after going through many ups and downs.

The “Who’s Sorry Now?” singer spoke about her love for Bobby Darin and how their union was destroyed.

Connie also revealed what life she lives now.

In May 2023, “Stupid Cupid” singer Connie Francis appeared in social media photos where she stunned her fans with her gorgeous looks at 85.

Despite the legendary singer being declared the number-one female vocalist in America in 1958, she had several unsuccessful singles in the early and mid-1950s. Her breakthrough came after she released “Who’s Sorry Now?” a song her father, George Franconero, Sr., nagged her to record. The song topped the charts throwing her into unprecedented fame.

Connie Francis posing in a studio portrait, circa 1960 | Source: Getty Images

Francis continued her winning streak in the early 1960s with songs like “Lipstick on Your Collar” and “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool.” Hollywood wanted to cash in on the singer with MGM featuring her in “Where the Boys Are,” where she also sang the movie’s title song. However, the star later confessed that she felt like she didn’t belong and was uncomfortable with acting.

Years earlier, in 1956, Francis met the man she described as the love of her life. Bobby Darin, a struggling songwriter, was writing jingles for a furniture store in New Jersey when he came to Francis’ office to pitch a song for her.

When he played the song, Francis was unimpressed and made some changes to it. Darin wasn’t pleased, and he declared that they couldn’t work together before leaving in a huff.

However, he returned having made the changes Francis suggested, and although they disliked each other instantly, the feeling soon turned into love. The singer and Darin clicked over their dreams and hopes for Hollywood.

She described him as “amazing” and the most interesting “human being” she’d ever met. Darin was driven in a way she’d never seen before. He decided he’d become a “legend” by 25 because that’s the age doctors said he’d die from a heart ailment that had plagued him for most of his life.

Sadly, despite their undeniable attraction, their union wasn’t meant to be, as Francis’ father disapproved of their relationship. Franconero, Sr., who ran his daughter’s career like a tyrant, allegedly drove Darin out of the songstress’ rehearsal and out of her life.

Connie Francis and Bobby Darin performing on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on January 3, 1960 | Source: Getty Images

He had caught wind of the pair’s plans to elope and stormed into his daughter’s dressing room, chasing Darin out with a gun! Francis said her father “disliked” Darin, hence, his hostility toward him.

Francis’ father was committed to making her a success, and sometimes that devotion worked against her. While she never struggled with being a female in show business because of her father’s protection, he was also incredibly old-fashioned. His daughter couldn’t date in high school and wasn’t allowed to attend her prom.

After her father chased Darin out, Francis became so afraid of retaliation against Darin by her father and chose to stay away from him. However, they communicated via letters, which proved futile. With time, it became increasingly difficult for the pair to maintain the relationship through letters.

After her father’s dislike for her boyfriend broke them apart, they both moved on. In 1960, Darin married Sandra Dee and welcomed a son, Dodd, in 1962; a year later, they separated but reconciled before divorcing in 1966.

Connie Francis in London on April 18, 1985 | Source: Getty Images

For her part, Francis was married four times, with her first husband being Dick Kanellis, whom she tied the knot with on August 15, 1964. They divorced childless on November 15, 1964, before the celebrity had a brief marriage to Izzy Marion. The couple was married on January 16, 1971, and promptly divorced on February 14, 1972, with no children.

The songstress’ third husband was Joseph Garzilli, whom she married on September 16, 1973. That same year, Francis was left devastated when she heard Darin had passed away from a heart ailment. She confessed:

“I never felt quite the same about anyone the way I still feel about Bobby to this day.”

Francis held on to his memories and recalled how charismatic, brilliant, and talented he was. Additionally, she also remembered his sense of humor.

Nonetheless, the singer continued her life, and she and Joseph welcomed the star’s only child and son, Joseph Garzilli Jr., before they divorced on October 1, 1978.

On June 27, 1985, the singer married her last husband, Bob Parkinson, and their union concluded childless and with divorce on March 31, 1986.

Besides losing the man she truly loved, Francis also encountered other setbacks like abuse. There was also a suicide attempt after losing someone dear to her, but she managed to bounce back and make the most of her life.

Why Did Connie Want to Take Her Own Life?
In 1974, Francis was asleep in her hotel room when a man broke in and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint. The incident left her so traumatized that she stopped working and became a recluse for seven years.

Connie Francis at the 33rd Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival "Where The Boys Are" screening on November 7, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Source: Getty Images

Luckily, “family, good friends, and belief in God” was her saving grace. However, in the early 1980s, the singer lost her younger brother, George Franconero Jr., then-40.

The star said she couldn’t accept George Jr.’s murder because she hadn’t known until it was too late that he worked with the Mafia. Francis’ mother suffered daily with the loss of her only son, and seeing this drove the musician crazy. As a result, she took sleeping pills in an attempted suicide.

The “Wishing It Was You” singer had several stays at mental hospitals, but the love from her family and therapy helped her heal. She also had responsibilities to cater to, and because she cared for three families, her parents, son, George Jr.’s wife, and two children, she had to return to work.

Francis went back to touring. In 1984, she wrote her memoir “Who’s Sorry Now?” and followed it up with 2017’s “Among My Souvenirs: The Real Story.” She also became an advocate for the destigmatization of mental illness and victims’ rights and now lives a whole life.

What Life Does Connie Have Now?
In March 2022, Francis was living in Florida and confessed how much she missed show business and the excitement of traveling. However, the singer admitted to enjoying her life and friends while finally having free time to do what she wanted.

[Connie] Francis’ home was lucky not to have been affected by Hurricane Irma…

She has been sharing her journey with fans, giving them a sneak peek into her life. On April 19, 2023, the musician showed off her current look in a Facebook post while celebrating her friend Johanna Klausen’s 65th birthday in West Palm Beach. She was photographed wearing a green gown while holding a white coat and purse.

On May 13, 2023, she was back again with more images of her at the Wick Theater for a play. This time she smiled for a closeup picture, wearing a gray top and skirt. Fans showered her with praise, with one writing:

Another person described the singer as “So glam!” A third person thought the celebrity was “more than gorgeous” at 85, while someone else described her as a “fashionista” for how she looked.

While Francis’s life has been pretty smooth for the past couple of years, for 2022’s Valentine’s Day, she shared a Facebook photo of her and the man she’d been dating for 18 years. Tony Ferretti sadly died three weeks before the holiday, leaving it to become “a poignant one” for the musician.

In January 2022, the mother of one revealed that the image she used to honor Ferretti for Valentine’s Day was taken on Christmas Day in 2016. A day after Christmas Day in 2019, Francis revealed how she was enjoying life, dressing smart, wearing lipstick, and hanging out with other stars like Frankie D’Amelio.

In September 2022, the singer shared a Labor Day post and revealed that the images were from the previous day’s outing to the Cheesecake Factory.

These days, Francis has a lot to celebrate. She was lucky enough that her home was not affected by Hurricane Irma, even as others counted numerous losses.

She also hung up her singing boots at 80, declaring that she was retiring from performing. The songstress shared how she didn’t want to do concerts anymore because she couldn’t sing like before and didn’t want to disappoint her longtime fans.