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Connie Francis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (33)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Born in Newark, New Jersey, USA
Birth NameConcetta Rosemarie Franconero
Nicknames Queenie
The Queen of Song
Height 5' 1½" (1.56 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Singer, composer, actress, entertainer and publisher Connie Francis was educated at Arts High School and was a music student of her father. At age 11 she appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (1948) as a singer and accordionist. She has toured the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe, owned publishing companies, and has made many records. For a time she had her own television show, and has performed in nightclubs and in concert. Joining ASCAP in 1959, her popular-song compositions include "Senza Mama" and "Italian Lullaby".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234! (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (4)

Bob Parkinson (27 June 1985 - 31 March 1986) ( divorced)
Joseph Garzilli (16 September 1973 - 1 October 1978) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Izzy Marion (16 January 1971 - 14 February 1972) ( divorced)
Dick Kanellis (15 August 1964 - 15 November 1964) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Mezzo-soprano vocals

Trivia (33)

Dubbed Jayne Mansfield's singing in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958).
11/6/74: After an appearance at the Westbury Music Fair in New York, she was raped at knifepoint at the Howard Johnson Motel where she was staying. She subsequently sued the hotel chain for failing to provide adequate security when she learned that a year after the rape occurred, the broken lock to her former room had never been repaired. She was awarded a reported $3 million.
As a child she was asked by her father if she would rather have piano or accordion lessons. Since her father was an accordion player and often played to her, she chose the accordion, a decision she said she has come to regret.
She previously dated singer Bobby Darin, who quickly ended the relationship once her father ran him off from one of her shows with a pistol.
She originally did not want to sing her first smash hit, "Who's Sorry Now", since it was originally written in the 1930s. Her father convinced her otherwise.
When show host Perry Como wanted her to sing the Italian song "Mama" on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948), she was very hesitant as she didn't want to be labeled an ethnic singer. The performance gained such a positive response that she released several records in Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and a number of other languages.
When she first appeared on the scene she was written up in several magazines as being the new Judy Garland.
Singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka was originally hesitant to offer her the song "Stupid Cupid", as he thought it was much too juvenile for her.
She did not learn to drive until she was in her 20s.
She has been trying to promote a possible follow-up movie to her 1960s hit Where the Boys Are (1960) since the early 1980s titled "Where The Men Are".
She has appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show") a total of 26 times.
According to a broadcast on the A&E Biography channel, singer Elvis Presley attended one of her concerts and had to leave for emotional reasons once he heard her sing the song "Mama" as his mother had just recently died. The next day Elvis sent Connie two dozen yellow roses with a note apologizing for his abrupt exit.
When her first hit, "Who's Sorry Now", first aired on American Bandstand (1952), host Dick Clark stated, "There's no doubt about it. This girl's headed straight for the #1 spot.".
When she was first making demos, a New Jersey mobster approached her father and offered to place Connie's songs in every jukebox along the East Coast. Mr. Franconero protested, stating that if his daughter was going to make it he wanted to see her do it on her own.
The news of President John F. Kennedy's assassination reached her on the set of her third MGM film, Looking for Love (1964). She recorded the single "In The Summer of His Years" in honor of the fallen president and packaged it in a conservative gold sleeve with no photos. All proceeds from the song were donated to the family of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippitt, who had been shot and killed by alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
1967" She was voted Best Female Singer in Las Vegas.
She was not allowed to attend her high school prom by her parents but was permitted to attend her school's weekly chaperoned "Beehive" dances.
7/3/63: She played a Command Performance before Queen Elizabeth II at the Alhambra Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland.
1958: She earned her first million dollars, topped polls for Favorite Female Singer and received 5,000 fan letters a week.
Her first national appearance was on Talent Scouts (1948).
Was advertised in magazines to appear in an MGM movie titled "The Girl with a Definite Maybe" in 1965 but the film was never made.
Received a scholarship to New York University to study medicine after high school.
Was the editor of her high school yearbook.
She was originally supposed to be born in Brooklyn, where her family lived at the time. However, her mother was visiting relatives in Newark, NJ, and attended an all-night dance when she went into labor.
Singer Gloria Estefan has been very vocal since the mid-1990s that she is interested in playing Connie in a movie about her life.
Stated that the two highlights of her career, thus far, were her performance of the song "Never on Sunday" at the 1961 Academy Awards Ceremony, and her performance for troops in Vietnam in 1968 in which she ended with the song "God Bless America" and the entire army of soldiers present stood and sang along, most of whom were in tears.
1961: Singer Allan Chase released a vinyl 45 record titled "I'm In Love With Miss Connie Francis", backed with the song "Lonely Heart". The song gushes over her, often using titles of her songs in the lyrics.
One of the guests shown on the episode of This Is Your Life (1952) spotlighting Connie was her fourth-grade teacher. Connie said that she always appreciated her support over the years, as the teacher she had the year previous told her that she'd never make it.
She and ex-husband Joseph Garzilli adopted a son, Joseph Garzilli Jr.(born 1974).
Close friend of Kaye Stevens and Neil Sedaka.
She was nominated for the 2012 New Jersey Hall of Fame for her contributions to Arts and Entertainment.
She was inducted into the 2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Performance Arts category.
Based on the huge success of her acting debut in Where the Boys Are (and the film's chart-topping title tune) M-G-M signed Francis to a three movie contract. Two of the resultant movies (Follow the Boys and When the Boys Meet the Girls) were sequels to Boys Are but the third and final title, Looking for Love, proved to be such a box office disaster that Francis' movie career was all but over after making only a handful of films.

Personal Quotes (10)

[speaking about Hollywood trying to get her thin] I didn't know anything about speed or diet pills, but they gave me these little red pills, like Benzedrine, that you can only buy in Mexico now.
[on her MGM record contract] I never paid for anything. There was never any recoupment for all the sessions I did. Not one penny. I had four people I hired to work for me on letters and on foreign releases. They paid for every photograph and I kept the photos. Travel, everything, was paid for. Even if it wasn't on MGM business, it was paid for. Gowns-bills were sent to MGM because I needed them for album covers. I bought them, and wore them. I could record where I wanted, however many songs I wanted, in whatever country, in whatever language, with whatever arranger, and then the bottom line was, if I didn't like any of it, I didn't have to release it. I didn't abuse it. I tried to release even the garbage so that I wouldn't just be recording and not releasing stuff.
Overseas, especially in England, I was an adult star before I was an adult star in America. But here, they didn't take me seriously until that night on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948). I remember it was a Wednesday night, and I had a concert at Carnegie Hall the following Sunday and only 200 seats had been sold. Within 24 hours after doing "The Perry Como Show" they were scalping tickets to get into my show at Carnegie Hall.
[regarding her version of "God Bless America"] In an interview published in the September 1991 issue of DISCoveries Magazine, Connie tells 'Jerry Osborne': Irving Berlin had a fit when he found out I was doing it. He called my manager and said, "If that teenybopper louses up my beautiful 'God Bless America' the way she did poor Harry Ruby's 'Who's Sorry Now', I'm going to have a stroke". My manager said, "Please, Irving, relax. You'll be the first to hear it." "I just don't want it loused up with any of that 'Stupid Cupid' crap!", said Irving. Then when the record came out, my manager sent it directly to him and he said, "She did it just the way I thought she'd do it. It stinks! It's worse than that." I can't even tell you what he said. So, when it made the Top 10 in Variety, Irving called my manager and says, "George, do you think she can do 'God Bless America' on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948).
In an interview published in the September 1991 issue of DISCoveries Magazine, Connie tells Jerry Osborne: One day in 1960 I was going through my collection of Al Jolson and Judy Garland records, and I played Al's "Are You Lonesome Tonight". I said, "Daddy, come listen to this. I could make it a No. 1 song". He agreed and I called Don Costa in to do the arrangement. I said, "I'm more excited about recording this song than anything I've ever cut." We were in the car on our way to New York when the radio played [Elvis Presley's] "new" single, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?". Can you believe that? I was literally on my way to the studio to record it. How do you like that? Elvis even did the recitation part just like Al Jolson did.
[on her late brother George] He had the greatest sense of humor in the world. When he heard that I was getting married for the third time, he said, "Let me ask you a question", he said. "Don't you think it would be a good idea if you bought a drip-dry wedding dress?" I said, "Don't get cute, Georgie". Then he said, "Is Anita going to be my best friend? Is Anita going to be your Matron of Honor again?" I said, "Yes". He said, "It is a nice thing you keep doing for Anita. Everybody needs a steady job."
[on Elvis Presley's inner-circle crew] Well, they were yes men. They overlooked his excesses and the chemicals he was taking. For a Cadillac, they would say the right thing. I said, "God forbid that day comes that you die, Elvis. Red West is gonna write a bad book about you," and I was absolutely right.
[regarding Dick Clark playing "Who's Sorry Now" on American Bandstand (1952)] He continued playing it until it sold a million. Without Dick Clark I wouldn't have stayed in show business. I was ready to go back to school to study medicine.
On truth: Don't confuse me with the facts!
[on her hit singles] They were the least-artistic endeavor of my career. They were bubblegum songs. They were teenybopper songs. But I enjoy seeing the reaction of people when I do them. [The Arizona Republic, Feb. 9, 2006]

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