In this insider celebrity bio, Jacobs, who served as Sinatra's valet for more than 13 years, recalls the time when Sinatra (or "Mr. S," as he called him) first hired him, then fired him in a jealous rage in 1968. Jacobs, who grew up in New Orleans, offers glimpses of Sinatra's private life-his obsession with cleanliness, his professional and personal relationships, as well as his many sexual conquests (which Jacobs sometimes recounts with too much detail). Jacobs (writing with Stadiem, author of Marilyn Monroe Confidential), in sometimes overwritten prose, dishes out the dirt on everyone from Hollywood stars (he catches Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo in Sinatra's pool, swimming naked and kissing) to the Kennedy clan (future president JFK doing lines of coke with Rat Pack member Peter Lawford). The authors spare only Ava Gardner from the dirtiest gossip. Sinatra entrusted his valet with his most private affairs-Jacobs kept his various girlfriends and wives entertained while Sinatra was busy. (It was a paparazzo's photo of Jacobs dancing with Mia Farrow at a nightclub that ignited Sinatra's rage.) Despite Sinatra's temper tantrums, Jacobs maintains that Sinatra always treated him well; and despite Sinatra's off-color jokes, he insists that the star was not a racist. (Sammy Davis Jr. "was the only person in Mr. S's world who made me aware of being black, and made me feel second-class for it.") In the end this is a mostly respectful portrait of Sinatra by a man still stung by the singer's unforgiving temper. One only wishes the book included more of Jacobs. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
As-told-to memoir of life with the famous crooner by his African-American Man Friday, lubricated with racy tales about the stars, the Kennedys, and the Mob. Aided by veteran coauthor Stadiem (Too Rich, 1991, etc.), New Orleans native Jacobs begins his story at the end of his association with Sinatra. The summer of 1968 was not a good year for Mr. S. The music world was changing, many of his Mob pals were either in jail or exile, and his marriage to Mia Farrow was in troublewhich might explain why he summarily fired Jacobs for the sin of dancing with Farrow (at her request) in a popular Beverly Hills nightspot. In subsequent chapters, the author details his Hollywood rise, which began in 1950 when he came to California dreaming of a career in show biz after serving in the navy. Jacobs first worked for noted agent Irving Lazar, who introduced him to stars like Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Sinatra, whose career seemed stalled until he landed an Oscar-winning role in From Here to Eternity in 1952. One year later, Jacobs was hired away by Sinatra, who not only coveted his skills as a factotum but wanted to annoy Lazar, who had treated the singer like a has-been. Jacobs describes how he became close to Sinatra, a generous if volatile employer, met his family and friends, listened to his worries about his career. Though Mr. S. had numerous affairswith hookers and starlets as well as Bacall and Monroehe was still obsessed with Ava Gardner, the author recalls, as he liberally names names and regales scandals. Sinatra was insecure about his background, Jacobs reveals, and his awe of the Kennedys turned to hate when he was betrayed by Bobby and Jackie, who disapproved of hisassociation with JFK. By contrast, he remained loyal to mobsters like Sam Giancana. Deliciously gossipy, yet Sinatra is recalled with affection rather than spite. Agent: Peter Miller