Mary Mandel is the ex-wife of Frankie Valli, the lead vocalist of The Four Seasons Music Band. More than just the former partner of a renowned musician, she was a mother, a partner, and a steadfast supporter of Valli’s career in the spotlight. Frankie and Mary’s divorce may have been due to various reasons. However, one reason that Valli openly acknowledged was the prioritization of his show business career, which inevitably relegated Mary to a secondary place in his life.
|The ex-wife of Frankie Valli
|Marriage to Frankie Valli
|Celia Sabin Selleck (from a previous relationship)
Antonia (Toni) Valli
|April 28, 2007
Mary Mandel Biography
Not much is known about Mary Mandel’s early life. We know that by the time she met Frankie Valli, she was already a mother to a two-year-old daughter, Celia Sabin, from a previous relationship. This suggests she was no stranger to hardship and responsibility, a trait that would later be apparent in her marriage to Valli.
Mary Mandel’s and Frankie Valli’s Marriage
Mary Mandel and Frankie Valli tied the knot in 1957, embarking on a 14-year journey together that paralleled Valli’s ascent as a music icon. Frankie wed Mary at the age of 23, indicating that Mary was likely in her early 20s or late teens at the time of their marriage. Throughout their union, Mary demonstrated unwavering support for Frankie, standing by his side through the peaks and troughs of his career in show business.
They were a happy couple with two daughters, Antonia (Toni) Valli and Francine Valli. Frankie accepted Mary’s daughter from a previous relationship, Celia Sabin, raising her as his own and treating her with all the affection of a doting father.
Mary Mandel’s and Frankie Valli’s Divorce
Regrettably, like numerous relationships in show business, Mary and Frankie’s marriage encountered its share of challenges. They divorced in 1971, just a year after “You’re Ready Now,” a solo recording by Valli from 1966, became a hit in the Northern soul scene, reaching number eleven on the UK Singles Chart in December 1970. The music industry, known for its demanding nature and routine long absences, could strain their union. Frankie’s candid admission that success in show business often relegated partners to a secondary role could have further compounded the tension in their relationship.
Following her divorce from Frankie, Mary stepped out of the spotlight. She maintained privacy regarding details of her personal life; hence, whether she remarried or chose to remain single remains unknown.
Frankie Valli After Divorce From Mary Mandel
After their divorce from Mary, Frankie Valli continued his journey in the world of show business; he released songs such as “My Eyes Adored You” and “Swearin’ to God.” His stance on prioritizing his career over personal relationships persisted as he experienced two more divorces after his separation from Mary.
Frankie Valli walked down the aisle three times. His first wife was Mary Mandel. In 1974, Frankie Valli married his second wife, MaryAnn Hannagan. Their union lasted eight years before they also parted ways. Two years later, he tied the knot with Randy Clohessy in 1984. The couple was blessed with three sons but decided to separate in 2004.
As for the legalities of his third divorce, a significant issue emerged that ended up before the Supreme Court of California. The contention was about the status of a life insurance policy purchased in 2003. On May 15, 2014, the court ruled that the policy was community property, not solely Randy’s, in a decision unanimously endorsed by Associate Justice Joyce Kennard.
Tragedy struck Frankie Valli’s family in 1980 when his stepdaughter, Celia Sabin, tragically died from a fall off a fire escape. Just six months later, Francine, his youngest daughter with Mary Mandel, tragically passed away, with reports suggesting a drug overdose as the cause.
Mary Mandel’s Children
Mary’s life was not without heartache. Celia Sabin, her daughter from a previous relationship, tragically died in 1980 due to a fall accident. She was locked out of her New York apartment and, attempting to enter it through the fire escape, slipped and fell.
Six months after this tragic event, Mary and Frankie’s daughter Francine died of what was later determined to be complications from consuming a mixture of Quaaludes and alcohol. The tragedy was magnified by speculation about whether it was suicide or an accident.
Mary’s only surviving child is Antonia Valli.
Mary Mandel Death
Despite these tragedies, Mary Mandel will always be remembered for her resilience. She was a woman who stood by her partner during the ascent of his career and raised her children with love and dedication. Her life, though marked by sadness, is a testament to the strength of a mother’s love and the endurance of the human spirit. Mary Mandel died peacefully on April 28, 2007, at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, New Jersey. She died in her 80s, leaving a legacy of love and resilience.