Frank Sinatra or Woody Allen? Ronan Farrow has some awkward thinking to do

It must be incalculably bizarre to have two such men as possible fathers

Share
Related Topics

Nobody - besides their mum - gets to choose who their dad is, and sometimes she’s a bit squishy on the details. Take Hollywood star Mia Farrow, who isn’t entirely certain whether her son Ronan Farrow is the child of writer, director, and comedian Woody Allen, or film star and singer Frank Sinatra. These are the vague moments that A-list celebrities struggle with. We’ve all been there, unable to remember if it was Bruce Willis or Tom Hanks who borrowed those Breaking Bad DVDs. Did Spielberg or Lucas lend you that private jet? Are these text messages about a possible pregnancy coming from Mila Kunis or Megan Fox? You’d know, but it’s your PA’s assistant’s day off today, and you just have too many phones to keep track of the numbers.

Ronan doesn’t make things any easier when it comes to getting to the bottom of this Hollywood mystery. He has the eyes of Ol’ Blue Eyes (his eyes are blue) and occasionally the wit of Woody Allen. In reaction to the mounting speculation over his paternity he tweeted “Listen, we're all *possibly* Frank Sinatra's son” which - damn it - is exactly the sort of dry humour we’d expect from the comic genius of Woody Allen.

If Ronan could choose who his father was, we might guess he wouldn’t go for the 23 time nominated and four time Academy Award winner who exists in the top handful of the greatest comic writers and performers of all time, and whose cinematic legacy will be as one of the all-time finest directors and screenwriters. This – from his public statements – has a great deal to do with the fact that Woody Allen is also legally his brother-in-law.

We know that Woody was never legally Soon-Yi Previn’s father, but she was legally Mia Farrow’s 19-year-old daughter when he (56) fell in love with her whilst in a relationship with Mia Farrow. It definitely wasn’t incest, but you can see why Ronan might be quite uncool with the way things panned out between his ‘dad' and his sister.

Next to that decade in therapy, what’s not to like about Frank Sinatra? Well, it seems likely that he spent a good deal of his time in the company of members of the Mafia, inspiring the character of Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather.  Sinatra was 50 when he began his relationship with the 21-year-old Mia Farrow, was unfaithful to his wife, and his own children didn’t go to his bedside when he died, despite being nearby at the time.

Neither is going to win any parenting awards. Neither man’s legacy is one of family values or age-appropriate relationships, and yet both left their mark indelibly on American culture of the 20th Century. 'My Way' or Manhattan? 'Fly Me To The Moon' or Annie Hall? Given the scandal that has attracted itself to Sinatra and Allen, the choice – if there could be a choice – of who you’d rather claim as a forebear isn’t necessarily straightforward. Team Woody or Team Frank?

In the short term, the looks, glamour, and charm of Frank Sinatra make him the candidate to beat, but maybe you’re playing the longer game and looking for posterity and cultural impact. The depth of characterization in works like Blue Jasmine, the comic brilliance of Take The Money & Run, and the emotional power of Annie Hall make Woody the undisputed cultural choice.

It must be incalculably bizarre to have two such men possibly be your father. Both brilliant, one dead and the other you have longstanding issues with. Call it the Skywalker conundrum. There’s scant prospect that Woody Allen’s face will one day tenderly be removed by Ronan to reveal the ancient, crippled visage of Sinatra himself. Having a famous father might open a few doors, but in this case it must also be an unenviable torment.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all