Daddy Dearest: Woody Allen, Frank Sinatra and Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow is the It boy of the moment. Already at age 25 he has worked as a lawyer, journalist and human rights activist. He has served in the Obama administration. And in 2014 he’ll have his own show on MSNBC.

And he’s gorgeous. His mother is actress Mia Farrow and his father, it was always assumed, is filmmaker Woody Allen. Assumed, that is, until Farrow said in a Vanity Fair article that Ronan’s father might “possibly” be her former husband, actor and crooner Frank Sinatra. Ronan certainly has Sinatra’s famous blue eyes. (Did I mention he’s gorgeous?) Shrugging off the controversy, Ronan tweeted to his 140,000 followers, “Listen, we’re all *possibly* Frank Sinatra’s son.” I’ll just add my own hashtags: #Funny. #Gorgeous.

Ronan Farrow should be in no hurry to take a DNA test. Neither Allen nor Sinatra are father-of-the-year types. In 1992 the tabloids exploded with the story of Allen’s affair with Farrow’s 22-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. As Ronan tweeted last June, “Happy father’s day—or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.” When Allen sued American Apparel for ruining his rep by using his image without permission, the clothing firm countered that he had no reputation left to ruin.

Ol’ Blue Eyes, for his part, had a legendary temper. In anticipation of a visit from President Kennedy, Sinatra installed a helipad at his Palm Springs estate. But JFK stayed with Bing Crosby instead, so Sinatra smashed up the helipad with a sledgehammer. When biographer Kitty Kelly announced plans to write a Sinatra tell-all, her friends “recommended bodyguards and a bulletproof vest.” With regard to his marriage with Mia Farrow, he famously demanded that she quit Rosemary’s Baby. When Farrow refused Sinatra served her with divorce papers right on the set.

In all likelihood, Mia Farrow’s humanitarian work with UNICEF, the Enough Project and Fund4Darfur influenced Ronan more than either of his potential dads’ accomplishments. As a firm believer in nurture over nature, I’d say he was lucky to be raised by such a mom.

Photo courtesy of Everett