Connie Francis Interview About Her Struggle With Mental Health

Categories: Celebs

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On Monday, legendary 1950s and '60s singer Connie Francis gets a gala tribute from the Friars Club at the Waldorf, where big lights will turn out to honor the Newark-born belter of hits like "Mama," "Who's Sorry Now?" and "Lipstick on Your Collar" and shower her with deserving accolades.

I just chatted with Connie, and it was absolutely mind-expanding.

Me: Hi, Connie. I love you!!! What does your Friars tribute mean to you?

Connie: It's very special. First of all, it's an acknowledgment to people in the business. And one of the main thrusts of the program is to help wounded war veterans. To make a short story long, in the '80s I was involuntarily committed to mental institutions 17 times in nine years in five different states. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar, ADD, ADHD, and a few other letters the scientific community had never heard of.

A few years later, I was discovered to have had post-traumatic stress disorder following a horrendous string of events in my life. Last year, my life made a complete turnaround as national spokesperson for Mental Health America's trauma campaign.

One of the first things I was going to address was the startling statistic of how 65 percent of our men are returning from the war with PTS -- post-traumatic stress -- or mental brain injury. It's a very unaddressed issue right now. I want to do a telethon for them. Republicans have cut down -- sorry, I'm a die-hard liberal -- but all the good things they cut out for the American people, and that's one of them. These returning military people can't get jobs and the government is doing very little for them. It's worse than Vietnam. I entertained in Vietnam.

Me: Did you take medication to deal with your own problem?

Connie: At first they gave me lithium, but it made me a zombie because I didn't have bipolar. A doctor later took me off everything.

I will run Part Two of this amazing chat on Monday.



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16 comments
Wally Nichols
Wally Nichols

I met Connie In Guantanamo Bay 1961 Ed Sullivan Christmas show. Put her dressing room tent togeather. She gave me an autographed pit. & my kids thought it was my old girlfriend! Ha! I wish. Beautiful person, so glad she's doing well.                                                                               Wally Nichols

beau brummell
beau brummell

Dear Connie you bring sweet memories to me.Thank you for being a liberal and kind to us

MSpeer
MSpeer

You go, Connie!

She's a survivor, no doubt about it. Love her and wish her the best. The cause in which she she is involved is a good one. 

alaimo
alaimo

Has she penned a memoir?  Michael, you should co-author....

DIRKR
DIRKR

She is wonderful and lost a large period of her life to hell on earth.Best wishes!

Kommon sense
Kommon sense

She's not crazy.  It's just that her heart has a mind of its own.

S!  E!  D!  A!  T-I-O-N!  In the subconscious!

Meghan
Meghan

I know. How many stars start an interview with "I was involuntarily committed to a mental institution 17 times..."? I love her.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

The thing I love about older celebs is that they are so fucking honest and don't try and hide behind PR bullshit. 

franco
franco

On a lighter note, this bit of trivia has stayed with me all these years. The humorous anecdote Concetta (Connie) once told on some now forgotten TV talk show, that of her father's insistence that she continue with more accordion lessons and this, for a budding young girl was a cruel and unusual punishment. 

Davore
Davore

Um, that was how many years ago????

Keating3232
Keating3232

"Die-hard liberal"?  Hah! She recorded a campaign ad for Nixon!

Davore
Davore

So sorry about that Howard Johnsons rape that traumatized her. She is an amazing singer and person.

Lev
Lev

OMG!!! I am gagging! This woman is incredible.

Askme
Askme

Absolutey right Jackejett !!

mjm
mjm

a lot of Dems supported Nixon not to get on his enemies list:, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Mamie Van Doren, among them. so it wasn't just Connie...

unfortunately Hollywood's liberal elite like Babs, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda (and her dad Henry), Shirley Maclaine, Warren Beatty, Francis Ford Coppola, Liza, John and Yoko, Jim Brown, Woody Allen, Cher, and Carol Channing (don't ask me why) got placed on the list because we had a paranoid prez.

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