Former teen idol Frankie Avalon has a surprising number of children – can you guess how many?

Former teen idol Frankie Avalon has a surprising number of children – can you guess how many?

Frankie Avalon was an actor and singer revered by countless teens in the 50s and 60s.

Originally from South Philadelphia, the teen idol maintained his fame even after marrying Kathryn Diebel in 1963 and fathering all of his children with her.

Wikipedia Commons

Frankie Avalon was the original “Beach Party” teen superstar and my mom and my older sisters really loved him. I don’t think there is anything but positive thoughts about this legend – what a great person he was and still is!

For many of us, Frankie Avalon will always be a teen idol in the singing department. It feels like such a shame that male singers rarely sing like this anymore.

The Philadelphia native started as a trumpet player in his hometown. He had an authentic music background alongside the pretty boy looks – but he was also a great actor. After several charting U.S. Billboard singles in the 1950s, Frankie started appearing in films in the 1960s.

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello as they were during the Beach Party era.

The teenage film and music heartthrob could pick any woman he wanted, but when he met the beauty pageant winner Kathryn Diebel, Frankie was hooked. The two met, like many celebrities, through Hollywood itself.

Friends and colleagues connected the two young lovebirds. Specifically, Avalon met Diebel through Gretchen Wayne, the daughter-in-law of his co-star in The Alamo, John Wayne. While playing cards, Frankie noticed Kathryn and he knew immediately that he wanted to marry her.

His agent wasn’t happy and warned Frankie – a marriage during the height of his career would ruin the teen idol mystique surrounding him.

But luckily, Frankie didn’t listen.

Wikipedia Commons / NBC

He married the beauty queen he sweetly calls Kay on January 19, 1963, in West Hollywood. The lovebirds tied the knot in the chapel of St.Charles Catholic church and the ceremony was private; about 50 people attended.

But many teenage fans milled outside, wanting a glimpse of the singer.

After they were married, Avalon ate a fettuccini Alfredo on their honeymoon that he even included in a future cookbook he authored.

Today, the singer performs on a smaller scale in Las Vegas clubs as opposed to the large arenas and stadiums he was originally famous for. Even still, he fills the seats with loyal fans.

Darlene Hammond/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

While maintaining his career, Avalon and Diebel were also raising a family. The two eventually had eight children in total: Frank Burt, Tony, Dina, Laura, Joseph, Nicolas, Kathryn, and Carla. The entire family reportedly all lives very close together to this day.

In “Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook: From Mom’s Kitchen to Mine and Yours,” the crooner shares anecdotes of his close family alongside the recipes he inherited from his mother:

”When the weather cooperates (which, I have to admit, is pretty often in Los Angeles), my sons and sons-in-law usually take over at the grill, and I sit back in the sun and enjoy being with my family.”

 Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon at the Annual White House Correspondents dinner / Shutterstock

Eventually, the entertainer and his wife became grandparents. Today, they have ten wonderful grandchildren: Jonathan, Patrick, Kathryn, Connor, Nicole, Meghan, Mason, Bridget, Johnny, and Tucker.

In his cookbook, the singer also discussed the idea of family rituals, explaining that he still has the entire family over for Sunday Italian dinners at the home he and his wife share.

He’s passed more traditions down, as well. His eldest son, Frank Jr., is known as Frank Burt Avalon and followed a similar path as his father. A teen star himself, his breakout role was as Chucky in 1984’s “The Karate Kid.”

Wikipedia Commons / CBS

He acted in various television show episodes after his breakout film role, and he also acted as a member of the house band alongside brother Tony in “Back to the Beach,” the final of their father’s series of beach movies, in 1987.

Tony is a musician who has worked in a variety of roles behind the scenes of different films, such as Brooke Shields’ romantic comedy “After Sex” in 2000 and in the music department of the 2005 animation “Kiddo: The Super-Truck.”

The second youngest sibling, Kathryn Jr, worked behind the scenes as a production assistant on the horror flick “Almost Dead” and “Fleetwood Mac: The Dance.” She also worked  from 1995-1996 on Nickelodeon’s “The Secret World of Alex Mack.”

Ginger Chan from KTLA and my son Nick.

Posted by Frankie Avalon on Monday, November 18, 2019

20 years after her parents were married, the oldest daughter Dina was married in the same place to her now-husband, John Blandin.

Avalon still shows devotion to his wife of 20 years in addition to his many wonderful children.

I Just Wanted to thank you for joining us on Facebook LIVE last Sunday What a great turnout we had with so many…

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In fact, he once confirmed that he got a tattoo of his wife’s name five decades ago to a shocked reporter at The Arizona Republic, who never expected it from the typically clean-cut star.

When asked how he managed to stay married for over 50 years, he said they sustained their “wonderful relationship” as long due to their love and respect for each other.

**Frankie Avalon and his wife, Kay, on their 60th anniversary.** Frankie married Kathryn 'Kay' Diebel on January 19,…

Posted by Do You Remember When on Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Frankie has been married for over 50 years to the same woman. That’s extremely rare not only in Hollywood but also in general. I’m looking forward to my wife and I being married for a long time.

Frankie is such an amazing performer, and his hair is still as gorgeous as ever! Thank you for all the memories over the years!