Published Oct 07, 2015Gail Zappa, widow of art rock figure Frank Zappa, died in Los Angeles today (October 7) following a long bout of illness. According to a statement from her family, she passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her children. She was 70 years old.
News of Zappa's passing was first reported by TMZ, who had initially reported that she had been battling lung cancer. This was later retracted to note that Zappa "had been battling an illness for several years."
"Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon," a statement from the Zappa Family Trust reads. "But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one in the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake."
Zappa had been born Adelaide Gail Sloatman on January 1, 1945. She met Frank Zappa in the mid '60s, and the two were wed by 1967. Together, they had four children: Ahmet, Dweezil, Moon and Diva.
Following Frank Zappa's death from prostate cancer in 1993, Gail became the trustee of the Zappa Family Trust helping oversee various projects and releases preseving her husband's legacy. A few months ago, it was also announced that Gail Zappa had entrusted the title to Ahmet. Recently, they issued Zappa's final album, Dance Me This.
Prior to meeting Frank Zappa, Gail had been featured in the 1967 counter-culture documentary Mondo Hollywood. She appeared briefly in the film with her then-boyfriend, singer Bobby Jameson.