Who Is Julianna Farrait, Gangster Frank Lucas’ Wife?

By: Sam Watanuki | Last updated: Jan 04, 2024

Julianna Farrait’s life took a fateful turn when she met Frank Lucas. This encounter sparked a romance that led to a marriage steeped in notoriety and extravagance. Julianna, initially living a life of relative anonymity, found herself catapulted into the limelight as the wife of one of America’s most infamous drug lords. Her transition from a simple life to one intertwined with crime and luxury began with this chance meeting, marking the start of a complex and controversial partnership.

Some reports state they met on a flight from Puerto Rico to New York. But Julianna told the newspaper Primera Hora in May 2008 that she left Puerto Rico in 1969 to go to New York (via The Register Citizen). The way she tells it, she ran into Frank at a nightclub, and they hit it off.

The Rise of a Drug Empire

Frank Lucas and Julianna Farrait married in 1967. As Frank’s New York empire grew in the 1960s and 1970s, Julianna found herself in a lavish lifestyle. The profits from Frank’s heroin trade, notably his “Blue Magic” heroin, allowed for a life of unprecedented luxury.

Frank Lucas

Source: United States Government/Wikimedia Commons

This period saw Julianna transitioning from an ordinary life to one of opulence, all under the shadow of criminal activity. Her life with Frank became synonymous with the highs and lows of being linked to a notorious drug empire.


Beauty Queen Turned Mafia Wife

Julianna told Primera Hora that she didn’t know about Frank Lucas’ involvement with drugs until a year after they met. But, far from her roots as a Puerto Rican beauty, Julianna adapted to a new role as the wife of a mafia kingpin. This transformation wasn’t just in her lifestyle but also in her persona.

Julianna Farrait and Frank Lucas

Source: Glamour Fame

She learned to navigate the complexities of their underworld life, embodying the grace and resilience required to stand alongside Frank Lucas. Her journey from a beauty queen to a mafia wife showcased her adaptability and strength.

Love in the Time of Crime

Despite the challenges and moral dilemmas, Julianna’s relationship with Frank was rooted in a deep, enduring love. Their partnership, though marred by criminal activity, was a complex tapestry of affection, loyalty, and mutual reliance.

Man in Gray Long Sleeve Suit Holding a Pen

Source: Cottonbro Studio

Julianna gave unwavering support to Frank, but she also enjoyed their lifestyle. “Those who say that money is not important are lying,” she told Primera Hora (via CBS News). “People say that money does not buy happiness. It doesn’t?”

Frank Lucas' Coat — A Symbol of Downfall

The extravagant chinchilla coat Frank Lucas wore in March 1971 became an infamous symbol of their eventual downfall. This coat, worn by Frank to a high-profile boxing match at Madison Square Garden, drew unwanted attention from law enforcement, highlighting the extent of their wealth and inadvertently hastening their fall from grace.

Frank Lucas

Source: Peacecommision

This coat represented not just their wealth but also the beginning of the end of their reign in the criminal world. “There is no such thing as outtalking me, outhustling me, outthinking me, or outdressing me,” Lucas wrote in his autobiography “Original Gangster” (via New York Post). But he also acknowledged the mistake: “I left that fight a marked man.”

Julie Farrait — Life Beyond Frank Lucas

Julianna’s identity extends beyond just being Frank Lucas’ wife. Born in 1941, her individual journey, encompassing her roles as a mother, partner, and survivor, highlights her resilience and adaptability.

A pile of money

Julianna’s life story is not just about her association with Frank but also about her own personal evolution in the face of adversity.


Julianna Farrait 1970 — A Turning Point

The 1970s marked a pivotal era in Julianna’s life. This decade marked the height of their criminal empire but also the beginning of its collapse. Frank Lucas was arrested in January 1975 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Julianna served five years.

Mugshots on a table

The societal changes, legal challenges, and personal transformations during this period were significant in shaping Julianna’s later life.


Family Ties — Frank Lucas' Children

Frank Lucas had seven children in total. Julianna Farrait had three of these children with Frank: two sons, Ray and Frank Lucas Jr., and daughter Francie Sinclair.

Julianna Farrait and Frank Lucas

Source: Twitter

The family dynamics within the Lucas household, especially concerning their children, reflect the complexities of their lives. Julianna, as a mother, had to navigate the challenges of raising a family under the shadow of their criminal activities. The impact of their lifestyle on their children’s lives is a poignant aspect of Julianna’s story.


American Gangster Frank Lucas

The 2007 film “American Gangster” brought renewed attention to Frank Lucas’ life and, by extension, Julianna’s. This depiction influenced public perception, highlighting the complexities and contradictions of their life together.

American Gangster

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

The movie, while focusing on Frank, also sheds light on Julianna’s role in his life.


Eva Kendo — A Fictional Portrayal

While “American Gangster” was based on the true story of Frank’s life, it did take some creative liberties. The gangster’s wife in the movie was named Eva Kendo.

American Gangster scene

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

The role was played by Puerto Rican actor Lymari Nadal Torres.


Life After the Limelight

Following Frank Lucas’ incarceration, Julianna unfortunately did not stay away from a life of crime.

Julianna Farrait

Source: Citimuzik

In 2010, when she was 70 years old, Julianna Farrait was arrested after police said she tried to sell 2 kilograms of cocaine to an informant in Puerto Rico (via The San Diego Union-Tribune).


The Legacy of Julianna Farrait

Julianna Farrait’s life story is a captivating narrative of love, crime, and resilience. While often overshadowed by Frank Lucas’ notoriety, her story remains an integral part of an infamous chapter in American history.

Julianna Farrait and Frank Lucas

African HQ/Facebook

Her life, marked by highs and lows, love and loss, offers a unique perspective on the human experience within the criminal underworld.