DENVILLE, N.J. -- Tony Mottola, a guitarist who played with Frank Sinatra and on NBC's ''The Tonight Show" over the course of a 50-year career, died Monday at St. Clare's Hospital. He was 86 and suffered complications from double pneumonia and stroke.
Mr. Mottola's career began in 1936 when he toured with George Hall's orchestra. He made his recording debut in 1941 in duets with Carl Kress. Mr. Mottola recorded with Sinatra a few years later.
In 1951, he became music director for the CBS-TV drama series ''Danger." He was a regular member of Skitch Henderson's orchestra on ''The Tonight Show" from 1958 to 1972.
Mr. Mottola also received an Emmy for his score to ''Two Childhoods," a television documentary about the early lives of Hubert Humphrey and James Baldwin.
From 1980 until his retirement in 1988, Mr. Mottola toured with Sinatra and was spotlighted in duets with the singer. He played a month at Carnegie Hall with Sinatra and then went on to perform at the White House.