Ava Gardner
American actress
Ava Gardner
Ava Lavinia Gardner was an American actress. She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers (1946). She became one of Hollywood's leading actresses, considered one of the most beautiful women of her day. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Mogambo (1953).
Biography
Ava Gardner's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Ava Gardner
News
News abour Ava Gardner from around the web
Monkey Bar Brings in a Whole New Crew
NYTimes - over 5 years
THEY are monkeying with the 75-year-old Monkey Bar again, and an urgent reason suggests itself. After its reopening-and-glitz-injection in 2009, under the proprietorship of Graydon Carter and his partners, prime-time reservations sought by the unknown and the ill-connected were all but unattainable. In those early days, the restaurant essentially
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A Push-Button Hemingway Soundtrack
NYTimes - over 5 years
IN a game of Six Degrees of Ernest Hemingway it might take a while to get to David Lee Roth, the founding frontman for the rock band Van Halen. But Papa Hemingway and Diamond Dave are united in virility at the New York Theater Workshop, where Mr. Roth's arena-size yelps are among the atmospheric audio effects in ''The Select (The Sun Also Rises),''
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Wears It Well: Dita Von Teese - Socialite Life
Google News - over 5 years
'Twasn't Ava Gardner, nor was it Ingrid Bergman. The alluring figure, clad in a floral print retro dress and pair of lime Christian Louboutins was burlesque queen Dita Von Teese. I ADORE the magenta headband
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Morning Call Sheet: Buh-Bye Netflix, Profit-Whore Lucas, and The Worst Movie ... - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
One of the most gripping of all the noir films it marks the emergence of the amazingly virile Burt Lancaster and the insanely beautiful Ava Gardner. The story is tough as nails and the supporting cast abolsutely perfect. If nothing else watch it for
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East Coast Earthquake: In the mood for these flicks? - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
Google News - over 5 years
The all-star cast included Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Geneviève Bujold, Richard Roundtree, Marjoe Gortner, Barry Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Victoria Principal, Monica Lewis and Walter Matthau. "San Francisco" (1936): Set in
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Rose McGowan Cites Old Hollywood as Inspiration - The Inquisitr
Google News - over 5 years
“The color of the letters seems very Howard Hughes,” she says, referring to his penchant for sultry actresses like Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth. “He was the ultimate eccentric. He had women stashed all over town.” Conan The Barbarian hits theaters
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Ask Mick LaSalle: 'Plan 9' still a delight - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
But Ava Gardner looked terrible in "On the Beach" in 1959. Any comments? Dear Alan Kahn: People of no-better-than-average looks tend to look their best in their 20s, but good-looking and beautiful people are usually at their best somewhere around 35
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North Bergen woman says she's 'world's biggest Frank Sinatra fan' - NJ.com
Google News - over 5 years
It's a picture of Frank Sinatra with Cafasso's head superimposed on top of Ava Gardner's body. North Bergen woman is Sinatra's biggest fan gallery (2 photos) Among the many family pictures that decorate the wall in the downstairs living room of
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Classic Cars Owned by Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock, Jayne Mansfield, Ava ... - Business Wire (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
1957 Dual Ghia, owned by actress Ava Gardner, whose husbands included Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. 1966 right-hand drive Ferrari 275 GTS, whose owners included rock star Eric Clapton and movie star Jayne Mansfield, whose daughter is
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Sinatra-themed dance show lands in Toronto, where crooner shot his last film - Winnipeg Free Press
Google News - over 5 years
Frank Sinatra married three more times after he and Nancy Barbato split: first to Ava Gardner, then to Mia Farrow and then to Barbara Marx Hubbard, to whom he was married until he died in 1998. "He was aware of Ava's existence, shall we say,
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Williamsburg on the Hudson
NYTimes - over 5 years
Millerton, N.Y. FROM the venerable general store his grandparents opened in 1919, where you can get hunting knives, cigars, worms, khaki pants and copies of Vogue, Phil Terni has watched Dutchess County's passing parade for most of his 68 years. The store has seen celebrated customers -- Babe Ruth, Ava Gardner, Artie Shaw, Ruth Bader Ginsburg --
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Not So Hollywood Wedding Night: Ava Gardner and Mickey Rooney - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
Ava Gardner in “The Killers,” her breakthrough role, 1946. As an emerging starlet in the early 1940's, before she made a single movie the breathtaking Southern beauty was the talk of the town. Mickey Rooney was MGM's golden boy, a versatile star
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ava Gardner
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1990
    Age 67
    Died on January 25, 1990.
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  • 1986
    Age 63
    After a lifetime of smoking, Gardner suffered from emphysema, as well as an unidentified auto-immune disorder. Two strokes in 1986 left her partially paralyzed and bedridden.
    More Details Hide Details Although Gardner could afford her medical expenses, Sinatra wanted to pay for her visit to a specialist in the United States, and she allowed him to make the arrangements for a medically staffed private plane. She suffered a bad fall a week before she died, and she lay on the floor, alone and unable to move, until her housekeeper returned. Her last words (to her housekeeper) were reportedly "I'm so tired". She died of pneumonia at the age of 67, at her London home, 34 Ennismore Gardens, where she had lived since 1968. Gardner was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina, next to her brothers and their parents, Jonas (1878–1938) and Mollie Gardner (1883–1943). The town of Smithfield now has an Ava Gardner Museum.
    Gardner continued to act regularly until 1986, four years before her death in London in 1990 at the age of 67.
    More Details Hide Details She is listed 25th among the American Film Institute's 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Gardner was born near the farming community of Smithfield, North Carolina, the youngest of 7 children (she had two brothers, Raymond and Melvin, and four sisters, Beatrice, Elsie Mae, Inez, and Myra). Her parents, Mary Elizabeth "Molly" (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner, were poor cotton and tobacco farmers. While there are varying accounts of her background, Gardner's only documented ancestry was English. She was raised in the Baptist faith of her mother. While the children were still young, the Gardners lost their property, forcing Jonas Gardner to work at a sawmill and Mollie to begin working as a cook and housekeeper at a dormitory for teachers at the nearby Brogden School. When Gardner was seven years old, the family decided to try their luck in a larger city, Newport News, Virginia, where Mollie Gardner found work managing a boarding house for the city's many shipworkers.
  • 1983
    Age 60
    Gardner's image appeared on the cover of Robin Gibb's 1983 album How Old Are You? along with Clark Gable's.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1964
    Age 41
    Additionally, Ava Gardner won the 1964 Prize San Sebastián for best actress for her performance in The Night of the Iguana.
    More Details Hide Details Gardner has been portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in the 1992 TV mini-series Sinatra; Deborah Kara Unger in HBO's 1998 television movie The Rat Pack; Kate Beckinsale in the 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator; and Anna Drijver in the 2012 Italian TV film Walter Chiari – Fino all'ultima risata. (Strangely for a Martin Scorsese film, The Aviator commits a mistake by showing Hughes escorting her to the premiere of the 1939 movie The Women – a full two years before she even arrived in Hollywood.)
  • THIRTIES
  • 1957
    Age 34
    After Gardner divorced Sinatra in 1957, she headed for Spain, where she began a friendship with writer Ernest Hemingway (she had starred in his The Sun Also Rises that year, and several years earlier, Hemingway had successfully urged producer Darryl F. Zanuck to cast Gardner in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, a film which adapted several of his short stories).
    More Details Hide Details While staying with Hemingway at his villa in San Francisco de Paula in Havana, Cuba, Gardner once swam alone without a swimsuit in his pool. After watching her, Hemingway ordered to his staff: "The water is not to be emptied". Her friendship with Hemingway led to her becoming a fan of bullfighting and bullfighters, such as Luis Miguel Dominguín, who became her lover. "It was a sort of madness, honey", she later said of the time. Gardner was also involved in a relationship with her live-in boyfriend and companion, American actor Benjamin Tatar, who worked in Spain as a foreign-language dubbing director. Tatar later wrote an autobiography in which he discussed his relationship with Gardner, though the book was never published.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1951
    Age 28
    Gardner's third and last marriage was to singer and actor Frank Sinatra, from 1951 to 1957.
    More Details Hide Details She would later say in her autobiography that he was the love of her life. Sinatra left his wife, Nancy, for Gardner and their subsequent marriage made headlines. Sinatra was blasted by gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, the Hollywood establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, and by his fans for leaving his wife for a noted femme fatale. Gardner used her considerable influence, particularly with Harry Cohn, to get Sinatra cast in his Oscar-winning role in From Here to Eternity (1953). That role and the award revitalized both Sinatra's acting and singing careers. The Gardner-Sinatra marriage was tumultuous. Gardner confided to Artie Shaw, her second husband, that “With him Frank it’s impossible it’s like being with a woman. He’s so gentle. It’s as though he thinks I’ll break, as though I’m a piece of Dresden china and he’s gonna hurt me.” During their marriage Gardner became pregnant twice, but aborted both pregnancies. "MGM had all sorts of penalty clauses about their stars having babies," according to her autobiography which was published eight months after her death. Gardner remained good friends with Sinatra for the rest of her life.
  • 1945
    Age 22
    Gardner's second marriage was brief as well, to jazz musician and bandleader Artie Shaw, from 1945 to 1946.
    More Details Hide Details Shaw had previously been married to Lana Turner.
  • 1943
    Age 20
    Largely due to Rooney's serial adultery, Gardner divorced him in 1943, but agreed not to reveal the cause so as not to affect his career.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1942
    Age 19
    Soon after her arrival in Los Angeles, Gardner met fellow MGM contract player Mickey Rooney. They married on January 10, 1942, when she was 19 years old and he was 21.
    More Details Hide Details The ceremony was held in the remote town of Ballard, California, because MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer was worried that fans would desert Rooney's Andy Hardy movie series if it became known that their star was married.
  • 1941
    Age 18
    Louis B. Mayer, head of the studio, however, sent a telegram to Al: "She can't sing, she can't act, she can't talk, She's terrific!" She was offered a standard contract by MGM, and left school for Hollywood in 1941 with her sister Beatrice accompanying her.
    More Details Hide Details MGM's first order of business was to provide her a speech coach, as her Carolina drawl was nearly incomprehensible to them. After five years of bit parts, mostly at MGM and many of them uncredited, Gardner came to prominence in the Mark Hellinger-produced smash-hit film noir The Killers (1946), playing the femme fatale Kitty Collins. Other films include The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), Lone Star (1952), Mogambo (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), The Sun Also Rises (1957), and On the Beach (1959). A particularly notable role was in The Barefoot Contessa as the doomed beauty Maria Vargas, a fiercely independent woman who goes from Spanish dancer to international film star with the help of a Hollywood director played by Humphrey Bogart, with tragic consequences.
    Gardner was visiting her sister Beatrice in New York in 1941 when Beatrice's husband Larry Tarr, a professional photographer, offered to take her portrait.
    More Details Hide Details He was so pleased with the results that he displayed the finished product in the front window of his Tarr Photography Studio on Fifth Avenue. A Loews Theatres legal clerk, Barnard Duhan, spotted Gardner's photo in Tarr's studio. At the time, Duhan often posed as an MGM talent scout to meet girls, using the fact that MGM was a subsidiary of Loews. Duhan entered Tarr's and tried to get Gardner's number, but was rebuffed by the receptionist. Duhan made the offhand comment, "Somebody should send her info to MGM", and the Tarrs did so immediately. Shortly after, Gardner, who at the time was a student at Atlantic Christian College, traveled to New York to be interviewed at MGM's New York office by Al Altman, head of MGM's New York talent department. With cameras rolling, he directed the eighteen-year-old to walk towards the camera, turn and walk away, then rearrange some flowers in a vase. He did not attempt to record her voice because her Southern accent made it almost impossible for him to understand her.
    She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers (1946).
    More Details Hide Details She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Mogambo (1953). Gardner appeared in several high-profile films from the 1950s to 1970s, including The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), On the Beach (1959), 55 Days at Peking (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974), and The Cassandra Crossing (1976).
  • 1939
    Age 16
    Gardner attended high school in Rock Ridge and she graduated from there in 1939.
    More Details Hide Details She then attended secretarial classes at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson for about a year.
  • 1938
    Age 15
    While in Newport News, Gardner's father became ill and died from bronchitis in 1938, when Ava was 15 years old.
    More Details Hide Details After Jonas Gardner's death, the family moved to Rock Ridge near Wilson, North Carolina, where Mollie Gardner ran another boarding house for teachers.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1922
    Born
    Born on December 24, 1922.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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