The life story of Ave Gardner

The life story of Ave Gardner

December 24 this year will mark the 99th anniversary of the birth of Ave Gardner, one of the most beautiful women who ever walked the planet and an icon of the golden age of Hollywood.

Ava Gardner grew up in a large family, and she was so attached to her father that a psychiatrist told her she had the Oedipus complex. She was the youngest of seven children, so her mother wanted her to dedicate herself to education.

However, life took her in a completely different direction. Bapi, older sister, married professional photographer Larry Tara in New York.

She grew up on a tobacco plantation in the poor American South, saw more sunrises than any movie diva, and went to the fields of eternity seriously ill and alone.

Barefoot, she walked to the red carpet of the largest dream factory, melted “The snows of Kilimanjaro” and became a legend in film art. The muse of post-war painters and creators, followed by great directors and magnates, was an inspiration to women around the world, because she overshadowed the hitherto adored platinum blondes with her timeless beauty and opened the door to a completely new era of Hollywood classics.

In the following text, I will describe to you the life story of Ave Gardner, one of the most beautiful actresses in the world of all time!

Earlier years

Ava Lavinia Gardner, saw the light of day on December 24, 1922, in the small town of Grabtown, North Carolina. Growing up on a tobacco plantation in the American South, she was the youngest of seven children in a family of farmers who barely made ends meet during the prewar crisis. His parents, older sister and brother, died of bronchitis because they had no money for treatment.

Like a typical village girl, Ava loved to walk barefoot – as she did many years later, in her famous film. She couldn’t really brag about her education: she had already sunk deep into Hollywood when she admitted that, until then, she had read only two books in her life – “The Bible” and “Gone with the Wind”. After all, when she grew from a girl to a girl, her ambitions did not even reach the top of Beverly Hills. She just wanted to make a decent living as an ordinary secretary. However, she later had enough time to make up for everything she missed in her poor schooling.

The life story of Ave Gardner

The first contract

As adulthood approached, Ava’s gorgeous beauty and nature became more and more prominent and captivated. Local photographers were not immune to them either, and one was so fascinated that he put a picture of the green-eyed beauty in the window of his studio in New York. Among the many passers-by who would catch their breath looking at the photo behind the glass, there was also one producer from the famous film house MGM.

And, that was it! A combination of happy circumstances made Ava, without any acting experience, and only thanks to her appearance, sign her first contract in 1942 and enter the raging Hollywood machine. Before she stepped on the set, she took hundreds of photos as promotional material, for which, at today’s auctions, fans do not regret giving real small fortunes. By the end of 1945, Ava had made as many as seventeen films and thus became the supporting actress with the most work. However, what is called a big break in show business – it never came to pass. While waiting for more important roles, she married the funniest man in Hollywood, Mickey Rooney, then a recognized colleague from the world of the seventh art. The marriage lasted only a year, as long as the next one, with jazz musician Artie Shaw. Passionate and fiery, she was the secret desire of many famous men, and she is also credited with a romance with eccentric producer Howard Hughes.The life story of Ave Gardner

Lack of self-confidence

is interesting that the legendary actress never had much confidence in her acting skills. In the first part of her career, her presence in most films was of a decorative nature. The real talent, which has long been hidden in Ava’s veins and soul, was discovered by the famous director John Ford, who gave her a chance to live alongside Clerk Gable and Grace Kelly in “Mogambo”, in 1953. She even earned an Oscar nomination. The following year, she entered the history of film as “The Barefoot Contessa”. The girl from the province became the big star of “Twilight Boulevard”. However, insecurity in her own qualities and a latent fear of success, followed Ava Gardner until the end of her career.

Disappointed with the collapse of her third marriage to Frank Sinatra, in the mid-fifties, during her greatest glory, she moved to Spain, where, in addition to several feature films, she also starred in the adaptation of the novel “The Sun is Born Again”.

In the Iberian Peninsula, she became an avid fan of bullfighting, and since she played fiery flamenco in “Contessa”, this dance was her main preoccupation in her free time. Since she never liked to sleep for a long time, she often danced all night. Thanks to that achievement, one of the islands in the Pacific archipelago of Fiji was named Ava Ava. “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, the legendary film in which she starred, a romantic story from 1952. and another part of the biography of the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, are an important part of perhaps the most beautiful period of world cinema.The life story of Ave Gardner

A frequent target of critics

Undoubtedly, the main roles, which were shared by Gregory Peck and one of the most beautiful women of all time, are also responsible for that. Critics did not spare her, and in spite of them, she made several more unforgettable films such as “East Side – West Side”, “Touch of Venus”, “Naked Maya”, “Knights of the Round Table”, “Mayerling”. “Cassandra Bridge”, “Long, warm summer”…

Ava’s last big Hollywood role was in “Iguana Night”, in 1964. After her, she moved to London, where she spent the last two decades of her life in, as she said, reasonable comfort. However, in the environment made up of European jet-setters and matadors, there was not much room for reason. Hedonistic habits and a life without the greatest love, Sinatra, influenced her beauty, which confused the mind of the whole world, so on the day she turned fifty, she looked at least a decade older. She appeared in one season of the popular series “Falcon’s Reef”, and she made her last film “Harem” in 1986.

Just before her death, on January 25, 1990, in London, she managed to complete an autobiography about her turbulent life, called “Ava, my story”. Among other things, it contained sentences that only she could say, and that she really believed her word: “I would like to live 150 years and welcome the end with a cigarette in one and a glass of whiskey in the other hands”.

“I’ve seen more dawn than any actress in Hollywood history”.

“No one has ever said that acting is an intellectual profession”.

“I don’t take sleeping pills, I’ve never been to prison and I don’t run to a psychiatrist every five minutes. I probably need all that to earn the favor of the critics”.

The life story of Ave Gardner

Drowning grief in alcohol

In this posthumously published book, the Hollywood diva admitted that she was never satisfied with her life, especially with the talent for which, in addition to the critics, she herself is responsible. Self-doubt, dissatisfaction during her career and sadness due to unfulfilled loves without children, she often poured alcohol.

She spent the last years of her life alone, in her London apartment. Her only friends were housekeeper Carmen Vargas and dog Morgan. Sinatra paid all medical expenses, when, after the 1989 stroke, she remained partially paralyzed and bedridden. Carmen made sure that her body was transferred to North Carolina, to her birthplace, which was later turned into a museum.

Gregory Peck took care of the helper and the dog. And when Frank Sinatra’s wife died, he ordered the removal of a life-size statue of a barefoot countess from their garden, which the singer received as a gift.

Private life

She seduced the most desirable bachelor

Already on the first day in the studio, she met Mickey Rooney. Although he was extremely popular and charming, Ava did not immediately “fall for” him. He invited her to dinner that day, but she turned him down and told him there was no time.

“It took me six minutes to unpack my suitcase and brush my teeth. I didn’t know anyone in Hollywood except my sister anyway. I didn’t know then that he was the most desirable bachelor. I later realized that he slept with everyone”, she said.

The life story of Ave Gardner

He did not give up, and Ava used all the excuses. That evening, he came to pick her up in a limousine at exactly seven o’clock. News of their relationship spread quickly.

“I had no idea what we were going to cause. Everyone was just talking about it, “said Ava, who always said that Miki was not handsome, but that he definitely had” that something “. In addition, she admitted that she often called him a dwarf, which bothered him greatly.

They had a good time and loved to go out. They enjoyed alcohol, and they even drank martinis from a coffee cup because they thought it was glamorous.

A stormy farewell

“When we came back from our honeymoon, I had severe stomach pains. That’s when I ended up in surgery, and when I came back from the hospital, I realized that Miki was sleeping with another in our bed, “said Ava.

Every time she got angry, he gave her expensive jewelry that she adored. She explained that she felt cheated and humiliated because she knew her husband was sleeping with other women, but she still wanted to win him back. Their sex, he says, was fantastic.

“We talked about our first meeting. When I asked him what he thought first, he replied, “I realized I had to have you in bed,” Ava said.

One night he got so drunk that he took out a notebook with the girls’ numbers. He commented on each of them and said what she was like in bed.

“It simply came to our notice then. I kicked him out of the house, even though I knew it was a big risk, it could be the end of my career “, said Ava, for whom divorce was the only way out. Some girls he mentioned were minors, so she planned to use it against him, but gave up.

The life story of Ave Gardner

“I enrolled in college to prove to him that I’m not stupid”.

She soon married clarinetist Artie Shaw, who filed for divorce just days after her first wedding anniversary. The actress said that he was very difficult, but she was very attracted to her.

“I was often afraid of him, but not physically. He was an abuser, I was afraid of his thoughts. The bastard was dominant. He knew so many times that he “put me down” that I lost my self-confidence, “says Ava, who enrolled in college because of him to prove to him that she is not” so stupid “.

Then she got addicted to alcohol. She loved to peek into the glass even when she was married to Mickey, but with Artie, drinking was an escape from reality. He constantly hung out with pseudo-intellectuals, drank vodka and ate caviar.

Relationship with Frank Sinatra

“Frank told me that he practiced singing Artie’s melodies. It’s a shame they never created anything together”, she said. She met Sinatra when she first married Mickey. When he came to their table, Ava was speechless.

“He looked like a god, sex appeal erupted from him. He came over and said, “Honey, if he hadn’t married you, I would”, but I wasn’t hoping for anything. He was married, “Sinatra recalled, whom she called “the god of sex”.

The next time, they met at a party in Palm Springs. That night they made love for the first time, and the actress said that they became “eternal lovers” then. They saw each other often and did not hide their relationship.

“One evening, while we were driving, Frank persuaded me to shoot a gun out the window. “I destroyed the lighting and the shop windows”, Ava said about the incident that the musician managed to hide by paying 20 thousand dollars.

The life story of Ave Gardner

Instead of shooting at himself, he shot himself in the pillow

Nancy Sinatra was at home with the children at the time and hoped the affair would not reach the public. Even the manager advised Frank to break up with the dark-haired beauty, but he told him: “What do I need fame and money for, if I don’t have her.”

Sinatra left his wife on Valentine’s Day in 1950. Angry Nancy punched him and immediately kicked him out of the house. Frank and Ava got married just a few weeks after the divorce.

They loved each other so much that they made each other jealous. Namely, she accused him of attacking a girl in a restaurant, so she invited her ex to the apartment. Frank went crazy, so he tried to kill himself in a hotel room. Before that, he called her, and when she arrived, she saw a revolver and her darling on the floor.

She started to cry, but soon realized that he had missed and actually shot into the pillow. During their next heated argument, he took pills and tried to commit suicide.

He managed to escape, but a few weeks later, he tried to take his own life again. He came home drunk and pushed his head into the oven. Fortunately, a friend came to the apartment and saved him. After the incident, Sinatra explained that he wanted to kill himself, because he felt that Ava did not love him.

The life story of Ave Gardner

They broke up, even though he was the love of her life

Married to Sinatra, the actress had two abortions. She kept quiet about the first one, and when she did the second one and admitted it to him, Frank was furious. She told him that she did not want her child to grow up in such an environment, even though she did that “monstrous act”.

Frank was broken and financially unstable for a while, but he recovered before the end of his marriage to Ava. Then rumors began circulating that he had a mistress. When she heard that, Ava called him and asked, “Do you want to compete?”

She had seen Howard Hughes for more than ten years, but admitted she had never been in love with him. The actress and the aviator slept together when she was married to Artie, but also to Sinatra. They often quarreled and made peace, and Hughes once threw an ashtray at her head and nearly broke her jaw.

She had affair with many colleagues, including Clark Gable. She divorced Sinatra in 1957, after which she began a relationship with Ernest Hemingway.

The life story of Ave Gardner


I hope you liked the biography Ave Gardner?

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

For more motivational stories, you can visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.