Ava Gardner


Actor
Ava Gardner

About

Also Known As
Ava Lavinia Gardner
Birth Place
Brogden, North Carolina, USA
Born
December 24, 1922
Died
January 25, 1990
Cause of Death
Pneumonia After Long Illness

Biography

Ava Gardner stood out as one of Hollywood's true stars, both a wonderful actress and a legendary beauty. The stunning green-eyed brunette was perhaps best known for playing Mara Vargas in "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954). The role that launched Gardner's career, however, was that of ultimate femme fatale Kitty Collins in Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" (1946). Ava Lavinia Gardner was born...

Photos & Videos

The Bribe - Lobby Card Set
My Forbidden Past - Movie Posters
The Great Sinner - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Mickey Rooney
Husband
Actor. Married on January 10, 1942; divorced on May 21, 1943; met during Gardner's first week in Hollywood; couple had to ask Louis B Mayer for permission to marry.
Artie Shaw
Husband
Musician. Married on October 17, 1945; divorced in October 1946; born in 1910 in New York; his third of eight marriages; marriage lasted one year and one week.
Howard Duff
Companion
Actor. Together c. 1947.
Robert Taylor
Companion
Actor. Met while making "The Bribe"; relationship lasted four months during 1949.

Bibliography

"Grabtown Girl: Ava Gardner's North Carolina Childhood and Her Enduring Ties to Home"
Doris Rollins Cannon, Down Home Press (2001)
"Ava Gardner: My Story"
Ava Gardner (1990)
"Ava Gardner: A Bio-Bibliography"
Karin J. Fowler, Greenwood Press (1990)
"Ava's Men"
Jane Ellen Wayne (1989)

Notes

According to Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, Ava Gardner was once voted the world's most beautiful woman.

There is an Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina. The website address is www.avagardner.org

Biography

Ava Gardner stood out as one of Hollywood's true stars, both a wonderful actress and a legendary beauty. The stunning green-eyed brunette was perhaps best known for playing Mara Vargas in "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954). The role that launched Gardner's career, however, was that of ultimate femme fatale Kitty Collins in Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" (1946).

Ava Lavinia Gardner was born Dec. 24, 1922 in Brogden, NC to parents Jonas Baily, a Catholic of Irish American and American Indian (Tuscarora) descent, and Molly, a Baptist of Scots-Irish and English descent. The Christmas Eve baby was the youngest of seven children: Raymond, Melvin, Beatrice (a.k.a. "Bappie"), Elsie Mae, Inez, and Myra. The Gardner household was literally dirt poor, and after losing their property that included a small tobacco farm, Jonas was forced to work at a sawmill while Molly worked as a cook and housekeeper at the nearby Brogden School in order to support their large family.

At the age of 13, Gardner moved with her family to Newport News, VA, and a short while later, to the Rock Ridge suburb of Wilson, NC. Sadly, in the midst of the Great Depression, her father passed away in 1935 from bronchitis. The future movie star attended high school in Rock Ridge, where she graduated in 1939 before attending Atlantic Christian College in Wilson to take secretarial classes. Never book smart, Gardner was quite the tomboy as a young woman, choosing to run around barefoot through the fields with boys, over playing with dolls and experimenting with makeup. She discovered her inner glam goddess, however, during a trip to New York when she was 18. While visiting her beloved older sister Beatrice in the city, Gardner posed for a portrait for Larry Tarr, a professional photographer who also happened to be her sister's husband and who thought his sister-in-law possessed a great natural beauty. The photo ended up in the front window of his studio in Fifth Avenue, marking the beginning of Gardner's career as a photographer's dream subject.

Gardner would have settled on working as a secretary back in her quiet Southern hometown, but the universe had a much different plan for her. In 1941, the photo displayed in her brother-in-law's studio caught the attention of Barnard "Barney" Duhan, a Loews Theaters legal clerk who often worked as a talent scout for MGM. After her sister and Tarr sent in her information to the studio, Gardner soon found herself doing a screen test for studio head Louis B. Mayer, after which he supposedly commented: "She can't act. She can't talk. She's terrific. Sign her." The dark-haired beauty promptly left school, heading to Hollywood that same year - with Beatrice en tow as chaperone - to jumpstart her acting career. Although her Southern accent was charming, the studio decided Gardner still needed a voice coach to diminish her Carolina drawl, giving the starlet the Dream Factory makeover others had undergone thousands of times before.

In no time at all, Gardner began appearing in a variety of films; most being unremarkable B-grade quality during her early years at the studio. MGM signed the actress to a seven-year contract and she made her film debut in "Fancy Answers" (1941). Despite her limited acting ability, there was no denying the camera loved her and she stood out like a klieg light just walking around the lot - home already to the likes of Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr - no slouches in the beauty department. It was on just such a stroll in 1941 that the studio's then biggest star, Mickey Rooney, caught a glimpse of Gardner and fell head over heels in lust. Though the couple looked rather ridiculous together, with the 5' 6" Gardner - who defined the term "out of his league" - towering over the 5' 3" Rooney, the superstar would not be deterred in his quest to bed and marry the starlet. More flattered than in love, Gardner accepted his marriage proposal and the couple were married on Jan. 10, 1942, despite L. B. Mayer's disapproval. Once settled into the supposed wedded bliss portrayed in Photoplay magazine, Rooney continued to live life as a bachelor, partying and carrying on while his 19-year-old bride sat at home, crying on Bappie's shoulder. The couple divorced a mere 17 months later.

Now free to play the field and ardently pursue her career out of Rooney's considerable shadow, Gardner began making small strides on screen, including bit parts in such forgettable fare as "Maisie Goes to Reno" (1944) and "She Went to the Races" (1945). MGM even gave her her first starring role in "Whistle Stop" (1946), but it made little impression on audiences. Sadly, with the exception of a few select roles, it would be her love life which would hold more fascination than anything she did on the silver screen. And it was not just actors who were enamored with Gardner's voluptuous curves. Billionaire and recluse Howard Hughes - who collected women like trophies - pursued the star, culminating in a battle royale in which she famously conked him on the head with a heavy candlestick, knocking him out cold. Despite the violence and her refusal to be yet another of his conquests, the two remained close friends for the rest of his life. More disastrous emotionally to Gardner was her second marriage to bandleader Artie Shaw, the legendary "King of Swing" who was married eight times between 1932 and 1957. Gardner was his sixth wife amongst a group of women that included actresses Lana Turner, Doris Dowling and Evelyn Keyes. The marriage lasted exactly one year, partly because he was very critical of her lack of education, thus allowing him to play the Svengali, molding and shaping her like a pet project. They divorced in 1946, the same year Gardner was about to leave her thoughtless exes and mediocre film roles in the past for much greater glories.

Loaned out to Universal for the Ernest Hemingway-adapted noir film "The Killers," Gardner - breathtaking in her iconic black satin gown - purred and sparked with co-star Burt Lancaster, owning every scene she was in. Her onscreen presence was powerful, yet she also exuded a hint of vulnerability which caused men to fall head over heels for her and women to relate to her. Now a full-fledged star, she delighted audiences with her role as love interest to MGM's "King," Clark Gable, in "The Hucksters" (1947), as a goddess come to life in "One Touch of Venus" (1948) and the exquisite Julie LaVerne in the musical "Show Boat" (1951). But by this time, it was her real life that again fixated. Gardner had found the love of her life in crooner-turned-actor Frank Sinatra, who, at the time of their first meeting, was on a downward career spiral. In fact, she was the bigger star, but that was the least of their problems. Sinatra, who was still married to wife Nancy and had two children with her, was unable to get a divorce due to his Roman Catholic upbringing. So Gardner was not unexpectedly labeled a homewrecker and Sinatra's goodwill within the public continued to slip. The scandal put an expected strain on their relationship early on, but after Sinatra was granted a legal separation in 1951, he and the woman he nicknamed "Angel" married 72 hours after the separation went into effect.

While she was at her career peak, Sinatra was considered a has-been in Hollywood circles, so when a role in the prestige project "From Here to Eternity" (1953) came up, Gardner helped her husband land it - specifically, the role of doomed soldier, Maggio, for which he would win an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and set him on the path to legend. She became pregnant during their marriage, but the actress underwent an illegal abortion because she claimed they simply were not able or ready to take care of a child, later admitting she did it because she "hated Frankie so much" and wanted his "child to go unborn." To say the couple had a tempestuous union would be an extreme understatement. Sinatra's intense jealousy and mistrust of his wife, coupled with Gardner's substantial drinking habit, eventually lead to the actress' third failed marriage. At one point, Sinatra was so obsessed with his wife and wrecked over their fights that he would threaten to kill himself. Gardner would receive phone calls and a gun shot would go off mid-sentence or his cronies would find him with the gas on and his head in the oven. Whether these were serious attempts, no one knew for sure, but one thing was certain - Gardner had a hold of Sinatra like no woman ever had or would again. Despite the couple separating in 1957, they remained good friends for the rest of her life. In fact, Sinatra never stopped loving or obsessing over his ex-wife, even well into his later years.

Despite, the off-screen drama, Gardner maintained a solid acting career and pursued roles that attempted to vanquish the notion of her as a "femme fatale" - ironic, since she appeared to be just such a woman off-screen. Her performance opposite Clark Gable in the 1953 film "Mogambo" earned Gardner an Academy Award nomination, followed by a pivotal role in "The Barefoot Contessa," where her real life habit of walking around barefoot mirrored that of the character she played, opposite a miscast Humphrey Bogart. She also received critical praise for the films "Bhowani Junction" (1956), "On the Beach" (1959) and "The Night of the Iguana" (1964). In fact, it was her work on "Iguana" which garnered the often critically dismissed actress the best reviews of her career, as she washed off the makeup and allowed her true, vulnerable self to shine through. A longtime friend of author Ernest Hemingway - who could match him drink for drink - she acted in two more Hemingway films outside of "The Killers" - "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1952) and "The Sun Also Rises" (1957).

After her third and final marriage ended, Gardner became fed up with Hollywood and moved to Spain. She became a fan of the country's culture, especially bullfighting and flamenco dance. The country fell in love with her, too. In the summer of 1998, a bronze sculpture of the actress was erected in her honor in the picturesque village of Tossa de Mar, Spain, where she filmed "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" in 1951. After 10 years in Spain, Gardner moved to London, England where she was able to slow things down. Her life had been a rollercoaster ever since she was discovered by MGM, and she continued acting up until her health weakened - no doubt brought about by living fast and hard for decades. In fact it was her bad habits more than anything else which contributed to her increasingly haggard appearance in which she looked much older than her age. Because of this fact, as well as her displeasure with an industry which turned its back on older screen sirens, she had smaller roles during the 1970s and 1980s. Despite the size and quality of the parts, she still had an undeniable onscreen presence. Gardner even appeared in five episodes of the TV show "Knots Landing" (CBS, 1979-1993) as Ruth Galveston. Her final film was the TV movie "Harem" (ABC, 1986), that same year, she suffered two strokes that left the actress partially paralyzed and bedridden. She would, in fact tell old friends like Gregory Peck and ex-husband Mickey Rooney that she often contemplated suicide post-stroke, frustrated at the loss of independence which had defined her all of her life.

In 1990, an unrepentant Gardner wrote an autobiography titled Ava, My Story before dying of pneumonia - a result of having smoked all her life - on Jan. 25, 1990. Sinatra - who had quietly paid for Gardner's medical expenses while she was alive - also paid for her funeral, despite being married at the time to wife, Barbara Sinatra. It was a final tribute to the woman who had inspired his song "I Am a Fool to Want You." She was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park in Smithfield, NC, next to her parents and other family members. The Ava Gardner Museum opened in 1981 with the most extensive memorabilia collection dedicated to the movie star. Even in death, Gardner's legend continued to loom large. Marcia Gay Harden effectively essayed the actress in the 1992 miniseries, "Sinatra" (CBS), and in Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic, "The Aviator" (2004), British actress Kate Beckinsale portrayed Gardner. On playing such an interesting real-life woman or "broad" as she was affectionately called by her many male friends, Beckinsale described the star as feisty, fiery, warm, deeply feminine, and tough. "She had a very unique spirit and I really found that appealing."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

That's Entertainment! III (1994)
Priest of Love (1981)
The Kidnapping Of The President (1980)
Beth Richards
City on Fire (1979)
The Sentinel (1977)
The Cassandra Crossing (1977)
The Blue Bird (1976)
Luxury
Permission to Kill (1975)
Katin Petersen
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
Lily Langtry as
Tam Lin (1971)
Mrs. [Michaela "Micky"] Cazaret
Mayerling (1969)
Empress Elizabeth
The Bible...In the Beginning (1966)
Sarah
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Maxine Faulk
Seven Days in May (1964)
Eleanor Holbrook
55 Days at Peking (1963)
Baroness Natalie Ivanoff
The Angel Wore Red (1960)
Soledad
The Naked Maja (1959)
Maria Teresa de Cayetana, Duchess of Alba
On the Beach (1959)
Moira Davidson
The Sun Also Rises (1957)
Lady Brett Ashley
The Little Hut (1957)
Susan, Lady Ashlowe
Bhowani Junction (1956)
Victoria Jones
Knights of the Round Table (1954)
Guinevere
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
Maria Vargas [also known as Maria D'Amata]
Ride, Vaquero! (1953)
Cordelia Cameron
Mogambo (1953)
Eloise Y. Kelly
The Band Wagon (1953)
Herself
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
Cynthia Green
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1952)
Pandora Reynolds
Lone Star (1952)
Martha Ronda
Show Boat (1951)
Julie LaVerne
My Forbidden Past (1951)
Barbara Beaurevelle
East Side, West Side (1950)
Isabel Lorrison
The Great Sinner (1949)
Pauline Ostrovsky
The Bribe (1949)
Elizabeth Hintten
One Touch of Venus (1948)
Venus [Goddess of Love/Venus Jones]
Singapore (1947)
Linda [Grahame, also known as Ann Van Leyden]
The Hucksters (1947)
Jean Ogilvie
The Killers (1946)
Kitty Collins
Whistle Stop (1946)
Mary
She Went to the Races (1945)
Hilda Spotts
Lost Angel (1944)
Hat check girl
Swing Fever (1944)
Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
Canteen dancer
Maisie Goes to Reno (1944)
Gloria Fullerton
Three Men in White (1944)
Jean Brown
Hitler's Madman (1943)
Katy Chotnik
Young Ideas (1943)
Co-ed
Ghosts on the Loose (1943)
Betty
Reunion in France (1942)
Marie, salesgirl
Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942)
Student at Miss Hope's
This Time for Keeps (1942)
Young woman at drive-in
Kid Glove Killer (1942)
Car hop

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Ava Gardner, the Gipsy of Hollywood (2017)
Archival Footage

Cast (Special)

Maggie (1986)
Diane Webb
The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983)
Performer

Misc. Crew (Special)

Ava Gardner (1992)
Other

Cast (Short)

Vienna The Years Remembered (1968)
Herself
On the Trail of the Iguana (1964)
Herself
Screen Actors (1950)
Herself
Mighty Lak a Goat (1942)
We Do It Because- (1942)
Fancy Answers (1941)
Strange Testament (1941)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Harem (1986)
Kadin
A.D. (1985)
The Long Hot Summer (1985)
Minnie Littlejohn

Life Events

1935

Family moved from Grabtown, North Carolina to Newport News, Virginia (date approximate)

1940

Gardner's photo in brother-in-law Larry Tarr's photographic studio window spotted by messenger in Loews legal department; Tarr sent photos to MGM; Gardner given audition with Marvin Schneck in MGM's New York headquarters (date approximate)

1941

Went to Hollywood with sister Bappie; signed 7-year contract with MGM

1941

Short film acting debut in "Fancy Answers"

1942

Had first speaking role in film in "Calling Dr. Gillespie"

1942

Feature film debut (unbilled walk-on), "We Were Dancing"

1943

Recieved initial screen credit for "Ghosts on the Loose"

1946

First leading role, "Whistle Stop"

1948

Starred in the musical "One Touch of Venus"

1951

Played Julie in the remake of "Show Boat"

1953

Received sole Academy Award nomination as Best Actress in "Mogambo"

1955

Moved to Spain

1957

Cast as Lady Brett Ashley in the film version of Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

1958

Left MGM

1963

Settled in London

1964

Delivered a fine turn as the blowsy hotel owner in "The Night of the Iguana"

1968

Moved to London when Spanish tax authorities claimed Gardner owed $1 million in back taxes

1972

Portrayed Lillie Langtry in "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean", opposite Paul Newman

1974

Appeared in "Earthquake" opposite Charlton Heston

1976

Traveled to the USSR to co-star in George Cukor's "The Blue Bird"

1981

Played Mabel Dodge Luhan in "Priest of Love"

1983

Final film "Regina/Regina Roma", a direct-to-video release

1985

Acted in the NBC TV remake of "The Long Hot Summer"

1985

Appeared on the CBS primetime serial "Knots Landing"

1985

Portrayed Agrippina in the NBC miniseries "A.D."

1986

Final TV role in the ABC miniseries "Harem"

1986

Suffered a stroke which precluded any further acting roles

Photo Collections

The Bribe - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from MGM's The Bribe (1949), starring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, and Vincent Price. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
My Forbidden Past - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for RKO's My Forbidden Past (1951), starring Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner.
The Great Sinner - Movie Poster
The Great Sinner - Movie Poster
Mogambo - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for MGM's Mogambo (1953), starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly, and directed by John Ford. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Killers - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Universal's The Killers (1946), starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner.
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for MGM's Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), starring Ava Gardner and James Mason.
Bhowani Junction - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Bhowani Junction (1956), starring Ava Gardner and Bill Travers, and directed by George Cukor.
Bhowani Junction - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Bhowani Junction (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Mogombo - Behind-the-Scenes Photos - John Ford
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos of John Ford directing the MGM adventure film Mogambo (1953), starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly.
The Angel Wore Red - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Angel Wore Red (1960), starring Ava Gardner and Dirk Bogarde. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Show Boat (1951) - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Show Boat (1951). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Bribe - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for MGM's The Bribe (1949). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Little Hut - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's The Little Hut (1957), starring Ava Gardner, Davis Niven, and Stewart Granger. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Lone Star - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Lone Star (1952), starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
East Side, West Side - Movie Poster
Here is an original half-sheet movie poster for MGM's East Side, West Side (1949), starring Barbara Stanwyck, James Mason, Ava Gardner, and Van Heflin.
The Naked Maja - Ava Gardner Publicity Still
Here is a still of Ava Gardner, taken to help publicize The Naked Maja (1959). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Show Boat (1951) - Ava Gardner Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of Ava Gardner taken to help publicize MGM's Show Boat (1951). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

Mogambo (1953) - Let Me Jump To My Own Conclusions! A good deal less bawdy than the equivalent Jean Harlow scene with the same leading man in the original (pre-Code) Red Dust, still alluring "Honey Bear" (Ava Gardner) in the shower meets angered safari guide Marswell (Clark Gable) early in John Ford's re-make, Mogambo, 1953.
Lone Star (1952) - Moonlight Was Meant For Lovers Clark Gable is still not revealing his identity, as a supporter of Texas annexation sent by Andrew Jackson, but Texan Martha (Ava Gardner) has grown interested in him, separating themselves from the crowd at an Austin dinner party, with an un-credited song, in MGM's Lone Star, 1952.
Hucksters, The (1947) - Nobody's Anybody's Friend As singer Jean (Ava Gardner) joins the table after her number, she visits with old pal and ad-man Vic (Clark Gable) and his new maybe-flame, war widow Kay (Deborah Kerr), before Vic's intoxicated boss "Kim" (Adolphe Menjou, a one-time Ivy Leaguer, with Gloria Holden as his wife) takes a bitter turn, in The Hucksters, 1947.
Hucksters, The (1947) - Don't Tell Me 23-year old Ava Gardner (as singer "Jean Ogilvie," her voice dubbed by Cathy Lewis) performs Buddy Pepper's "Don't Tell Me" for an audience including Clark Gable, Deborah Kerr, Adolphe Menjou and Gloria Holden in director Jack Conway's The Hucksters, 1947.
Ava Gardner: The Gipsy Of Hollywood (2017) - Open, The Strangest Paradise Opening, with the subject’s voice by Tatyana Yassukovich and further narration by David Coburn, from director Sergio Mondelo’s French-made 2017 documentary, Ava Gardner: The Gipsy Of Hollywood.
Ava Gardner: The Gipsy Of Hollywood (2017) - Rough Diamond With commentary from historians Frederic Martinez and Antoine Sire, more from Sergio Mondelo’s documentary on Ava Gardner’s progress to stardom, in the documentary from France, Ava Gardner: The Gipsy Of Hollywood, 2017.
Knights Of The Round Table (1954) - I Make You Henceforth The Queen's Champion The pretty form of Guinivere (Ava Gardner) is emphasized in her speedy wedding to Arthur (Mel Ferrer) and Lancelot (Robert Taylor) arriving late, is rewarded for his service, in MGM's Knights Of The Round Table, 1953.
Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (1952) - A Lack Of Love Following their first embrace, Pandora (Ava Gardner) and van der Zee (James Mason) on the Spanish coast of an evening, in writer-director Albert Lewin's Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, 1952.
Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (1952) - As Much Her Slave... First appearance of Ava Gardner (first title character), Harold Warrender (as "Geoffrey" narrating), introducing Reggie (Marius Goring) and Stephen (Nigel Patrick) in a Spanish seaside town, director Albert Lewin's Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, 1952.
Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (1952) - Darling Of The Gods Skinny-dipping American Pandora (Ava Gardner) on the Spanish Mediterranean coast finds a yacht and its captain (James Mason, his first scene), strange events in writer-director Albert Lewin's Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, 1952.
Pandora And The Flying Dutchman (1952) - With One Bloody Blow Writer-director Albert Lewin from contemporary to fantasy flashback, van der Zee (James Mason) imagining himself in the old legend, his wife (Ava Gardner) and Abraham Sofaer the imposing judge, in Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, 1952.
Bible: In The Beginning... The (1966) - A Man Called Abram After a bad episode with the Tower of Babel, director John Huston still narrating, loosely from Genesis, the first reference to a promised land and the introduction of George C. Scott as Abram (a.k.a. Abraham), and Ava Gardner as his wife Sarah, in the American-Italian The Bible: In The Beginning…, 1966.

Trailer

Snows of Kilimanjaro, The - (Original Trailer) Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Susan Hayward star in the Henry King's adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's story The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952).
Three Men in White - (Original Trailer) Young doctors compete for a prestigious position as Dr. Gillespie's assistant. Starring Lionel Barrymore, Van Johnson and featuring Ava Gardner.
Seven Days in May - (Original Trailer) The U.S. President is threatened by a military coup in Seven Days in May (1964) written by Rod Serling and starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
East Side, West Side - (Original Trailer) Chic New York couple Barbara Stanwyck and James Mason are torn apart by a seductive model in East Side, West Side (1950).
Bhowani Junction - (Original Trailer) An Anglo-Indian beauty (Ava Gardner) falls for a British officer (Stewart Granger) as her country fights for independence.
Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The - (Original Trailer) Paul Newman stars as the Law West of the Pecos in John Huston's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972).
Band Wagon, The - (Original Trailer) A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop in The Band Wagon (1953), starring Fred Astaire.
On The Beach - (Original Trailer) After a nuclear war, U.S. sailors stationed in Australia deal with the death of humanity in Stanley Kramer's On The Beach (1959).
Barefoot Contessa, The - (Original Trailer) A Spanish dancer becomes an international star but still longs to get her feet in the dirt in The Barefoot Contessa (1954) starring Ava Gardner.
Cassandra Crossing, The - (Original Trailer) An all-star cast is trapped on a train carrying a deadly virus in The Cassandra Crossing (1976) starring Sophia Loren and Martin Sheen.
Ghosts on the Loose - (Re-issue Trailer) The East Side Kids offer to redecorate Ava Gardner's cottage, only to find it inhabited by Bela Lugosi in Ghosts on the Loose (1943).
She Went To The Races - (Original Trailer) A pretty scientist (Frances Gifford) with a system for horse-race betting falls in love with a trainer in She Went To The Races (1945).

Promo

Family

Jonas Bailey Gardner
Father
Ran country store, sharecropper, farmer. Died c. 1949.
Mary Elizabeth Gardner
Mother
Boardinghouse landlady. Was 39 when Gardner was born; died on May 21, 1943.
Raymond Gardner
Brother
Died at age two as result of accidental dynamite explosion in fireplace.
Beatrice Gardner
Sister
Eldest sister; companion throughout Gardner's Hollywood career and in Spain; married second husband, Larry Tarr, who ran Tarr's photographic studio in NY and put Gardner's photo in window which was seen by MGM employee; third husband was Charlie Guest (a Howard Hughes employee).
Melvin Gardner
Brother
Inez Gardner
Sister
Myra Pearce
Sister
Born c. 1915.

Companions

Mickey Rooney
Husband
Actor. Married on January 10, 1942; divorced on May 21, 1943; met during Gardner's first week in Hollywood; couple had to ask Louis B Mayer for permission to marry.
Artie Shaw
Husband
Musician. Married on October 17, 1945; divorced in October 1946; born in 1910 in New York; his third of eight marriages; marriage lasted one year and one week.
Howard Duff
Companion
Actor. Together c. 1947.
Robert Taylor
Companion
Actor. Met while making "The Bribe"; relationship lasted four months during 1949.
Frank Sinatra
Husband
Singer, actor. Married on November 7, 1951; separated in 1954; divorced in 1957.
Dominguin
Companion
Bullfighter. Together c. 1953-56; four years younger than Gardner; met in Madrid; died in 1996 at age 69.
Walter Chiari
Companion
Actor. Italian; together 1956-59; co-starred in "The Little Hut" (1957).
Anthony Franciosca
Companion
Actor.
George C Scott
Companion
Actor. Had relationship while filming "The Bible" (1968).

Bibliography

"Grabtown Girl: Ava Gardner's North Carolina Childhood and Her Enduring Ties to Home"
Doris Rollins Cannon, Down Home Press (2001)
"Ava Gardner: My Story"
Ava Gardner (1990)
"Ava Gardner: A Bio-Bibliography"
Karin J. Fowler, Greenwood Press (1990)
"Ava's Men"
Jane Ellen Wayne (1989)

Notes

According to Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, Ava Gardner was once voted the world's most beautiful woman.

There is an Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina. The website address is www.avagardner.org