Ava Gardner – Woman Of Mystery

 

Hollywood was tantalised by Ava Gardner. A raven haired beauty who had talent ,style and grit.  She had to have the latter and plenty of it to deal with hubby number three Frank Sinatra who had more than enough grit of his own.  Ava GardnerAva played the vixen who had been hard done by and often had an axe to grind in many of her films. In film noir she was the mysterious tough cookie who just wanted to be loved. Her first big break was in ‘The Killers’ with Burt Lanchaster. She was also very good at playing exotic types who didn’t belong but wanted to be accepted into the social elite. Film noir Lanchaster & GardinerBecause of her looks Ava was often chosen to play half castes. Notably in Bhowani Junction’ in which she plays a half caste Indian and in ‘Showboat’ where she is supposed to be black passing for white.  She was perhaps to her best advantage when playing a Spaniard as in ‘The Barefoot Contessa’ as there is a strong possibility that this was her actual heritage even though her family background could only be traced to England.  Ava married Micky Rooney ( A very odd couple ) and Artie Shaw ( who seemed to marry everybody ) before Sinatra. ava and Frankava-gardner-and-mickey-rooney-after-their-wedding-january-1942After Sinatra she never married again but did have a long running affair with Howard Hughes and with Ernest Hemingway who cast her in ‘The Sun Also Rises’. To Ava no -one could measure up to Frank with whom she enjoyed an extremely volatile relationship. She smoked like a chimney and died of pneumonia at the age of 67 in 1990.

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