Below are some interesting things about Audrey Gardner that you may or may not have known. The beautiful pictures at the bottom of the post can be seen larger by clicking the t-nail. You’ll want to do that – the art that is Ava Gardner was meant to be enjoyed!
- Elizabeth Taylor named Ava Gardner as the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen.
- Ava was a southern beauty. She was born in 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina.
- She was born on Christmas Eve.
- To say that she was completely uninterested in books would be an understatement. By 1945, Ava had read only two books: The Bible and Gone with the Wind. If you’re only going to read two books, The Bible should definitely be one.
- There is an Ava Gardner Museum! It’s located in Smithfield, North Carolina. I’ve gotta check that out.
- She was a fan of bullfighting, a sport she fell in love with a travel to Spain.
- Ava once met author J.R.R. Tolkien and neither knew why the other was famous. With her lack of fascination for books, I’m not surprised.
- She was married to Frank Sinatra during a low point of his career. She often had to lend him money, just so he could buy presents for his children. He would later repay the debt, in a way, when he paid her medical expenses after her 1989 stroke.
- A statue of Ava from The Barefoot Contessa was given to Frank Sinatra as a gift. He kept it in his backyard garden well after their divorce. When he married Barbara Marx, she forced him to get rid of it.
- Ava and Lena Horne were very close friends.
- Although she referred to her hometown as Grabtown, the town’s name is actually Brogden. “Grabtown” is a nickname given to it by locals. She sometimes named Smithfield as her hometown. Smithfield is a larger town nearby “Grabtown”.
- Frank Sinatra nicknamed her “Angel”.
- Ava was a good friend of writer Ernest Hemingway, whom she called “Papa.”
- Production designer John Hawkesworth, said that Ava “could eat twice as much as anyone and drink three times as much.”
- Ava’s 3 husbands were married a total of 20 times between them!
- Mickey Rooney was her first husband.
- She was married to Artie Shaw from October 17, 1945 to October 25, 1946. Artie had 8 wives, two of which were Ava Gardner and Lana Turner.
- One of the most beautiful actresses ever…in fact one her fans will always declare as THE most beautiful actress ever…died from bronchial pneumonia in London on January 25, 1990.
I’m a firm believer that you can learn a lot about a person simply by listening to their words…or reading their quotes. Ava’s colorfulness definitely comes through her words:
- “All I ever got out of any of my marriages was the two years Artie Shaw financed on an analyst’s couch.”
- ” After my screen test, the director clapped his hands gleefully and yelled, ‘She can’t talk! She can’t act! She’s sensational!’ “
- “I have only one rule in acting – trust the director and give him heart and soul.”
- “When I lose my temper, honey, you can’t find it any place.”
- “Deep down, I’m pretty superficial.”
- (On why she came out of retirement in 1985 to do a prime time soap.) “For the loot, honey, for the loot.”
- “What I’d really like to say about stardom is that it gave me everything I never wanted.”
- “Maybe I just didn’t have the temperament for stardom. I’ll never forget seeing Bette Davis in Madrid. I went up to her and said, ‘Miss Davis, I’m Ava Gardner and I’m a great fan of yours.’ And do you know, she behaved exactly as I wanted her to behave. ‘Of course you are, my dear,’ she said. ‘Of course you are.’ And she swept on. Now that’s a star.”
- “Although no one believes me, I have always been a country girl and still have a country girl’s values.”
Ava Gardner from the Barefoot Contessa
My Personal Favorite Ava Gardner Films:
While I haven’t seen all of beautiful Ava Gardner’s movies, yet, I am working on it. She’s one of the stars I “collect” and one who I make a point of seeing everything in their filmography. The ones below are my favorites as of today…
(When available, each link leads to Amazon. Once on Amazon, you can either order the dvd, if you collect her films as I do OR watch the film in Amazon Prime Videos.)
- The Barefoot Contessa
- Lone Star
- The Killers
- Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
- The Night of the Iguana
- My Forbidden Past
- The Snows of Kilimanjaro
- The Little Hut
Ava Gardner and Melvyn Douglas, My Forbidden Past