Biography: Ava Gardner, mythical Hollywood actress, great seductress and collector of famous husbands

Mythical actress, femme fatale who knew how to make men succumb and fuel fantasies, Ava Gardner has often been compared to Marilyn Monroe, in brunette version. A great seductress, she has multiplied amorous conquests to the point of being called a man-eater and a couple-breaker. Although she has acted in about sixty films, she is credited with little talent, with only one Oscar nomination. One of her ex-husbands even said of her, publicly, that she had bird brains. However, Ava Gardner has been able to pull out of the game in Hollywood, getting famous men to walk around while leaving her mark on the cinema.

Ava Gardner fascinated a generation with her sex appeal, her many lovers and her great notoriety. But what most didn’t know was that she had very little confidence in herself and her acting skills.

This is what we learn in his new biography.

Little educated, she said she was uneducated and admitted to allowing herself to be easily dominated by the men she loved.

She was also said to be very naive. For good reason, while she was under contract with MGM, at the start of her career, she did not even appear in the credits of the films in which she played because of her southern rural accent. She was used for her beauty and, most of the time, as an extra. It will be necessary to wait for him to have played in about fifteen films without being credited so that one finally grants him small roles in films of no great importance.

Photo courtesy of LettMotif Editions

family of farmers

Originally from North Carolina in the United States, her history in the artistic world began at the age of 18. She was studying until then to become a shorthand typist.

She evolves during childhood in poverty. His parents, who had seven children, are farmers operating a tobacco plantation. Her father died during her adolescence, but Ava will say that she had a happy childhood in a united family, not lacking in love and without suffering from a lack of money.

One of his older sisters, Beatrice, lives in New York and is married to a professional photographer. Visiting his sister, photographer Larry Tarr is impressed by Ava’s beauty and offers to take pictures. The pictures are so impressive in his eyes that he displays them in the window of his studio. Spectacular turn of events ! An MGM employee will notice them and a whole series of events will follow. She will do a screen test with one of the employees responsible for discovering new talent.

Ava has never dreamed of a career in the cinema, but is ready to do anything to escape her destiny as a secretary. She did not hesitate for a second to move to Hollywood and take diction lessons to break her Southern accent, thus following the recommendations of MGM studios with whom she signed a contract of US$2,500 per year for seven years.

Beginning of success

No longer wanting to be told that she is used only for her beauty, she will take private lessons in drama. His efforts will bear fruit. Over the years, she would eventually land bigger roles in many movies. It’s mainly the movie Mogambowhere she shares the poster once again with Clark Gable, that she will gain credibility and that she will find herself nominated for an Oscar.

For Ava, her most notable film is The Barefoot Countessin 1954, where she played there alongside Humphrey Bogart, in particular because of the script which reminded her of her own life, that of a woman of poor origins who would experience a remarkable rise while experiencing disillusions in love.

One of his greatest commercial successes will be The Knights of the Round Table.

Over time, we learn in her biography that Ava Gardner not only loses her naivety, but that she does not allow herself to be dictated to in any way.

Free-spirited femme fatale

If Ava Gardner has never won an Oscar, she knew how to make men walk and will accumulate amorous conquests. She will publicly say how much she loves men and sex.

In addition to having been married three times, there is already the actor, director, producer and screenwriter Mickey Rooney, then there was the clarinetist musician and American jazz bandleader Artie Shaw and none other than the famous singer and actor Frank Sinatra.

But apart from his marriages, we no longer count his love affairs. Among these, there is in particular an important relationship with the multi-billionaire Howard Hughes, who did everything to marry her, but the affair was so tumultuous that Ava always refused. Added to the list of conquests are actors Howard Duff and Robert Taylor, with whom she shot in the film Vaquerothen in The Knights of the Round Table. There was also actor, director and producer George Scott. While she settled in Spain, she also had a love affair with Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, among others. His attitude with men will earn him letters of threats and accusations from many Catholic priests.

career and people

There are certain paradoxes in Ava Gardner. Twice, she aborted explaining that she had to promote her career. According to her version of the facts, clauses in her contracts indicated that she would be in breach of contract in the event of a pregnancy. She complied with these rules.

On the other hand, when she was in love, she stopped working, devoting herself body and soul to her amorous passions. It was taking up so much space that there was no more space for work.

Despite all these men who passed and for whom she sacrificed so much, as we discover in this biography, she ended her days alone and died in 1990 of pneumonia at the age of 67.

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Biography: Ava Gardner, mythical Hollywood actress, great seductress and collector of famous husbands