Ava Gardner

Actor
Amidst a sea of blonde-haired bombshells, Ava Gardner stood out as one of Hollywood's true screen sirens, with her legendary beauty and rollercoaster love affairs. The stunning green-eyed brunette was often described as ... Read more »
Born: 12/23/1922 in Brogden, North Carolina, USA

Filmography

Actor (56)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Song Performer (Actor)

Knots Landing 1979 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Maggie 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Long Hot Summer 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

A.D. 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Priest of Love 1981 (Movie)

Mabel Dodge Luhan (Actor)

City on Fire 1979 (Movie)

Maggie Grayson (Actor)

The Kidnapping of the President 1979 (Movie)

Beth Richards (Actor)

The Cassandra Crossing 1976 (Movie)

Nicole Dressler (Actor)

The Sentinel 1976 (Movie)

Miss Logan (Actor)

The Blue Bird 1975 (Movie)

Luxury (Actor)

Earthquake 1974 (Movie)

Remy Graff (Actor)

Permission to Kill 1974 (Movie)

Katin Petersen (Actor)

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean 1972 (Movie)

Lily Langtry (Actor)

Tam Lin 1970 (Movie)

Mrs Michaela Cazaret (Actor)

Mayerling 1968 (Movie)

Empress Elizabeth (Actor)

The Bible 1965 (Movie)

Sarah (Actor)

Seven Days in May 1964 (Movie)

Eleanor Holbrook (Actor)

The Night of the Iguana 1964 (Movie)

Maxine Faulk (Actor)

55 Days at Peking 1963 (Movie)

Baroness Natalie Ivanoff (Actor)

The Angel Wore Red 1960 (Movie)

Soledad (Actor)

On the Beach 1959 (Movie)

Moira Davidson (Actor)

The Naked Maja 1958 (Movie)

Duchess of Alba (Actor)

The Little Hut 1957 (Movie)

Lady Susan Ashlow (Actor)

The Sun Also Rises 1957 (Movie)

Lady Brett Ashley (Actor)

Bhowani Junction 1956 (Movie)

Victoria (Actor)

The Barefoot Contessa 1954 (Movie)

Maria Vargas (Actor)

Knights of the Round Table 1953 (Movie)

Guinevere (Actor)

Mogambo 1953 (Movie)

Eloise Y Kelly (Actor)

Ride, Vaquero 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Band Wagon 1953 (Movie)

The Movie Star (Actor)

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman 1951 (Movie)

Pandora Reynolds (Actor)

The Snows of Kilimanjaro 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Music For Millions 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

Reunion in France 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Du Barry Was a Lady (Movie)

Girl (Actor)

Harem (TV Show)

Actor

Joe Smith, American (Movie)

Bit Part (Actor)

Kid Glove Killer (Movie)

Car Hop (Actor)

Lost Angel (Movie)

Hat Check Girl (Actor)

Maisie Goes to Reno (Movie)

Gloria Fullerton (Actor)

My Forbidden Past (Movie)

Barbara Beaurevel (Actor)

One Touch of Venus (Movie)

Venus, Goddess of Love/Venus Jones (Actor)

Show Boat (Movie)

Julie Laverne (Actor)

Singapore (Movie)

Linda Gordon Van Leyden (Actor)

Swing Fever (Movie)

Girl (Actor)

The Bribe (Movie)

Elizabeth Hintten (Actor)

The Hucksters (Movie)

Jean Ogilvie (Actor)

The Killers (Movie)

Kitty Collins (Actor)

This Time for Keeps (Movie)

Girl in Car (Actor)

Three Men in White (Movie)

Jean Brown (Actor)

Two Girls and a Sailor (Movie)

Rockette Girl (Actor)

We Were Dancing (Movie)

Bit Part (Actor)

Whistle Stop (Movie)

Mary (Actor)

Young Ideas (Movie)

Bit Part (Actor)

Biography

Amidst a sea of blonde-haired bombshells, Ava Gardner stood out as one of Hollywood's true screen sirens, with her legendary beauty and rollercoaster love affairs. The stunning green-eyed brunette was often described as having the face of an angel and the body of a goddess, 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). What was infinitely more interesting to fans, however, was her much chronicled off-screen life in which the wild child did what she wanted when she wanted; others be damned - whether it was dating married men, openly courting bullfighters or throwing back whiskey shots like a man. Her complicated, passionate relationships opposite a wide spectrum of Hollywood's leading men fascinated the public the most - from her odd hook-up with the diminutive king of the box office, Mickey Rooney, to living under the thumb of Svengali husband, bandleader Artie Shaw. But it was her tumultuous union to crooner Frank Sinatra which brought the actress the most chronicled pain and pleasure of her life, leading to obsession, abortion and suicide attempts. The fact that Sinatra could never control his real-life barefoot contessa would haunt him until the day he died, making the Sinatra-Gardner union one for the ages.

Relationships

Dominguin

Companion
together c. 1953-56 four years younger than Gardner met in Madrid died in 1996 at age 69

Melvin Gardner

Brother

Inez Gardner

Sister

Walter Chiari Actor

Companion
Italian together 1956-59 co-starred in "The Little Hut" (1957)

Howard Duff

Companion
together c. 1947

Anthony Franciosa Actor

Companion

Anthony Franciosca

Companion

Jonas Gardner

Father
died c. 1949

Mary Gardner

Mother
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)

Peter Lawford Actor

Companion

Myra Pearce

Sister
born c. 1915

Mickey Rooney Actor

Husband
Met during Gardner's first week in Hollywood Couple had to ask Louis B. Mayer for permission to marry Married Jan. 10, 1942 Divorced May 21, 1943

George C Scott Actor

Companion
Had relationship while filming "The Bible" (1966) Involved for several years in mid-1960s

Artie Shaw

Husband
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

Frank Sinatra Actor

Husband
married on November 7, 1951 divorced in 1957 separated in 1954

Robert Taylor Actor

Companion
met while making "The Bribe" relationship lasted four months during 1949

Mel Torme Actor

Companion

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Actor

Cousin
Winstead stated her maternal grandfather was a cousin of Gardner

EDUCATION

Smithfield High School

North Carolina

Rock Ridge Teacherage

Rock Ridge , North Carolina 1939
high school

Atlantic Christian College

Wilson , North Carolina
attended one year(secretarial studies)

Milestones

1986

Suffered a stroke which precluded any further acting roles

1986

Final TV role in the ABC miniseries "Harem"

1985

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

1985

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

1985

Appeared on the CBS primetime serial "Knots Landing"

1983

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

1981

Played Mabel Dodge Luhan in "Priest of Love"

1976

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

1974

Appeared in "Earthquake" opposite Charlton Heston

1972

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

1968

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

1964

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

1963

Settled in London

1958

Left MGM

1957

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

1955

Moved to Spain

1953

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

1951

Played Julie in the remake of "Show Boat"

1948

Starred in the musical "One Touch of Venus"

1946

First leading role, "Whistle Stop"

1942

Recieved initial screen credit for "Ghosts on the Loose"

1941

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

1941

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

1940

Short film acting debut in "Fancy Answers"

1940

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

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)

1935

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

Family returned to North Carolina

Bonus Trivia

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

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

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The late movie icon Ava Gardner was honoured with her own post office in the county where she grew up. Smithfield Post Office in Johnston County, North Carolina was renamed the Ava Gardner Post Office in 2006

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