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Ava Gardner ACTOR


Ava Gardner was born with the birth name Ava Lavinia Gardner on December 24th, 1922.  She was born in Grabtown, Johnston County, North Carolina and was the youngest of seven children.  Her parents were cotton and tobacco farmers who lost their home property when all the children were still very young and both parents were forced to find other work to support the family
At the age of thirteen, Gardner's parents decided to relocate to another city, Newport News, Virginia.  Gardner's mother, Mollie found employment as a manager to a boarding house for the city's ship workers.  Her father, Jonas became ill soon after they moved to Virginia and in 1938 passed away from bronchitis. 
Following her father's passing, the family relocated again to Wilson, North Carolina where again, Mollie found employment at a boarding house for teachers.  Ava completed high school in North Carolina and went on to attend secretarial classes at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson.

In 1941, Gardner took a trip to visit her sister, Beatrice in New York City.  Beatrice's husband was a professional photographer and offered to take a portrait of Gardner.  He was so pleased with the outcome, he displayed her photo in his front window of his studio.  
Soon after, Barbard Duhan, a legal clerk for Loews Theatres spotted her portrait in the window on fifth avenue and  he tried to convince the Tarr's to give him Gardner's contact info.  However, they were reluctant to do so.  Instead, Duhan told them that if they reconsidered that they should send Gardner to MGM for consideration. 
The Tarr's convinced Gardner, who was still studying at the secretarial school to take a chance and travel to New York to visit the MGM office.  Gardner did so and as immediately offered a standard contract. 
She appeared in small roles with her new contract with MGM and then she was cast in, "The Killers" (1946) which got her major attention as one of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses and woman of her day.  She took on other roles as well as such, "The Hucksters" (1947), "Show Boat" (1951) and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1952).  Great roles followed such as her role in, "Mogambo" (1953) which earned Gardner a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress, however, Audrey Hepburn won the award for her role in, "Roman Holiday". 
Also, just shortly after she relocated to Los Angeles, Gardner met another actor, Mickey Rooney who was also on contract with MGM and they were married on January 10th, 1942 when Gardner was only nineteen years old.  However, only 1 year later, the couple divorced.  Gardner went on to marry Artie Shaw, a jazz musician in 1945, but again, this marriage only lasted one year.  Her third marriage and also her last was to, Frank Sinatra, a famous singer and actor.  He actually left his wife Nancy for Gardner, and his career and public fan base did suffer slightly due to him making that choice, however, Gardner always said he was the love of her life and this marriage only helped boost her career and stardom.  
Gardner became pregnant twice during her marriage to Frank Sinatra, but both times chose to have an abortion.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1957, but the couple remained friends.  Gardner did help get Sinatra his Oscar winning role on, "From Here to Eternity" (1953) which brought back his demand and increased his popularity. 
Gardner continued to take on roles in such films as, "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) "Bhowani Junction" (1956), "On the Beach" (1959) and "The Night of the Iguana" (1964) for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award and Golden Globe.  

In 1968, Gardner moved to London to undergo surgery.  She had elected to have a hysterectomy to avoid ever contracting uterine cancer which had taken her mothers life. 
As Gardner's career entered the 70's, she worked on some films not as successful as those of her past.  Some examples were, "Earthquake" (1974), "The Cassandra Crossing" (1976) and "City on Fire" (1979). 
Her last film was, "Regina Roma" (1982) which never aired on the big screen and instead went straight to DVD release.  She took a chance with her career on television with roles on, "The Long Hot Summer" (1985) and "Knots Landing" (1985). 

Ava Lavinia Gardner passed away in her home in London on January 25th, 1990 from pneumonia at the age of 67,  following several years of declining health. Gardner was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina, next to her brothers and their parents. 

Gardner is listed as 25th among the American Film Institute's Greatest Female Stars. 

1941  Shadow of the Thin Man
1941  H.M. Pulham, Esq.
1941  Babes on Broadway
1941  Fancy Answers
1942  We Do It Because-
1942  Mighty Lak a Goat
1942  Joe Smith - American
1942  This Time for Keeps
1942  Kid Glove Killer
1942  Sunday Punch
1942  Calling Dr. Gillespie 
1942  Reunion in France
1943  Hitler's Madman 
1943  Ghosts on the Loose
1943  Young Ideas
1943  Du Barry Was a Lady
1943  Swing Fever
1943  Lost Angel 
1944  Two Girls and a Sailor 
1944  Three Men in White
1944  Maisie Goes to Reno
1944  Blonde Fever 
1945  She Went to the Races
1946  Whistle Stop
1946  The Killers
1947  Singapore
1947  The Hucksters
1948  One Touch of Venus
1949  The Bribe
1949  The Great Sinner
1949  East Side, West Side
1949  Some of the Best
1951  Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
1951  My Forbidden Past
1951  Show Boat
1952  Lone Star
1952  The Snows of Kilimanjaro
1953  Knights of the Round Table
1953  Ride, Vaquero!
1953  The Band Wagon
1953  Mogambo
1953  The Barefoot Contessa
1956  Bhowani Junction
1957  the Little Hut
1957  The Sun Also Rises
1958  The Naked Maja
1959  On the Beach
1960  The Angel Wore Red
1963  55 Days at Peking
1964  Seven Days in May
1964  On the Trail of the Iguana
1964  The Night of the Iguana
1966  The Bible: In The Beginning
1968  Mayerling
1968  Vienna: The Years Remembered
1970  Tam-Lin
1972  The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
1974  Earthquake
1975  Permission to Kill
1976  The Blue Bird
1976  The Cassandra Crossing
1977  The Sentinel
1979  City on Fire
1980  The Kidnapping of the President
1981  Priest of Love
1982  Regina Roma

Matinee Classics - 55 Days at Peking starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven
Matinee Classics - My Forbidden Past starring Robert Mitchum, Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas, Lucile Watson, Janis Carter, Gordon Oliver, Basil Ruysdael, Clarence Muse, Walter Kingsford, Jack Briggs and Will Wright
Matinee Classics - The Snows of Kilimanjaro starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Susan Hayward
Matinee Classics - Ava Gardner, nominated as Best Actress in 1953's Mogambo
Matinee Classics - Seven Days in May starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan, George Macready, Whit Bissell, Richard Anderson and Hugh Marlowe
Matinee Classics - Mogambo starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Donald Sinden, Philip Stainton, Eric Pohlmann, Laurence Naismith and Denis O'Dea
Matinee Classics - Mogambo starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Donald Sinden, Philip Stainton, Eric Pohlmann, Laurence Naismith and Denis O'Dea
Matinee Classics - On the Beach starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson, John Tate and Guy Doleman
Matinee Classics - The Angel Wore Red starring Ava Gardner, Dirk Bogarde, Joseph Cotten, Vittorio De Sica, Aldo Fabrizi, Arnoldo Foa, Finlay Currie, Rossana Rory and Enrico Maria Salerno
Matinee Classics - The Angel Wore Red starring Ava Gardner, Dirk Bogarde, Joseph Cotten, Vittorio De Sica, Aldo Fabrizi, Arnoldo Foa, Finlay Currie, Rossana Rory and Enrico Maria Salerno

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