The Real Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner

We’ve been getting a lot of hits from our post about Kate Beckinsale playing Ava Gardner in The Aviator. So here’s a few photos of the real thing: Ava Gardner herself.

Ava Lavinia Gardner (24 December 1922 – 25 January 1990) was an American actress with MGM in the 1940s and 50s. Her notable films include The Killers (1946), Mogambo (1953), Bhowani Junction (1956), On the Beach (1959) and The Night of the Iguana (1964).  She was married to (in order) Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra (yes, he left Nancy for Ava!). After Sinatra, she had a long relationship with Howard Hughes (as depicted in The Aviator), and later with famed 1950s Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin. A lifelong smoker, she died in 1990 of pneumonia (a complication of her emphysema) at the age of 67. She was buried in her hometown of Smithfield, North Carolina, where there is an Ava Gardner Museum.

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4 thoughts on “The Real Ava Gardner”

  1. I’ve driven by the sign on Highway 70 directing people to the Ava Gardner museum a million times, but have somehow never had time to stop by. Perhaps a field trip is in order, along with a visit to my Uncle Bud, who lives in Smithfield…

  2. I CAN’T GET OVER HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS WOMAN WAS AND BEING THE LAST CHILD BORN INTO THE GARDNER FAMILY. NONE OF HER SISTERS WERE AS BEAUTIFUL AS AVA. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAD THE CHANCE THAT MICKEY ROONEY HAD AND HE BLEW IT. SUCH A SHAME.

  3. I VISITED THE MUSEUM ON 10/8/10 AND 10/9/10 ANDHER HUMBLE BEGININGS IN “GRABTOWN” AND HER VERY COMMON GRAVE AMONGST HER FATHER,MOTHER AND BROTHER AND SISTERS SHE JUST WANTED TO BE HOME WITH HER FAMILY AFTER A SOMETIMES UNHAPPY JOURNEY.

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