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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