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Another of my favorite actresses and who I consider one of the most beautiful women of the 20th century---or any century---is Ava Lavinia Gardner. Ava was born in tiny Brogden, North Carolina on December 24, 1922, the youngest of seven children to parents of Scots/Irish descent. At the age of 18 she visited one of her sisters living in New York and a professional photographer, struck with her green-eyed beauty, took a photo that would soon catch the eye of a Loews Theaters executive and lead Ava from "Grab Town" to Hollywood.


Like her contemporary and pal, Lana Turner, she was groomed in the MGM glamour girl mode and appeared in small parts until her breakthrough in the film noir classic, The Killers in which she played a definitive femme fatale.


Ava married three times, her first husband when she was only 19 was Mickey Rooney. She later married Artie Shaw (who also was a husband to Lana Turner) and, of course, last but not least, there was her much publicized union with Frank Sinatra. Ava moved to Spain after her divorce from Sinatra in the late 1950s, where Ernest Hemingway introduced her to the heady intoxication of Spanish life---and bullfighters. She would later make London her permanent home, and died there of emphysema in 1990. Sinatra and she had remained close friends until her death, and he took care of her medical bills at the end.


Ava was nominated for one Oscar, for her earthy but warmly humorous performance as "Honey Bear" Kelly in John Ford's remake of Red Dust, Mogambo. Other notable movies include: Night of the Iguana, Mayerling, On the Beach (which teamed her for the third and last time with Gregory Peck), Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, The Sun Also Rises and The Snows of Kilimanjaro (rounding out her Spanish theme). In *One Touch of Venus* she played the incarnation of the "love goddess"---though she surely was one of the cinema's immortals, she never lost touch with the earth.



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You always start the best threads, Miss G. Such fine taste.


Sinatra and she had remained close friends until her death, and he took care of her medical bills at the end.


I didn't know this. That's so very wonderful of him.


I've only seen three of Ava's films thus far: Mogambo, The Night of the Iguana, and Whistle Stop. The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and East Side, West Side are the Ava films I wish to see the most.


Ava's "Honey Bear" in Mogambo and "Maxine Faulk" in The Night of the Iguana are two of my favorite female characters of all time. They have it all.


The only film I have of Ava's is actually Whistle Stop, and my copy isn't the greatest. I thought the film was mediocre, but I loved Ava. She made the film enjoyable enough for me.


If these caps are a little too weak in image quality, let me know, and I'll take them down.


"Grab Town," eh? :)



Ava in Whistle Stop





















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Hello, Mr Grimes---I'm very glad Miss Ava pleases you. Thank you for the screencaps---don't worry about their "image quality", nothing could diminish the beauty of that creature. I have an old vhs copy of *Whistle Stop* which is probably struck from the same bad, PD print.


You will get a kick out of her in East Side, West Side. Ava is as dangerous and sexual as the law (and the Code) would allow in her role as "Isabel" (as if Gene's own Isabel wasn't bad enough). I actually find it startling, she's so blatant. And I cannot even imagine how James Mason held it together in those scenes, he certainly makes a convincing looking basket case and I suspect it's not acting.


I'm thrilled this movie is included in the Barbara Stanwyck collection, as it's one of my favorites. I think Barbara and Van Heflin are so good together. I'm in the minority on this but I actually think he's my favorite leading man for her, aside from Gary (they were also great in BF's Daughter and of course, Martha Ivers). He behaves like he really understands her and even if he doesn't, he likes her anyway.



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"Some people say Liz and I are whores, but we are saints. We do not hide our loves hypocritically, and when in love, we are loyal and faithful to our men." (On the subject of her multiple marriages)



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"I suffered, I really suffered, with all three of my husbands. And I tried damn hard with

all three, starting each marriage certain that it was going to last until the end of my life.

Yet none of them lasted more than a year or two.? Ava Gardner



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