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I just finished reading it. Good book. I also liked Server's earlier biography of Robert Mitchum, Baby, I Don't Care. I must say, though, that about halfway through the Gardner book, I started feeling rather depressed. Ava led an aimless, vagabond existence, drinking too much, sleeping around too much and getting by on her good looks. Despite her astounding beauty, she never found lasting love. She also had real talent as an actress, but her career never realized its full potential. When age, booze and wild living finally caught up with her and her looks began to fade, she had nothing to fall back on and her life went into a tailspin. It's sad.

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I read the Mitchum bio, what a riot. I took his advice on what he learned in rehab about his alcoholism ... "More ice." I'd like to read the Ava book. When I moved down to Florida, I saw a sign that said The Ava Gardner Museum for an exit on the highway. I almost caused an accident.

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I read the Ava Gardner biography by Lee Server. It is entitled Love is Nothing and it is a superb read. I can understand why it has been getting so many very good reviews, from high profile publications. The author's way of writing is wonderful. This is much more than one of those "and then she married..then she dated then she starred in, ..." biographies.

 

It is important to note the book contains many direct quotes from people who were there with her during her life, even her high school friends.

 

This book has made me really eager to see her films again, it has been many years since I have seen them. Most of them were not great, but when she worked well with the director (George Sidney in "Showboat", John Huston for "The Night of The Iguana", "Mogambo", and others) movie magic really happened. I am really looking forward to next month's release on DVD of Mogambo, for which she received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress. The author's sections on the making of her films - and how the studios damaged or misunderstood some of her major films is fascinating. "Bhowani Junction" directed by George Cukor was one such film, I would love to see the now-lost original 150 minute "Director's Cut."

 

One thing is for sure, Sinatra was one "interesting" character. He seems to have cared for stardom above all else, but he met his match with Ava, who really did not give a damn. Around 1955 he started throwing in her face the fact that he was going to make a film with Marilyn Monroe, implying she was the new hot star of the moment, whereas Ava Gardner was "over." (The film was later canceled.) Ironically after his divorce from Ava, he bought the statue of her created for the film "The Barefoot Contessa" and kept it in his backyard for years, until he married his 4th wife. A truck one day picked it up right after his wedding to Barbara, and it has never been seen again.

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