Ava Gardner : biography
Ava Gardner was born in Smithfield, a town in North Carolina, on the 24th of December in 1922. she was named Ava Lavinia. Her parents, Jonas and Mary Elizabeth Gardners were religious people and brought up their children according to strict rules. Ava was the seventh child in a poor farmer’s family and she didn’t think about a career of an actress, and, most likely, she would have a life, which corresponded to her upbringing and birth. But extraordinary beautiful appearance prevented her from being a simple wife of a provincial farmer.
After finishing school Ava took courses of secretaries and finished them. She started to search for a husband. There was no lack in those who wished to be her husband, but a reasonable girl understood that her future husband should be hardworking and honest first and foremost. She also was going to be an exemplary wife.
By that time Ava’s elder sister had married a photographer Larry Tare and settled in New York. When an eighteen year old Ava came to New York to stay at her sister’s, Larry made several photographs and hung them up in his studio. These photos determined the future of Ava Gardner: soon a worker of a Hollywood cinema studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer noticed them. He found the girl and with a big difficulty managed to persuade her to come for an audition.
When Louis Mayer saw the results of the audition, he immediately offered Ava a contract for seven years. He saw perfectly that she was a stiff and modest provincial girl, who even couldn’t dance, but she looked so splendidly, that he didn’t have any doubts in success. Ava was taken aback, and they rewrite her biography, replacing her secretary courses with a school of photo models, and sent her to study on the courses of actor’s skill.
The first years a cinema career Ava Gardner had only episodic roles. Her debut was a tiny episode in a film of 1941 “Babes on Broadway” (a director Busby Berkeley). Ava managed to get rid of her country clumsiness and feel at home in free and not so moral Hollywood surroundings. The first marriage also influenced on mastering actors’ mores.
The first roles in “Babes on Broadway” were played by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. A cute blond Mickey, who according to a script appeared on the shooting area in a skirt and women’s shoes, made Ava terrified, and she rejected his courting for a long time. The actor started his seduction from flowers and reached a mink coat, and when he understood that he couldn’t get sex without a wedding ring, he decided to marry. He found out, that her beautiful wife hadn’t been with men before him and was very touched. But in the morning he went to play golf, and then started to disappear on shootings. Ava didn’t want to become a housewife, and a year later they divorced.
Ava was disappointed in a family life and devoted all her time and forces to work, though he played mainly in second-rate films. She dated with men, but didn’t want to get married. The most tumultuous affair she had with an eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes, the owner of several sinema studios, newspapers and a park of planes. Hughes had a hot temper, was very jealous and their scandals sometimes turned into fights. After such hurricane passions Ava wanted some peace, and her next husband was a jazz musician Artie Show, a very intelligent man. He admired the actress’s beauty, and she was conquered because of his mind and education. But they weren’t happy in a family life – the idyll stopped at the moment, when a musician discovered, that Ava had read only one book during her life and didn’t even know, where Africa was situated…
After the divorce the actress began to date Hughes again, and her career started to develop. In 1946 a film “The Killers”, which was made by Robert Siodmak on Hemingway’s book, appeared on screens. After the role of a cunning Kitty Collins Ava Gardner became a star, and she got a lot of suggestions for main roles. There were also many offers from enarmoured men, and Howard Hughes literally chased the actress. In 1950 Frank Sinatra appeared in Ava’s life.