Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography
Ava Gardner Biography

Ava Gardner Biography

Ava Gardner

Born: December 24, 1922 [Grabtown, North Carolina, U.S.]

Died: January 25, 1990 [Westminster, London, England]

Occupation: Actress

Years active: 1941–1986

Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990) was an American actress. She first signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew critics' attention in 1946 with her performance in Robert Siodmak's film noir The Killers.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in John Ford's Mogambo (1953), and for best actress for both a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award for her performance in John Huston's The Night of the Iguana (1964). She was part from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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During the 1950s, Gardner established herself as a leading lady and one of the era's top stars with films like Show Boat, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (both 1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956) and On the Beach (1959). She continued her film career for three more decades, appearing in the films 55 Days at Peking (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), Mayerling (1968), Tam-Lin (1970), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974) and The Cassandra Crossing (1976). She continued to act regularly until 1986, four years before her death in 1990, at the age of 67.

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Gardner No. 25 on their greatest female screen legends of classic American cinema list.


In the last years of her life, Gardner asked Peter Evans to ghostwrite her autobiography, stating: "I either write the book or sell the jewels." Despite meeting with Evans frequently, and approving of most of his copy, Gardner eventually learned that Evans, along with the BBC, had once been sued by her ex-husband Frank Sinatra.

Gardner and Evans's friendship subsequently cooled, and Evans left the project. Evans' notes and sections of his draft of Gardner's autobiography, which he based on their taped conversations, were published in the book Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations after Evans' death in 2012.


Gardner was nominated for an Academy Award for Mogambo (1953); the award was won by Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday. Her performance as Maxine Faulk in The Night of the Iguana (1964) was well-reviewed, and she was nominated for a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe. Additionally, Ava Gardner won the Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 1964 for her performance in The Night of the Iguana.

Film portrayals

Gardner has been portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in the 1992 HBO miniseries, Sinatra, by Deborah Kara Unger in the 1998 television movie The Rat Pack, by Kate Beckinsale in the 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, Anna Drijver in the 2012 Italian TV film Walter Chiari – Fino all'ultima risata, and Emily Elicia Low in Frank & Ava (2018).

The images of Gardner and Clark Gable are featured on the cover of Robin Gibb's 1983 album How Old Are You?

The 2018 Spanish television series Arde Madrid is a comedy-drama with thriller elements based on elements of Ava Gardner's life in Francoist Spain. Gardner is portrayed by Debi Mazar

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