Ava Gardner.

By Lee Server

Printed: 2006

Publisher: Bloombury. London

Edition: First edition

Dimensions 16 × 24 × 6 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 24 x 6

Buy Now

Item information


In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with purple gilt title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

Ava Gardner was the sex symbol who dazzled the other sex symbols. Elizabeth Taylor and Lana Turner thought her the most beautiful woman they had ever seen. She drove Frank Sinatra to the brink of suicide. Ernest Hemingway carried around one of her kidney stones as a sacred memento. Howard Hughes begged her to marry him: she punched out his front teeth. Her charismatic presence, jaw-dropping beauty and scandalous adventures fuelled the legend that she became. Yet she was a farmgirl who became a reluctant goddess, and who retreated from the world’s gaze for the last years of her life. Filled with fresh insights gleaned from interviews with Ava’s colleagues, friends and lovers, this is the definitive biography of Hollywood’s most glamorous, restless and uninhibited star.

Review: Lee Server has written a very intriguing biography of screen legend Ava Gardner. Set mainly during the Golden Age of Hollywood, it is full of atmosphere, anecdotes and stories involving stars such as Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra and Lana Turner’s ex-husband Artie Shaw. It provides a real insight into the Hollywood studio system of the time, where stars were contracted for many years and were closely monitored and managed by the big movie studios. In many ways, this seems like a more magical time for movie-making, when movie stars were actually movie stars. The modern trend of actors being political activists appears tremendously phony and false in comparison. A chance encounter with a photographer in New York gave Gardner her first real exposure, as the resulting photographs were spotted by a movie studio talent scout. Gardner’s break into the studio system occurred in bizarre fashion when MGM head Louis B. Mayer sent a telegram describing her “She can’t sing, she can’t act, she can’t talk, She’s terrific!”. On the basis of this, Gardner entered the movie business.


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 a part of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974) and The Cassandra Crossing (1976). And in 1985, she had the major recurring role of Ruth Galveston on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing. 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 its greatest female screen legends of classic American cinema list.

Want to know more about this item?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this item. In addition, it is also possible to request more photographs if there is something specific you want illustrated.
Ask a question

Share this Page with a friend