From the tobacco fields of Grabtown, NC, to Hollywood and beyond.

How she got into films was a publicist’s dream. While visiting her older married sister in New York City, her brother-in-law, a photographer, took  Ava’s photo and put it in his studio window. Soon after, it was spotted by one of Louis B. Mayer’s lackeys. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

She’s one of my all time favorites. She screwed who she wanted when she wanted, drank like a bottomless hole, and let everybody know she didn’t give a damn what they thought. Ava Gardner had BALLS.

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So here is how an evening out with Ava Gardner used to go.  You would arrive at her place in the Hollywood hills and she would be in the pool, naked, or slouching around the apartment, half dressed. Which guy were you?  Her 6 O’Clock or her 8 O’Clock?  Did you pass another guy on the way out by the potted palm?  Then you were her 8 O’Clock.  “Fix yourself a drink would you?”  She had to take a bath.  She would finally emerge, looking devastating, muttering something about having lost her diaphragm, and you would go to dinner; everyone would be looking and you would feel the luckiest guy on the planet.  Then you would go on to a club, do the rhumba, and get properly drunk; if you were unlucky Sinatra would track you down, and would appear out of nowhere and start screaming.  Then the evening would really get started.  What you did with yourself after that point was entirely up to you.

                                                        — from Ava Gardner by Lee Server