Being beautiful is easy, being sexy is slightly harder. To be able to radiate sexuality in such an effortless manner, that takes a true temptress. Like Ava Gardner.
North Carolina native Gardner, grew up poor during the Depression (on Christmas Eve 1922). Like many families during this time, the Gardner’s moved to find an easier life. She was discovered in New York by a scout for MGM, aged 18, whilst visiting her sister Beatice.
After five years of featuring in small roles. Her break through role came when she appeared ‘The Killers’ (1946). She was nominated for an Oscar (Best Actress) for her part in ‘Mogambo’in 1953. Followed up by ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’, ‘The. Barefoot Contessa’ and ‘The Night at the Iguana’
Of her marriages (to Mickey Rooney and Artie Shaw), none were more potent and passionate then her relationship with Frank Sinatra. Such a high profiled union was bound to attract publicity, especially since Sinatra left his wife Nancy for Gardner. Like the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, this was a massive scandal. Outraging Sinatra’s fans, Hollywood and even the Catholic Church! Both were passionate people with fiery tempers and not helped by their love of rubbing alcohol. Both were also jealous, which did not make for a peaceful marriage. Their bond remained even after their divorce. Even though she never married again, don’t assume that she was lacking in male company. In the mid 50’s she spent considerable time in Spain, enjoying the culture, food and Matadors.
Gardner moved to London in 1968 and lived there until her death in 1990. In her honour, there is even a museum based on her back in her home state in North Carolina.
Far from being just a pretty face, Gardner was intelligent, swore like a trooper, enjoyed life to the fullest and was fiercely independent. Gardner, who while briefly involved with Howard Hughes, was struck by Hughes and instead of being powering in the corner. She took a marble ashtray and hit him with it! Today many, many starlet, established actresses, singers and other sex symbols, try to do what Ava did. The look in the eye, the fluid movement and unspoken desire. Truthfully, most cannot bring the same sensuality because there is more to being sexy than just posing the right way. It radiates outward, starts inside and shines through, Gardner was very much her own woman and was not trying to please anyone else. That I personally, is what sets her apart from most other seductresses and why her ‘va va voom’ has continued on even after her death.