Reading two biographies of Frank Sinatra got me interested in the only woman he ever met who he couldn’t conquer. The one who got under his skin like no other because he couldn’t control her like he could other broads. Not Ava Gardner. We have all probably had a similar experience the one girl you couldn’t quite figure out that kept you on your toes more than the others. The beautiful elusive one that could match you drink for drink. You both so in lust and combustible, just an insinuation of attention to another could blow up the night and cause a knock down and drag out fight. Perhaps the wonderlust of make-up sex makes it all worthwhile since all that energy has to dissipate somehow. If you have never experienced that I am not sure you want to unless you have the right temperament to handle it. This is the type of encounter that can leave even a man the caliber of Frank Sinatra in a daze thinking about it years later.
Ava was born and raised in North Carolina and had humble beginnings. She was a drop dead knock out and got recognized from a photo that was taken and hung in New York City while she was there visiting a relative. That is how she got discovered and it was off to Hollywood when she was a teen to start work with MGM. Without that chance encounter she may have stayed in North Carolina and lived a quiet unremarkable life.
After she got to Hollywood she was a minor player in the movies but was catching the eye of big stars on the scene because she had unreal beauty and at first a pleasing demeanor. According to her autobiography she was a virgin when she first married due to her strict Baptist upbringing. Lucky for her there was no Facebook or twitter in the 30s and 40s so I have no way of verifying. She married star Mickey Rooney at 19 but that lasted only a year. She ended it allegedly due to infidelity and neglect. After that she had another short marriage to jazz man Artie Shaw who himself was married a mind boggling eight times. After her 2nd marriage Ava wised up and decided sex outside of marriage might be better for awhile to avoid rivaling Elizabeth Taylor in the divorce count statistics. She would only marry one more time and that was to Frank Sinatra but that too would last only for a short time. Ava became a huge star after her marriage to Shaw and was the hottest thing in Hollywood for many years. She admits she never really loved acting and did it for the money, very pragmatic and I do not blame her one bit. Ava lost the taste for Hollywood and moved to Spain and then to London where she lived out the remainder of her days. She suffered a few strokes and died at the age of 67.
Some deeper reflections on Ava:
- Even though the Ava and Frank pairing gets the most attention it was Artie Shaw who left a bigger imprint on her psyche. Artie was the only man in her life who discarded her she ended all of the other relationships. Artie was also an intellectual who made her feel inferior she did a lot of study trying to please him but never could. The hottest chicks really do love the biggest assholes helps validates one of the Chateau’s commandments.
- Ava got down with Patton himself George C Scott which was a physically abusive relationship. Evidently he was a real woman beater and gave it to her bad several times. She stuck around for it at the time but that dude was lucky he wasn’t alive in our day he’d have been locked up.
- Ava and Frank had some wild times and most notably she was the only chick that could actually get Frank to divorce his first wife. Marilyn Maxwell, Lana Turner and thousands of other hotties tried but only Ava was able to get him to really do it. That is the kind of power a woman this beautiful can have even over a powerful man every other woman wants.
- Howard Hughes tried for years to woo Ava with trips, million dollar jewels and dramatic gestures of undying love. Anyone who calls Hughes a beta is totally missing the point clearly he was a force of nature who just didn’t get it right in this case. Charm and other factors matter more to women like Ava than being an eccentric’s prize.
- The thing I respect most about Ava is she never profited from any of her short marriages and even back in those days she could have made quite a sum from her first two at least. All of her exes stayed friends with her for the rest of her life and my guess is that’s why.
Ava was an insane beauty who loved crazy, lived a full life, and drank like someone from my crew. One fascinating mess that Ava Gardner no wonder she had Sinatra under her thumb.