Ava: My Story

Ava Gardner, Author Bantam Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07134-4
In this chatty autobiography, Gardner, who died last January at age 67, tells of her upbringing in a poor but proud Southern family, her sudden success in early-'40s Hollywood--mainly because of her beauty--and rails against MGM, which played up her cheesecake potential. She neatly sums up the problems in each of her three short marriages: Mickey Rooney was a blatant womanizer; Artie Shaw was cool and overbearing; Frank Sinatra (the two were the loves of each other's lives) was as jealous as she, leading to drunken marathon fights. Gardner also sketches a creepy portrait of Howard Hughes, who for years stopped at no machination in an unsuccessful attempt to bed and marry her. A shy woman who used drink to feel comfortable socially, Gardner seems very likable, down-home, spontaneous and sadly derogatory toward her intelligence, acting abilities--and even her beauty. Of the seven included ``eulogies'' from friends and colleagues, Stephen Birmingham's best captures the joy and tragedy of Gardner's life. Photos not seen by PW . (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Library Binding - 535 pages - 978-1-56054-178-3
Paperback - 535 pages - 978-1-56054-979-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-29306-7
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