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December 24, 2021

30 Beautiful Black and White Portraits of Ava Gardner in the 1940s and 1950s

Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990) was an American actress whose life encompassed a true rags-to-riches story. Born to a poor farming family in North Carolina, Gardner was discovered in New York City and soon began acting in both film and, later, television. She had a long career that spanned 44 years, and appeared in more than 60 movies, including The Barefoot Contessa, Mogambo, and Showboat.

Gardner is listed as one of the American Film Institute’s greatest actresses of all time. She received an Academy Award nomination for Mogambo (1953).

Her stunning looks, her reputation for wild behavior, and her multiple marriages to prominent movie actors (Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra) combined to make her a figure of international renown.

Unfortunately, her notoriety also provided ample fodder for gossip magazines. These same characteristics also brought her to the attention of the Catholic Legion of Decency, an organization dedicated to identifying and opposing objectionable content in the film industry. Her lifestyle became a very public rebellion against her strict religious upbringing.


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