BOOK REVIEW: ‘Ava Gardner’

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

So much has been written about that marriage, the violent public rows, Sinatra’s suicide attempts and his jealousy, that some of this seems like old news. But Gardner never minces words. Her friend Lana Turner told her not to marry him. She refused to listen. “He was good in the feathers. You don’t pay much attention to what other people tell you when a guy is good in the feathers,” she observes.

At the time, Sinatra’s career was in the dumps, and her star was on the rise. He was often referred to as “Mr. Gardner,” which further deflated his ego. They were both drinking far too much. “We were really knocking it back and fighting all the time. Having to rely on a woman for some of the bills — most of them actually — made it so much worse. “

She not so modestly adds, “I was the one making the pot boil baby, it was me!”

Their split, like their marriage, was melodramatic, but Sinatra, whose career climbed back on top, helped her out financially over the years.

Most of the conversations for the book were conducted late at night when Miss Gardner was well into the bottle and unable sleep. For readers seeking Hollywood nostalgia, there is no stardust here.

Ava” is a tough and provocative look into the life of the compelling temptress who, though bruised, managed to stay afloat.

As she so triumphantly puts it: “You can sum up my life in a sentence, honey, ‘She made movies, she made out and she made a mess of her life, but she never made jam.’”

Sandra McElwaine is a Washington correspondent for Newsweek Daily Beast.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts