Ava Gardner

Happy Birthday to Ava Gardner! A Few of Her Favorite Things

Happy Birthday to Ava Gardner! A Few of Her Favorite Things

Rita Hayworth. Vivien Leigh. Marilyn Monroe. And up there with the rest of the greatest screen sirens, stood the pillar of a woman, whose image graced entire sides of buildings to promote the film noir classic The Killers. (It worked, Ava became a star, and fans came in droves.) 

But perhaps her best intro comes from the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy, Fred, and Ether visit The Brown Derby, or as Lucy calls it, "the watering hole" for the rich and famous.


Ava Gardner... the Toreador?

Have you ever seen that movie, Under the Tuscan Sun where Diane Lane goes dancing around in water fountains?

I have always fantasized about being that kinda girl.

I am in the middle of reading the biography of Ava Gardner, Love is Nothing, which I highly recommend. Out of all the screen sirens, none seem like real life tigers the way that Ava did. Indeed her real life seems to outdo her screen life, which is saying something!

My favorite scene in I Love Lucy is when they are at the Brown Derby and "She may be people but she isn't like you and me!"

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Charlton Heston wrote in his biography that during the filming of 55 Days to Peking, Ava was a bit of a tyrant. By the time filming was completed, everyone was ready to say fond farewells to this hurricane of a woman. But at a dinner several months later, with the strains of working together shed, he said t was the worst behavior he had ever seen by a professional colleague. 

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But my favorite part is his farewell image of Ava. 

"Exiting the party just behind her, he caught a last, exemplary glimpse of his costar in the Madrid street, beautiful and alone standing in traffic, looking for a taxi, she had taken up the pose of a matador and was making vernica passes with her red evening cape as the cars rushed by. 'It was unforgettable, wrote Heston. 'My most vivid memory of that extraordinary lady.'"

A dark-haired siren waving her cape around like the toreadors she so loved and dated in Spain. Now that is a beautiful image, and something we should all channel. 

more golden era of hollywood inspiration -- right this way!

Decorate Like a Femme Fatale: Ava Gardner's Flea Market Chic

Decorate Like a Femme Fatale: Ava Gardner's Flea Market Chic

Ava Gardner never felt quite at home in Hollywood, but soon found her place in Madrid, a city she once said, resembled herself. 

Embracing its culture of bullfighting and flamenco, she moved into a home in La Moraleja. She took her time decorating it, hand picking antiques she gathered from local markets. I love that she did this!