She was known as "The World's Most Beautiful Animal !"
"She didn't have the charm of Audrey Hepburn, nor the delicate elegance of Grace Kelly, nor the talent of Elisabeth Taylor, nor the vulnerability of Marilyn Monroe ; she was just simply, and probably at her own misfortune, a stunning beauty and was probably the most gorgeous woman ever, her splendor alluding her to the Olympus Goddesses and their tragic destiny, a sumptuous black panther made to roar out. She wasn't just perfect, she had the glance, the body movements, the sensuality that made all the women around her disappear and made all the men scared of her sensual magnetism and the desire she expressed."
To know more about Ava :
Ava Gardner was born on Christmas Eve 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina. She wasn't born in a poor family (like some people think), though her parents weren't rich, she grew up in a nice environment. (her dad was a sharecropper)
As a kid, she was acting much more like a boy than like a little girl, enjoying the country and freedom away from the big cities. However her mother, Mary Elizabeth, was extremely conservative when it came to boys chasing Ava. (remaining pure until marriage of course) Unfortunately later on, Jonas, Ava's father, couldn't work anymore due to health issues and her mother was suffering from cancer. Ava decided that she wanted to help her family and wanted to drop her studies, but her mother refused too scared Ava might end up like her. (her mother dreamed of a better life for Ava and was a cinema fan)
Beatrice's husband (Ava's sister), who was a photographer started taking pictures of Ava as he was intrigued by her beauty. Later on she moved to Hollywood with his sister and puts her feet for the first time in the M.G.M building.
This is where she met one of the most important person of her life... Mickey Rooney... Some will say in a tragic way, some will say that it was her fate...
Due to her childhood and what her mother has taught her, Ava knows what it means for her.
Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner got married in January 1942, Ava just turned 19. Mickey, being famous back then, could do no wrong in the mind of Ava's mother. He loved women and thought that he was showing it to Ava...
Meanwhile, Ava's career wasn't all that great. She appeared in many movies but was never credited. She was just seen as a starlet, nothing more.
Probably because to the big eyes of the M.G.M, Ava had one flaw : her voice.
Coming from a small town in North Carolina, Ava's diction and accent wasn't all that great. She decided to take some classes and asked Mickey for help, but he didn't care about her diction as she was, to him, just made to be beautiful.
Ava was satisfied being married to Mickey, however she didn't seem to be enough for him as he slowly started to chase women again.
They divorced in May 1943, Ava refusing any financial help from him just because she thought it was stupid to help a woman you just don't love anymore...
To me that first marriage influenced a lot her choices in life and her destiny. She was taught by her mother to pretty much believe in the prince charming. And when she met Mickey Rooney, who was at the top of his career, she probably thought that what she grew up to believe was in fact true. But fate decided otherwise...
If Ava was, of course, sad to realize that not all childhood dreams become reality, she never spent a day without a man wanting her.
That's when the billionaire Howard Hughes appeared in her life...
Howard had always been obsessed with Ava. But Mickey being her husband, Howard couldn't chase her like he wished to. After the divorce, he did everything he could to get Ava to marry him. He bought her everything she wanted and even more. But Ava never said "yes", even though he chased her his entire life...
There is this famous quote from Honoré de Balzac that could sum up Ava's point of view about love and about her relationship with Howard : " A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open see." And for Ava, Howard wasn't that face.
He is probably the one man who could have given her everything she wanted, being a billionaire helped, but she simply didn't love him enough to marry him.
Ava just preferred living an independent life. She went back to New York and started going out, enjoying her evenings, laughing, listening to music and going to concerts. She was convinced she will never become an actress and will remain single.
But destiny decided otherwise as, once again, Ava got married in October 1945 to the famous jazz man Artie Shaw. Artie Shaw is mesmerized by Ava's beauty but thinks she is just plain stupid. That's how he decides to teach her about literature and other knowledge. But Ava, who wanted to make her husband happy, decided to learn on her own. Artie didn't like that and decided she was too much of a woman to handle and asked for divorce.
At 23, Ava is once again divorced for the second time.
Ava's career takes a turn in 1946 when she appears in the movie "The Killers". (a must watch movie !) The movie changes everything for her and the directors, after all these years, start to call her intensively. She appeared in many movies : Pandora (1951), Show Boat (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), Mogambo (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954),...
She meets, her childhood favorite actor and handsome man Clark Gable during the movie "The Hucksters" in 1947. Clark Gable and Ava Gardner will remain life time friends as he helps her in the movie industry, while she struggles with the overwhelming success and starts to drink. Some will say that their relation wasn't only friendly...
However one man will make everyone say : Game Change...
If you know a little about Ava Gardner's life, you probably already know who that man is... the only and only : Frank Sinatra.
Remember the quote from Honoré de Balzac that I told you about earlier ? Well, he was that face... Ava never loved and will never love a man more than Frank. He was the love of her life.
However, as we all know by now, Ava's life has nothing to do with a fairy tale.
Her greatest love story happened to be the most destroying one too.
Frank and Ava's relationship starts while Frank is still married to his first wife (Nancy Sinatra) and while his career is in a dark place. Lana Turner who also had an affair with Frank, warns Ava about Frank's words and actions. However, Frank divorced Nancy and got married to Ava in November 1951.
Between 1951 and 1957, the press will make this couple their number 1 priority gossip.
Frank is extremely possessive and can't stand Ava's past lover Artie Shaw (the she sometimes helps financially) and billionaire Howard Hughes. He especially fears Howard Hughes, as he has what Frank doesn't have which is money. But Ava's love in not for sale.
Ava also faced the decision of abortion while filming one of her best movies ever "Mogambo". Frank is devastated to learn the news when she tells him later that she had to abort. Keep in mind that it's the 50's and that even if Ava was considered to be a free woman back in that time, she was also signed under the M.G.M. And what M.G.M feared was of course to loose her and the money she was bringing to them.
After years and years of fights, passion, betrayals, Frank and Ava divorced in 1957. She will remain single for the rest of her life.
During that time, Frank Sinatra career is at it's highest point and so is Ava's.
In 1954 she appears in the movie that will make her a legend in the movie industry : "The Barefoot Contessa". (That movie is just... aaaahh !!! Love love love it !!!)
While filming all these past movies Ava fell in love with Spain and decides to live there in 1955.
After her last divorce the press starts to gossip and talk so much about her private life, that she became the ultimate "free spirited woman" to the eyes of the world. Divorced, wealthy (for a woman back then of course) and independent ; sometimes the press writes about her chasing Frank again, or talks about her over exposed relationship with Luis Miguel Dominguin.
After 1959, her contract with the M.G.M is over. She is free to do what she wants. She appeared in less and less movies but we can't forget those two : "55 days at Pekin" (1963) and "Night of The Iguana" (1964).
She suddenly leaves Spain in 1968 and go to England.
She will stay recognized and adored in movie industry as she appeared in other big movies and remained friends with a lot of people in the industry (Grace Kelly was one of her good friends).
Unfortunately in 1986 she had 2 strokes than left partially paralyzed.
Because of her early life style, drinking and smoking, Ava suffered from Emphysema (a terminal disease).
Frank Sinatra offered her to pay for her to come visit doctors and specialists in the U.S, which she accepted... (and not because she couldn't pay herself)
Unfortunately she dies at her home in London in January 1990 at the age of 67.
She was buried next to her family in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina.
Ava Gardner never had a child, never accepted the help of any of her ex-husband financially and even helped them when they needed money.
Ava Gardner is my in my top 3 favorite beauty icons. Her life was horribly beautiful and she was beyond all beauty.
Classic "What's My Line" with Ava Gardner :
Here are some of her quotes (from "Ava : My Story") :
"I think the main reason my marriages failed is that I always loved too well but never wisely."
“Maybe, in the final analysis, they saw me as something I wasn't and I tried to turn them into something they could never be. I loved them all but maybe I never understood any of them. I don't think they understood me.”
“Don't think for a minute that bad publicity and endless criticism don't leave their claw marks on everyone concerned. Your friends try to cheer you up by saying lightly, "I suppose you get used to it, and ignore it." You try. You try damned hard. But you never get used to it. It always wounds and hurts.”
“Our phone bills were astronomical, and when I found the letters Frank wrote me the other day, the total could fill a suitcase. Every single day during our relationship, no matter where in the world I was, I'd get a telegram from Frank saying he loved me and missed me. He was a man who was deseperate for companionship and love. Can you wonder that he always had mine!”
“In one scene, when I was supposed to say, "In a pig's eye you are," what came out was, "In a pig's ass you are." Old habits die awfully hard.”
"If I had my life to live over again, I'd live it the same way. Maybe a few changes here or there, but nothing special. The truth is, honey, I've enjoyed my life. I've had a hell of a good time."
So !!! Now, after this huge biography moment (which I will not apologize for because it's Ava Gardner damn it ! :)) here we go for the make-up stuff !
I am no Ava Gardner so please bare with my face ok ?! :)
I took my inspiration from different movies, different decades.
Here is the list of products :
-- M.A.C Cosmetics Fix +
-- TEMPTU PRO s/b Primer
-- TEMPTU PRO s/b Foundation (shade 5 mixed with shade 2 - 2 shades darker than my natural skin tone down the my entire chest and arms - no joke)
-- TEMPTO PRO s/b Concealer wheel (lightest concealer under my eyes and middle of my face)
-- Graftobian HD cream foundation for contouring
-- M.A.C Cosmetics Copperplate eye shadow as contour also
-- M.A.C Cosmetics Peaches blush
-- NYX Peach blush
-- Lancôme Le Crayon sourcils in 040 Noir
-- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
-- ELF (Eyes Lips face) 100 Eye shadow palette
-- Make Up For Ever Eye seal
-- Paris Berlin Matte black eye shadow
-- M.A.C Cosmetics Copperplate eye shadow
-- L'Oréal Mega Volume mascara in Extra black
-- NARS Larger than life long wear eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte
-- Red Cherry Flare Medium and Long fake lashes
-- REVLON Lipstick n°007 In the red
-- OCC Lip tars (sorry the names disappeared :()
Hope you guys enjoyed ! :)
Talk to you al later !