Ava Gardner was a broke alcoholic when in 1988, in a desperate bid to raise some cash, she decided to write her memoir and made what turned out to be a deathbed confessions detailing her many affairs and marriages.
She died in 1990 after canceling the project and her ghostwriter, Peter Evans, took the tapes to his grave last year. PHOTOS: Top Celebrity Sex Scandals Her first husband was Mickey Rooney who she revealed had the nickname Mickey Hard-On.
But MGM soon called her to New York for an interview.
She said she was “crazy about” Mitchum but when she told him she was also seeing the Chairman of the Board, he told her, “Get into a fight with him, and he won’t stop until one of you is dead.” PHOTOS: Hollywood’s Most Married Stars Not wanting Sinatra to think that he was competition, Mitchum stepped out of the way. They had one of the most tumultuous marriages in Hollywood history, and divorced in 1957. Numerous affairs followed including a brutal one with George C.
Once Hollywood’s most irresistible woman—wed to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra—by 1988 Ava Gardner was nearly broke, ravaged by illness, and intent on selling her memoirs. Dirk reckons you’d break your ass to get the book right. “Actors get ‘Why don’t we start with my first husband, Mickey Rooney? “I was still practically a child anyway.”“You were 19,” I said.“Only just,” she said defensively. [Rooney, in his 1991 autobiography, gives a much lower figure, saying his contract took him up to $1,250 a week in 1941.]“I can remember that first meeting with Mick very clearly—probably because he was wearing a bowl of fruit on his head. He was hanging on to his place in Palm Springs by the skin of his teeth. If he’d lost that, it would have been the end of the line for him. But I was the one paying the rent when he couldn’t get arrested. It was After months of collaborating, Gardner learned that Evans and the BBC had been sued by Sinatra in 1972 for mentioning his Mob associations.
(“I was the star in the ascendancy and he was on his ass.”) Left, Ava two years later., Photographs: left, © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis; right, by Murray Garrett/Getty Images In the first week of January 1988, Ava Gardner asked me to ghost her memoirs. I don’t want to upset Frank.” There was a small silence, then a brief husky laugh.“Fuck Frank,” she said with a faint southern drawl. Mickey was playing her, complete with false eyelashes, false boobs, his mouth smothered with lipstick.“It was my first day in Hollywood.
Since I had never met Ava Gardner, the call, late on a Sunday evening, was clearly a hoax. I was being hauled around the sets to be photographed with the stars.
Yet when veteran test director Al Altman viewed the footage, he was struck when Gardner looked straight into the camera lens, seeing “a flash of hypnotic fire” there, according to Gardner biographer Lee Server. She arrived in Hollywood in August 1941 with her sister Beatrice. An MGM voice coach went to work on her North Carolina drawl, considered nearly incomprehensible, and she was also put through other training.