copyright 1990; Bantam Books publishers, New York; wonderful black and white glossy photos; hardbound in grey and black boards with silver stamp lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Hardcover Edition of Ava Gardner's own story with no hold barred. Like a novel but Ava really lived it.
In this chatty autobiography, Gardner tells of her upbringing in a poor but proud Southern family, her sudden success in early-'40s Hollywood--mainly because of her beauty--and rails against MGM, which played up her cheesecake potential. She neatly sums up the problems in each of her three short marriages: Mickey Rooney was a blatant womanizer; Artie Shaw was cool and overbearing; Frank Sinatra (the two were the loves of each other's lives) was as jealous as she, leading to drunken marathon fights. Gardner also sketches a creepy portrait of Howard Hughes, who for years stopped at no machination in an unsuccessful attempt to bed and marry her.
A shy woman who used drink to feel comfortable socially, Gardner seems very likable, down-home, spontaneous and sadly derogatory toward her intelligence, acting abilities--and even her beauty. Of the seven included "eulogies" from friends and colleagues, Stephen Birmingham's best captures the joy and tragedy of Gardner's life.