December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990
“Deep down, I’m pretty superficial.”
Ava Lavinia Garner was born on Christmas Eve 1922 near Smithfield, North Carolina. In her career she made over 60 films, and had one Oscar nomination for Mogambo in 1951. In her lifetime she married Arte Shaw, Mickey Rooney (figure that one out) and had a rather stormy marriage to Frank Sinatra (as you do). In 1990, Miss Eyebrows was living in London with her h – ousekeeper (as you do) on a street called Ennismore Gardens.
According to neighbors, she would take her pet corgi out the door for walks every day.
Ava had been plagued with ill health in recent years, including 2 strokes and pneumonia. She was working on a biography, when she died. Her last words to her housekeeper were, “I’m so tired.” She died in this flat, at #34 Ennismore Gardens.
It was January 25th 1990, and she was 67 years old.
I met up with Peter Hinwood, the muscled guy from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was in a film called Tam Lin, with Ava. The film was directed by Roddy McDowall, and Peter had only good things to say about Mr. Roddy. Ava, he said was very nice, and she liked ’em young.
Ava was flown back to the United States, where she is buried alongside her parents, in Smithfield.
Frank Sinatra, apparently devastated, sent flowers. There were 500 mourners that attended the funeral, and apparently one black limo in which no one exited. That, they like to think, was Frank.
Trivia: Ava Gardner played Lorne Green’s daughter in the film Earthquake, but he was only 6 years older than her.
OCTOBER 2002 Findadeath.com friend Jeff sends us this:
I was heading back from Myrtle Beach today and saw the signs for the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC.
Thought you might want to know that her hometown hasn’t forgotten her.
Its just one mile off I-95 at exit 95 in Smithfield and has a rather camp exterior.
Excellent Jeff! Thanks a ton.