Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What Happened to Charles Bronson?

Charles Bronson  
A true rags to riches story. Born Charles Dennis Buchinsky on the 3rd of November 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, Bronson was the 11th of 15 children born to Lithuanian immigrants. His Father was Valteris Bučinskis, who called himself Walter to sound more American. His mother was Mary Valinsky. Walter was a coal miner by trade, working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. The family was extremely poor. Charles said when he started school, clothes in his family were scarce. He was teased and made fun of sometimes by the other children. He sometimes would have to pull off his socks after school so that his older brother could wear them into the mines. Charles only spoke Lithuanian and Russian at home. He was a teenager before he could actually speak good English. At the age of 10, Charles's father, Walter passed away, and six years later, at the age of 16, Charles went to work in the mines with his older brother. At a young age Charles showed lots of talent in being able to draw pictures. He was always the one that the teachers called on to draw Thanksgiving and Christmas pictures for the class. He said his talents just came natural. Charlie Bronson was the first to finish high school. He graduated in 1939 from South Park High School in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania Charlie is on the far right on the second row. From 16 to 20 he worked in the mines where he developed claustrophobia and had to quit. He worked odd jobs helping his family and mother to make a living until 1943 when he was drafted into the military. He said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. He had plenty to eat and clean clothes to wear. He was assigned as a truck driver in a Mess Squadron, stationed in Kingman, Arizona. But by 1945 he had been assigned to the 61st Bombardment Squadron stationed on Guam. After training, he served as an aerial gunner on a B-29 Boeing Superfortress, flying missions over Japanese home Islands, receiving a purple heart for wounds received during battle.
He was shot in the left arm by a Japanese fighter pilot, leaving him with permanent scars. After the war, Bronson held odd jobs from short-order-cook to bricklayer, even rented beach chairs in Atlantic City and there he met vacationing actors from a troupe in Philadelphia. They were impressed with his artistic abilities and offered him a job painting and designing sets and doing a little acting. 

When he learned how much money actors were making, he said, "I can do that." He once stated, that he only became an actor not for the craft, but to make a lot of money. 

In 1947, while still in Philadelphia, he meets Harriet Tendler. She was also trying her hand at acting. She was 18 and Charlie was 26. On their first date, she said, "He had four cents in his pocket." She knew because he showed her. 

Two years later, on the 30th of September, 1949, they were married at the City Hall Club in Atlantic City. That same year with two hundred and fifty dollars and a one-way Greyhound bus ticket, the couple moved to California. Harriet worked and supported her and Charlie while he searched for acting jobs. The agreement was she would work and support him, and then when Charlie made it as an actor, he would help her. He used the GI Bill and eventually enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse. While there, he got a break when his teacher introduced him to director, Henry Hathaway. 

In 1951, Hathaway gave him his first unaccredited role in You're In The Navy Now, that was starring Gary Cooper. It also was the debut film for actor Lee Marvin. Now that same year, Bronson played as a boxer and boxed with Cowboy Western Star, Roy Rogers, in The Knockout. 

In 1953, Bronson played the mute henchman, Igor, in The House Of Wax, that starred Vincent Price. 

In 1953, Bronson made a strong showing as an Indian warrior in Drum Beat, that starred Alan Ladd. Also in 1954, the House on Un-American Activities was blacklisting actors that showed any sympathy with the Communist party. Charlie's agent had become concerned because of Buchinsky sounding too Russian and suggested that he change his screen name. It has been said that he picked the name, Bronson, off a street sign near the studio to be more American. That same year while filming the Western, Vera Cruz, in Mexico, Bronson and fellow actor Ernest Borgnine decided that they'd ride into town, dressed in costume, guns and all. They were stopped and questioned by the federales, thinking that they were real outlaws. It took a lot of convincing before they would let them go. 

On February the 27th, 1955, the Bronson's had their first child, daughter Suzanne. And during the '50s, Bronson will appear in numerous TV shows such as Gunsmoke. He was the Apache kid on The Sheriff Of Cochise. He played an outlaw on Colt 45. He appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Bronson did five episodes in Have Gun Will Travel, with Richard Boone. All totaled in his career, Bronson made over 80 TV appearances. 

In 1958, Charles Bronson gained his first lead role in a motion picture, Machine Gun Kelly, and he was paid $5,000 for his part. His next role was also a lead role in a World War II film, When Hell Broke Loose. 
In 1958, Bronson was asked to play in an ABC detective series, Man With A Camera. It lasted for two years until 1960. He was paid $2,000 per week for the 29 episodes. Producer, Warren Lewis, who had hired Bronson for the TV series, lent the actor $30,000 dollars for a down payment on a house at 3053 Motor Drive in Cheviot Hills, California. in 1960, Bronson was asked by Director John Sturges to be one of The Magnificent Seven, a group of gunfighters, determined to protect the town's defenseless peasants. Starring with Bronson was Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz and Eli Wallach. Wallach stated that Bronson was a loner and mostly stayed by himself during filming. Bronson once stated that he didn't need friends; He had thousands of acquaintances, but his family was his friends. Charles received $50,000 for his role in The Magnificent Seven. 

And, in 1961, Charles and Harriet had their second child, Tony. Charlie named Tony, Anthony Charles Bronson, after his young brother that had died from heart disease as a teenager. 

In 1962, again, John Sturges cast Bronson, along with fellow actors, Steve McQueen, James Garner, James Coburn and David McCallum in The Great Escape. He portrayed a Polish prisoner of war that was claustrophobic. Perfect role for Bronson because he was also claustrophobic from working in the mines at an early age. While working on The Great Escape, Bronson will become friends with film actor David McCallum, known for his part on TV's Man From Uncle. Bronson, for the first time, wIll meet his second wife to be. Actress Jill Ireland, who was at that time, married to David McCallum. It has been said that when McCallum introduced Bronson to his wife, Bronson told David, "Someday, I'm going to marry your wife." At that time it was taken as a joke. He did marry Ireland, but it was six years later. The same year as The Great Escape. Bronson was paired with the "King of Rock & Roll", Elvis Presley, in Kid Galahad. Bronson liked Elvis and Elvis liked Bronson. They both were from extremely poor backgrounds and they could relate to one another. 

In 1964, Charles starred with Kurt Russell and Susan Oliver in the Guns Of Diablo. The next year, in 1965, Charles Bronson's wife, Harriet, filed for divorce after a private detective she had hired convinced her that Charles was seeing other women. They had been drifting apart for some time, although it will be three years after their divorce before Charles will marry Jill Ireland. In her book, Charlie And Me, she said that Charles tried to talk her out of the divorce. She said, "She could put up with his infidelity, but she could not fight love," referring to Jill Ireland. Harriet became depressed. Her life had just fallen apart. She stated years later, that she was just a walking nervous breakdown. She was unable to take care of their two children. Charles was awarded custody of Suzanne and Tony. Harriet stated in her book, Charlie And Me, about their life together, That she would see Jill Ireland in movies with Charlie, and say to herself, "That was supposed to be me. He promised me." As time went by, Harriet Bronson began to improve. She decided that she could make it on her own. Charles would again share the children with her, but never relinquish custody. Harriet became a very popular Radio talk-show host, a profession she dearly loved and evidently was very good at it. She spent 9 years on both KABC and KIEV in Los Angeles. It was said by some that she was the best voice on late-night radio. She battled breast cancer and lung cancer and to my knowledge, she's living in Los Angeles today. Harriet Bronson never re-married. 

In 1967, Bronson will play in The Dirty Dozen, with Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland. 12 months after the Bronson's divorce, David McCallum and Ireland divorced. David quickly married actress, Katherine Carpenter that same year and they are still married. On the 5th of October, 1968, Charles Bronson and Jill Dorothy Ireland married in a simple ceremony at Santa Monica City Hall, with all 5 children present. Charles's two, Susanna & Tony, and Jill's three, Paul, Jason & Valentine; Valentine, who was born nine months after Jill and David adopted Jason. Charles was 42 and Jill was 26 when they got married. The Bronson Family moved into their grand Bel Air mansion in Los Angeles. The Bel Air home had seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The Bronsons will need them all. It started with five kids, but it will end with seven. Three years later Jill and Charlie will have a daughter, Zuleika. They will name their West Windsor, Vermont, 18th century home after her. 

In 1971, Charles Bronson would be awarded the Golden Globe for the Most Popular Actor in the World, partly because he starred in such foreign films as 1968's Once Upon A Time In The West and in 1970's French film, Rider On The Rain. 

In 1972, Bronson starred with his wife, Jill Ireland, in The Mechanic. Bronson will earn $1 million for his part in Death Wish in 1974. He played a vigilante taking revenge on the rapist who raped his wife. In 1975, it'll be Breakheart Pass, also with Jill. That same year was Breakout, with his wife, Jill, again. In 1976, Bronson will earn another million for starring in St Ives. In 1977, it was The White Buffalo, for United Artists. In the same year, it was Raid On Entebbe. In 1981, Jill's close friend Hilary Holden, a British casting director and single mom, passed away suddenly from heart attack. Hilary had no family. After the funeral, Hilary's 11 year old daughter went home with the Bronsons. Katrina was quickly adopted by Charles & Jill. 

In 1982, he again starred with Jill Ireland in Death Wish II. The next was 1983 in 10 To Midnight, earning Bronson $2 million. Over the years, Charles will star with his wife Jill Ireland in 14 movies. Each time, they will gather up their kids and go on filming locations. They believed in taking the kids with them wherever they went. 

Two things happened to the Bronson family in 1984: Jill wrote her autobiography, Life Wish, and in May of 1984, she went to the doctor for the routine breast exam. The doctor requested more tests. After 48 hours of tests, Ireland walked back to the hospital room and asked Charlie, "Have you talked to the doctor?" and "What did he say?" the shocked Bronson answered with one word; "Malignant." For the next six years there would be no movies. Charles Bronson did not work. His full time and energy was to look after and take care of Jill. 

Jill went on a massive chemo and radiation cancer treatment schedule, starting with a mastectomy. It was extremely hard on everyone, knowing that Jill's time was limited. When she was able, they spent time on their 260 acre horse ranch in Vermont, so their youngest daughter could perform in horse shows. Jill said it was the only place she really loved. However after 3 years of relentless treatment, the family received the news that her cancer had spread into her lungs. While Jill's health was fading, she was trying to do an audiobook about her life with cancer called Life Lines. Assisting her was a 29 year old actress, Kim Weeks. She became indispensable to Jill and Charlie alike. She started taking care of their financial affairs that Jill could no longer do. After Jill's death, Weeks will continue in that capacity. 

In November of 1989, Jill and Charlie received more heartbreaking news when her son Paul called their Vermont home to tell them that her adopted son Jason was found dead at his Laurel Canyon apartment, believed related to drug and alcohol use. Jill was devastated and couldn't believe it. She had spoken to Jason the day before. He seeme okay. He said he was off drugs, looking forward to the future. Ireland stated she believed her son was predisposed to drugs. She had learned that Jason's maternal father was a drug addict. She said; "Poor little Jason did not stand a chance," and that he had been her greatest worry. Ireland's family, especially Bronson, was concerned about Jill being able to attend Jason's funeral in Los Angeles, but she insisted; And Charles chartered a private plane. David McCallum, Jason's legal father and Charles Bronson, who had helped raise him during his 21 years of marriage to Jill, carried Jason's casket up the hill to the burial plot. Paul and Valentine sang a song dedicated to their brother. Jason McCallum Bronson, is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California. Jason was 27 years old. Within six months of Jason's death on May the 18th, 1990, around a.m. Jill Dorothy Ireland will pass away at her Malibu home, her husband Charles Bronson, her mother Dorothy, her brother John, sons Paul and Valentine and along with their daughter Zuleyka. At her request, she will be cremated and her remains given to her husband. Jill Ireland was 54 years old. 

Her star is on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and located at 6751, Hollywood Boulevard. Bronson will tell reporters a few years after Jill's death, "I keep her room as it was when she died. I will never marry again." And in 1994, Charles Bronson will star in his last starring role in a movie, Death Wish 5. However he will star in some TV movies such as 1995's Family Of Cops, Family Of Cops II, 1997, Family Of Cops III in 1999. Bronson gave his assistant Kim Weeks parts in his last TV movies. In 1998, Bronson underwent replacement hip surgery, causing him to retire. Also in 1998, Kim Weeks reportedly told Bronson that she was leaving if he wouldn't marry her. They married on December the 22nd, 1998. 

By 1999, Bronson was slowly showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. His health was deteriorating and he was diagnosed with lung cancer. By 2002, friends said that Charles's Alzheimer's had progressed to a point that he didn't known that he was an actor, much less a world superstar. On August the 30th, 2003, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Charles Dennis Bronson will pass away from pneumonia, complications of lung cancer and Alzheimer's. Mr Bronson appeared in over 90 films throughout his career. His star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame is located on the North side of 6900 block, Hollywood Boulevard. Charles Bronson was buried at Brownsville Cemetery in West Windsor, Vermont. At his request, the remains of Jill Ireland was interred with him. Charles Bronson was 81 years old..

Monday, 12 February 2018

memoirs of a professional cad george sanders

This is a picture one of my favorite actors George Sanders 

he was born in Saint Petersburg Russian on the third day of July, 1906 By english parents and in 1917 at the outbreak at the Russian Revolution at age 11 him and his parents return back to England. after graduating from college Sanders went to work for an advertising agency and there he met the company secretary who was an aspiring actor Greer Garson she suggested that Sanders try acting and he did after numerous movies in 1950 Sanders won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in All About Eve, Sanders was married four times in his life his second wife was Zsa Zsa Gabor his last wife was actually Zsa Zsa's older sister later on, according to close friends of Sanders he became depressed after having a minor stroke and learning that he could no longer play his grand piano they say he even took an Axe and chopped it up.

He couldn't stand the thought of having to be took care of by others. and on the 23rd day of April 1972 Sanders checked into a hotel outside of Barcelona Spain and took several bottles of barbiturates sleeping pills. They found his body two days later he left this note "Dear world, I'm leaving because I am Bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cess pool, Good Luck signed George Sanders" he was 65 years old and this picture was taken the same year he died.

susan hayward

Susan Hayward (June 30, 1917 - March 14, 1975) was an American actress.
After working as a fashion model in New York, Hayward traveled to Hollywood in 1937.
She secured a film contract, and played several small supporting roles over the next few years. By the late 1940s, the quality of her film roles had improved, and she achieved recognition for her dramatic abilities with the first of five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for her performance as an alcoholic in Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947).

Her career continued successfully through the 1950s and she received subsequent nominations for My Foolish Heart (1949), With a Song in My Heart (1952) and I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955). She finally won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of death row inmate Barbara Graham in I Want to Live! (1958).

After Hayward's second marriage and subsequent move to Georgia, her film appearances became infrequent, although she continued acting in film and television until 1972. She died in 1975 of brain cancer.

Early life Hayward was born Edythe Marrenner in Brooklyn, New York City, the youngest of three children born to Ellen (née Pearson) and Walter Marrenner. Her paternal grandmother was an actress, Kate Harrigan, from County Cork, Ireland. Her mother was of Swedish descent. She had an older sister Florence (born May 1910) and an older brother Walter, Jr. (born December 1911). Hayward was educated at Public School 181, and graduated from The Girls' Commercial High School (later renamed Prospect Heights High School). According to the Erasmus Hall High School Alumni page, Hayward attended that school in the mid 1930s, so it is possible that she attended Erasmus Hall High School before transferring to Girls' Commercial High School. During her high school years, she acted in various school plays and was named "Most Dramatic" by her class. She graduated in June 1935. Career Hayward began her career as a photographer's model, going to Hollywood in 1937, aiming to secure the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Although she did not win the role, Hayward found employment playing bit parts until she was cast in Beau Geste (1939) opposite Gary Cooper. During the war years, she acted with John Wayne twice, as a second lead in Reap the Wild Wind (1942), and as his leading lady in The Fighting Seabees (1944). She also starred in the film version of The Hairy Ape (1944). After the war Hayward's career took off when she was contracted by producer Walter Wanger for a even year contract at $100,000 a year. with her first film being Canyon Passage (1946). In 1947, she received the first of five Academy Award nominations for her role as an alcoholic nightclub singer in Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman her second film for Wagner. She continued as one of Hollywood's most popular leading ladies in films such as Tap Roots (1948), My Foolish Heart (1949), David and Bathsheba (1951), and With a Song in My Heart (1952). During the 1950s she won acclaim for her dramatic performances as President Andrew Jackson's melancholic wife in The President's Lady (1953); the alcoholic actress Lillian Roth in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), based on Roth's best-selling autobiography of the same name, for which she received a Cannes award; and the real-life California murderer Barbara Graham in I Want to Live! (1958). Hayward's portrayal of Graham won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 1959, she played the lead, Mary Sharron, in Woman Obsessed.

In 1956, she was cast by Howard Hughes to play Bortai in the historical epic The Conqueror, as John Wayne's leading lady. Though Hayward never truly became known as a singer because she hated her own singing, she acted out roles as singers in several films. In I'll Cry Tomorrow, however, though a "ghost singer" was actually recruited, it is her own voice that is actually heard on the soundtrack. Susan Hayward performed in the musical biography of Jane Froman in the 1952 film, With a Song in My Heart, a role which won her the Golden Globe for Best Actress Comedy film. Jane Froman's voice was dubbed as Hayward acted out the songs. In 1961, Hayward starred as a working girl who becomes the wife of the state's next governor (Dean Martin) and ultimately takes over that office herself in Ada. The same year, she played Rae Smith in Ross Hunter's lavish remake of Back Street, which also starred John Gavin and Vera Miles. In 1967, Hayward replaced Judy Garland as Helen Lawson in the film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls. She received good reviews for her performance in a Las Vegas production of Mame, but left the production. She was replaced by Celeste Holm. She continued to act into the early 1970s, when she was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Her final film role was as Dr. Maggie Cole in the 1972 made-for-TV drama Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole. (The film was intended to be a pilot episode for a weekly television series, but because of Hayward's cancer diagnosis and failing health, the series was never produced.) Her last public appearance was at the Academy Awards telecast in 1974 to present the Best Actress award despite being very ill. With Charlton Heston's support, she was able to present the award.

Personal life Hayward was married to actor Jess Barker for ten years and they had two children, fraternal twin sons named Gregory and Timothy, born February 19, 1945. The marriage was described in Hollywood gossip columns as turbulent. They divorced in 1954. Hayward survived a suicide attempt after the divorce.
During the contentious divorce proceedings, Hayward felt it necessary to stay in the United States and not join the Hong Kong location shooting for the film Soldier of Fortune. She shot her scenes with co-star Clark Gable indoors in Hollywood. A few brief, distant scenes of Gable and a Hayward double walking near landmarks in Hong Kong were combined with the indoor shots.

 In 1957, Hayward married Floyd Eaton Chalkley, commonly known as Eaton Chalkley. He was a Georgia rancher and businessman who had formerly worked as a federal agent. Though he was an unusual husband for a Hollywood movie star, the marriage was a happy one. She lived with him on a farm near Carrollton, Ga. The couple also owned property across the state line in Cleburne County, just outside Heflin, Alabama.

She became a popular figure in an area that in the 1950s was off the beaten path for most celebrities. In December 1964, she and her husband were baptized Catholic by Father McGuire at SS Peter and Paul's Roman Catholic Church on Larimar Avenue, in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. She had met McGuire while in China and promised him that if she ever converted, he would be the one to baptize her. Chalkley died on January 9, 1966. Hayward went into mourning and did little acting for several years, and took up residence in Florida, because she preferred not to live in her Georgia home without her husband. Before her Catholic baptism,

Hayward was once a proponent of astrology. She particularly relied on the advice of Carroll Righter, who called himself "the Gregarious Aquarius" and the self-proclaimed "Astrologer to the Stars", who informed her that the optimum time to sign a film contract was exactly a.m., causing her to set her alarm for so that she could be sure to obey his instructions.
Hayward was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1973. On March 14, 1975, she suffered a seizure in her Beverly Hills home and died at age 57. She was survived by her two sons from her marriage with Barker. Hayward's funeral was held on March 16 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Carrollton. She was buried in the church's cemetery next to Chalkley. There is speculation that Hayward may have developed cancer from radioactive fallout from atmospheric atomic bomb tests while making The Conqueror with John Wayne. Several production members, as well as Wayne himself, Agnes Moorehead, Pedro Armendáriz and its director Dick Powell, later succumbed to cancer and cancer-related illnesses. The cast and crew totaled 220 people. By the end of 1980, as ascertained by People magazine, 91 of them had developed some form of cancer and 46 had died of the disease. For her contribution to the film industry, Susan Hayward has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6251 Hollywood Boulevard. Filmography Box office rankings For a number of years, exhibitors voted Hayward among the most popular stars in the country: 1951 - 19th (US) 1952 - 9th (US) 1953 - 9th (US) 1954 - 14th (US) 1955 - 19th (US) 1956 - 13th (US) 1959 - 10th (US) 1961 - 19th (US) Radio appearances

Monday, 22 January 2018


Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 - January 25, 1990) was an American actress and singer. 

She was signed to a contract by MGM Studios in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers (1946). 

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Mogambo (1953). She appeared in several high-profile films from the 1950s to 1970s, including The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), On the Beach (1959), 55 Days at Peking (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974), and The Cassandra Crossing (1976). Gardner continued to act regularly until 1986, four years before her death in London in 1990 at the age of 67. She is listed 25th among the American Film Institute's 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Early years Gardner was born near the farming community of Smithfield, North Carolina, the youngest of 7 children (she had two brothers, Raymond and Melvin, and four sisters, Beatrice, Elsie Mae, Inez, and Myra).

Her parents, Mary Elizabeth "Molly" (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner, were poor cotton and tobacco farmers. While there are varying accounts of her background, Gardner's only documented ancestry was English. She was raised in the Baptist faith of her mother. While the children were still young, the Gardners lost their property, forcing Jonas Gardner to work at a sawmill and Mollie to begin working as a cook and housekeeper at a dormitory for teachers at the nearby Brogden School. When Gardner was seven years old, the family decided to try their luck in a larger city, Newport News, Virginia, where Mollie Gardner found work managing a boarding house for the city's many shipworkers.

While in Newport News, Gardner's father became ill and died from bronchitis in 1938, when Ava was 15 years old. After Jonas Gardner's death, the family moved to Rock Ridge near Wilson, North Carolina, where Mollie Gardner ran another boarding house for teachers. Gardner attended high school in Rock Ridge and she graduated from there in 1939. She then attended secretarial classes at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson for about a year. Early career Gardner was visiting her sister Beatrice in New York in 1941 when Beatrice's husband Larry Tarr, a professional photographer, offered to take her portrait. He was so pleased with the results that he displayed the finished product in the front window of his Tarr Photography Studio on Fifth Avenue. A Loews Theatres legal clerk, Barnard Duhan, spotted Gardner's photo in Tarr's studio. At the time, Duhan often posed as an MGM talent scout to meet girls, using the fact that MGM was a subsidiary of Loews. Duhan entered Tarr's and tried to get Gardner's number, but was rebuffed by the receptionist.

Duhan made the offhand comment, "Somebody should send her info to MGM", and the Tarrs did so immediately. Shortly after, Gardner, who at the time was a student at Atlantic Christian College, traveled to New York to be interviewed at MGM's New York office by Al Altman, head of MGM's New York talent department. With cameras rolling, he directed the eighteen-year-old to walk towards the camera, turn and walk away, then rearrange some flowers in a vase. He did not attempt to record her voice because her Southern accent made it almost impossible for him to understand her. Louis B. Mayer, head of the studio, however, sent a telegram to Al: "She can't sing, she can't act, she can't talk, She's terrific!" She was offered a standard contract by MGM, and left school for Hollywood in 1941 with her sister Beatrice accompanying her. MGM's first order of business was to provide her a speech coach, as her Carolina drawl was nearly incomprehensible to them. Career After five years of bit parts, mostly at MGM and many of them uncredited, Gardner came to prominence in the Mark Hellinger-produced smash-hit film noir The Killers (1946), playing the femme fatale Kitty Collins.Other films include The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), Lone Star (1952), Mogambo (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), The Sun Also Rises (1957), and On the Beach (1959).

A particularly notable role was in The Barefoot Contessa as the doomed beauty Maria Vargas, a fiercely independent woman who goes from Spanish dancer to international film star with the help of a Hollywood director played by Humphrey Bogart, with tragic consequences. Gardner starred as Guinevere in 1953's Knights of the Round Table, opposite actor Robert Taylor as Sir Lancelot. Indicative of her sophistication, she portrayed a duchess, a baroness and other ladies of royal lineage in her films of the 1950s. Off-camera, she could be witty and pithy, as in her assessment of director John Ford, who directed Mogambo ("The meanest man on earth. Thoroughly evil.

Adored him!") She was billed between Charlton Heston and David Niven in 55 Days at Peking in 1963, which was set in China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The following year, she played her last great leading role in a critically acclaimed film, The Night of the Iguana (1964), based upon a Tennessee Williams play and starring Richard Burton as an atheist clergyman and Deborah Kerr as a gentle artist traveling with her aged poet grandfather. John Huston directed the movie in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, insisting on making the film in black and white, a decision he later regretted because of the vivid colors of the flora. Gardner received billing below Burton but above Kerr. She was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe award for her hearty performance in this signature role.

She next appeared again with Burt Lancaster, her co-star from The Killers, this time along with Kirk Douglas and Fredric March, in Seven Days in May (1964), a taut thriller about an attempted military takeover of the US government. Gardner plays a former love interest of Lancaster's who now may be instrumental in Douglas's preventing a coup against the President of the United States. Two years later, in 1966, Gardner briefly sought the role of Mrs. Robinson in Mike Nichols' The Graduate (1967). She reportedly called Nichols and said, "I want to see you! I want to talk about this Graduate thing!" Nichols never seriously considered her for the part, preferring to cast a younger woman (Anne Bancroft was 36 while Gardner was 43), but he did visit her hotel, where he later recounted that "she sat at a little French desk with a telephone, she went through every movie star cliché. She said, 'All right, let's talk about your movie. First of all, I strip for nobody.'" Gardner moved to London in 1968, undergoing an elective hysterectomy to allay her worries of contracting the uterine cancer that had claimed the life of her mother.

That year, she made what some consider to be one of her best films, Mayerling, in which she played the supporting role of Austrian Empress Elisabeth of Austria opposite James Mason as Emperor Franz Joseph I. She appeared in a number of disaster films throughout the 1970s, notably Earthquake (1974) with Heston, The Cassandra Crossing (1976) with Lancaster, and the Canadian movie City on Fire (1979). She appeared briefly as Lillie Langtry at the end of The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), and in The Blue Bird (1976). Her last movie was Regina Roma (1982), a direct-to-video release. In the 1980s she acted primarily on television, including the mini-series remake of The Long, Hot Summer and in a story arc on Knots Landing (both 1985). Personal life Marriages Soon after her arrival in Los Angeles, Gardner met fellow MGM contract player Mickey Rooney. They married on January 10, 1942, when she was 19 years old and he was 21. The ceremony was held in the remote town of Ballard, California, because MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer was worried that fans would desert Rooney's Andy Hardy movie series if it became known that their star was married. Largely due to Rooney's serial adultery, Gardner divorced him in 1943, but agreed not to reveal the cause so as not to affect his career.

Gardner's second marriage was brief as well, to jazz musician and bandleader Artie Shaw, from 1945 to 1946. Shaw had previously been married to Lana Turner. Gardner's third and last marriage was to singer and actor Frank Sinatra, from 1951 to 1957. She would later say in her autobiography that he was the love of her life. Sinatra left his wife, Nancy, for Gardner and their subsequent marriage made headlines. Sinatra was blasted by gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, the Hollywood establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, and by his fans for leaving his wife for a noted femme fatale. Gardner used her considerable influence, particularly with Harry Cohn, to get Sinatra cast in his Oscar-winning role in From Here to Eternity (1953). That role and the award revitalized both Sinatra's acting and singing careers. The Gardner-Sinatra marriage was tumultuous. Gardner confided to Artie Shaw, her second husband, that “With him Frank it’s’s like being with a woman.

He’s so gentle. It’s as though he thinks I’ll break, as though I’m a piece of Dresden china and he’s gonna hurt me.” During their marriage Gardner became pregnant twice, but aborted both pregnancies. "MGM had all sorts of penalty clauses about their stars having babies," she said. She said years later, "We couldn't even take care of ourselves. How were we going to take care of a baby?" Gardner remained good friends with Sinatra for the remainder of her life. Relationships Gardner became a friend of businessman and aviator Howard Hughes in the early- to mid-1940s, and the relationship lasted into the 1950s. Gardner stated in her autobiography, Ava: My Story, that she was never in love with Howard Hughes, but he was in and out of her life for about twenty years. Hughes's trust in Gardner was what kept their relationship alive. She describes him as "painfully shy, completely enigmatic and more eccentric...than anyone she had ever met." After Gardner divorced Sinatra in 1957, she headed for Spain, where she began a friendship with writer Ernest Hemingway (she had starred in his The Sun Also Rises that year, and several years earlier, Hemingway had successfully urged producer Darryl F.

Zanuck to cast Gardner in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, a film which adapted several of his short stories). While staying with Hemingway at his villa in San Francisco de Paula in Havana, Cuba, Gardner once swam alone without a swimsuit in his pool. After watching her, Hemingway ordered to his staff: "The water is not to be emptied". Her friendship with Hemingway led to her becoming a fan of bullfighting and bullfighters, such as Luis Miguel Dominguín, who became her lover. "It was a sort of madness, honey", she later said of the time. Gardner was also involved in a relationship with her live-in boyfriend and companion, American actor Benjamin Tatar, who worked in Spain as a foreign-language dubbing director. Tatar later wrote an autobiography in which he discussed his relationship with Gardner, though the book was never published. Death After a lifetime of smoking, Gardner suffered from emphysema, as well as an unidentified auto-immune disorder. Two strokes in 1986 left her partially paralyzed and bedridden. Although Gardner could afford her medical expenses, Sinatra wanted to pay for her visit to a specialist in the United States, and she allowed him to make the arrangements for a medically staffed private plane.

She suffered a bad fall a week before she died, and she lay on the floor, alone and unable to move, until her housekeeper returned. Her last words (to her housekeeper) were reportedly "I'm so tired". She died of pneumonia at the age of 67, at her London home, 34 Ennismore Gardens, where she had lived since 1968. Gardner was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina, next to her brothers and their parents, Jonas (1878-1938) and Mollie Gardner (1883-1943). The town of Smithfield now has an Ava Gardner Museum. Book In the last years of her life, Gardner asked Peter Evans to ghostwrite her autobiography, stating, "I either write the book or sell the jewels." Despite meeting with Evans frequently and approving of most of his copy, Gardner eventually learned that Evans, along with the BBC, had once been sued by her ex-husband Frank Sinatra.

Gardner and Evans's friendship subsequently cooled and Evans left the project. Evans's notes and sections of his draft of Gardner's autobiography, which he based on their taped conversations, were published in the book Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations after Evans's death in 2012. Award nominations Gardner was nominated for an Academy Award for Mogambo (1953); the award was won by Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday. Her performance as Maxine Faulk in The Night of the Iguana (1964) was well reviewed, and she was nominated for a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe.

Additionally, Ava Gardner won the 1964 Prize San Sebastián for best actress for her performance in The Night of the Iguana. Film portrayals Gardner has been portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in the 1992 TV mini-series Sinatra; Deborah Kara Unger in HBO's 1998 television movie The Rat Pack; Kate Beckinsale in the 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator; and Anna Drijver in the 2012 Italian TV film Walter Chiari - Fino all'ultima risata. (Strangely for a Martin Scorsese film, The Aviator commits a mistake by showing Hughes escorting her to the premiere of the 1939 movie The Women - a full two years before she even arrived in Hollywood.) Gardner's image appeared on the cover of Robin Gibb's 1983 album How Old Are You? along with Clark Gable's.