Ava Gardner (December 24, 1922 - Jan.25, 1990), American actress.
Ava Lavinia Gardner was born in the small farming community of Brogden, Johnston County, North Carolina, the last of seven children of poor tobacco farmers; her mother was a Baptist of Scots-Irish descent, while her father, Jonas Bailey Gardner, was an Irish American Catholic.
Gardner made several movies before 1946, but it wasn't until she starred in The Killers that she became known as a movie star and sex symbol. She was married to Mickey Rooney at 19 years in 1941 (they divorced in 1943), then to Artie Shaw from 1945 to 1946, and to Frank Sinatra from 1951 to 1957. She was regarded as one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood.
Gardner was nominated for an Oscar for 1953's Mogambo. She lost to Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Many thought Gardner's greatest performance was as Maxine Faulk in The Night of the Iguana, for which she was not nominated. Grayson Hall, as the hysterical Miss Judith Fellowes, however, was nominated, in the best supporting actress category.
Gardner also had a recurring role as Ruth Galveston on the television series Knots Landing in 1985.
After a stroke in 1989, which left her partially paralyzed and bedridden, Frank Sinatra paid her medical expenses. She died of pneumonia in London, England at the age of 67 in 1990.
Ava Gardner is interred in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina; the town of Smithfield now has an Ava Gardner Museum.