Ava Gardner: Photos of “The World’s Most Beautiful Animal”

Ava Gardner, born on December 24, 1922, in Grabtown, North Carolina, remains an enduring symbol of Hollywood glamour. Her journey from a modest upbringing to stardom began when a photo displayed in a New York studio led to a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

Her rise to fame was propelled by her role in the 1946 film “The Killers,” which showcased her as a captivating femme fatale opposite Burt Lancaster. This breakthrough performance established her as a leading actress and a major sex symbol of her era. Gardner starred in several successful films thereafter, including “Show Boat” (1951), “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1952), and “Mogambo” (1953), which earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Gardner’s personal life was as headline-grabbing as her film roles, marked by marriages to celebrities such as Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra. Each marriage was highly publicized and brought its own challenges and media scrutiny.

In her later years, Gardner chose a quieter life in London, though she continued to act sporadically. She passed away on January 25, 1990.

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