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Hardcover Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing Book

ISBN: 0312312091

ISBN13: 9780312312091

Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The dramatic life of the incomparably beautiful and swashbuckling Ava Gardner--one of Hollywood's most beautiful actresses and lover of many men, from bullfighters to Frank Sinatra--by The New York Times bestselling author of ROBERT MITCHUM: Baby, I Don't Care

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Wasted Talent

I read Ava's autiobiography when it came out shortly after her death and thought she was pretty honest about her life warts and all. Mr Server follows the same outline of her life but greatly expounds on the good and the bad that was so well documented in the news. Ava and Frank were the Brad and Angelina of the 50's and were hounded relentlesly by the then new phenomonon, the paparatazzi. There was well researched detail on things only lightly covered in Ava's book but who can blame her for leaving out what she did. One thing that came out of this book was the feeling she could have left a much richer body of work if only MGM had given her better parts and she had not had such a fondness for booze and partying all night ALL the time. She lived life on her own terms but should have taken better care of herself. I thought it was an excellent book and recommend it to anyone with a interest in Ava and Hollywood in the 40's and 50's.

Love May Have Been Nothing, But Boozing It Up Was

The most beautiful Ava Gardner - and that she was. She was a booze-hound, lush and nymphomaniac. There was not a martini left unturned when she was around. When she was drunk she was mean and naughty and sober she was sugar and spice. Her first husband was Mickey Rooney - married him after being in Hollywood 6 months. She was a virgin. Her second husband was Artie Shaw. Her third husband was Frank Sinatra and the love of her life. It was the most turbulent of relationships - jealousy being the worst of it. Ava had many, many, many lovers - men and women too, or so it was rumored. She lived in Spain for several years and liked to roam the country and dance with the gypsies - she loved to dance the flamenco. She only made movies for the money. Her heart was not in being an actress, but just being. She had several abortions although she kept saying she wanted children, I believe she was too selfish to be able to raise a child. She was the life of the party most of the time when she was not dead drunk. She could have been manic depressive, but just never diagnosed - she had unbelievable mood swings. She had a stroke that left her with a limp and her arm did not function as well as it should. She lived out her declining years in London and died of pneumonia. This is a powerful and excellent biography of one of the most beautiful women who ever lived - a must read. P.S. This is a very personal note, but I feel I must add it. After reading the last pages before and when she passed away I was in tears. I was deeply touched. Lee Server did such an excellent job of documenting her life at that time and I was able to feel her loneliness and pain and depression. I felt so sorry for her that she did not have Frank Sinatra in her last days.


The title of Lee Server's bio of gorgeous Gardner flirts with some irony--one of the most beautiful love goddesses of the 20th century never really found love. She married Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra), and she had affairs with countless others--well, in the case of this book, she counted others. Server serves up a dishy, fact-laden, anecdote-ridden book that recounts, among other things, who screwed whom in Hollywood--and it's delightful! When Ava was asked how she could love the 119-pound Sinatra, she cooly responded, "19 pounds of him was c---!" In recounting her daze with Rooney, Serves tells us that Mickey described Norma Shearer, the doyenne of M-G-M, as "hotter than a half-f---ed fox in a forest fire." Ouch! Scrupulously researched and related in specific day-by-day, movie-by-movie, man-by-man chronology, Gardner's rise and ultimate fade out reads like a faintly seedy Greek tragedy. Reputedly so beautiful that man were literally staggered at first sight of her, sexually liberated in a repressive time and repressive industry and rich enough to buy anything and anyone she wanted, Ava apparently spent a great deal of time alone--and lonely. Monogamy wasn't the strong suit of any of her husbands, and loyalty was not a quality well known in her profession, so she trusted no one. Without trust, love may have been impossible, but the sex was easy . . . until she became bored with that. Too much of anything becomes excessive, and the saddest thing about Gardner's life as related by Server is that though she had everything and was ultimately spoiled by her successes, there was little joy in her life. Towards the end, living alone and in relative anonymity in London, she worked only to support herself. Citing the arc of Gardiner as a star and woman is the true fascination with Server's book. By the time she was 35, she had run through all three husbands, yet she lived until almost 70. She acted in movies for nearly 50 years, yet towards the end was forced to do wretched television soaps, such as Knot's Landing, and execrable European films. Love is Nothing is another saga of a lonely love goddess, yet a detailed, fascinating, and ultimately saddening read.

Venus From Mount Vesuvius

Ava Gardner, under the mistaken belief that she was having a date with director Howard Hawks, soon learned that the tall, "rail thin" man with the "rawboned face of a cowboy" was none other than Texas entrepreneur Howard Hughes. Modestly amused by the mixup, Hughes asked Ava out again, and they soon began seeing each other "several times a week or more." But let there be no mixup about Lee Server's powerfully compelling portrait of Ava Gardner. The man, along with his international contacts and sources, has crafted a a complex portrait of a barefooted country girl whose photograph in the window of a portrait studio in New York ultimately captivated the world with her beauty and the antics of her personal life. Server's previous biography, Robert Mitchum, 'Baby I Don't Care' , showcased his expertise with all things film and noire, and AVA GARDNER allows him full venue to elaborate in this ode to the Barefoot Contessa of two continents. With a surplus of parentheticals and bottom-of-the-page addendum, Server leaves tidbits like Ava changed partners, always something new and savory demanding a change to the next blank page where something must be written. From Ava's best friend in high school, to her last, closest chums in London's high-brow Knightsbridge district, everyone had something to say about Gardner's extraordinary goddess-like beauty and her volatile personal landscape. This book reveals Gardner's inauspicious beginnings deep in the red-dirt heartland of North Carolina, and then provides the reader a world tour with the most enticing brunette of the forties and fifties as she emotes in private and on film. Hemingway, Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, Howard Hughes, Robert Mitchum, Luis Miguel Dominguin, Esther Williams, Fidel Castro, Judy Garland, John Huston, and many others have their moments in the sol and sombra with Ava. Only MGM central casting would have difficulty finding all the extras for this moveable feast of a book. The baked Alaska is Gardner's jagged frankness and crisp retorts left unprintable in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, but poured out on Server's pages like so much tequila. The rise of the paparazzi, the inspiration for La Dolce Vita and the final cast for The Pink Panther all had something to do with Ava Gardner. There are sweet, candid remittances from BBC Television's Joanna Lumley of Absolutely Fabulous fame, who was a castmember of Roddy McDowall's first directorial effort, Tam Lin, which starred Gardner in her forty-seventh year. Server's sources also include past information from previously published show business biographies that has been tweaked and updated with scandal, certainty, and revelations from Ava's personal friends (Spoli Mills, Betty Sicre) and industry insiders like Gene Reynolds, producer of television's M*A*S*H*, Hemingway pal A.E. Hotchner, and Artie Shaw, Ava's second husband. But it was her third husband she had the most difficulty releasing. Server's depiction of Ava a
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