valentina.21.reminisced movie stars. b&w beauties. film enthusiast. stevie nicks, tv & amy adams. lovingly yours.  sailor(s) online.
”She is not one of the most beautiful women in the world. She is the most beautiful.” —Frank Sinatra

“Instead of feeling pain or resentment or anger, what I saw knocked my little socks off. I could imagine a bit of what my father felt. And he was clearly swept away. My heart melted just looking at her. I was only a kid. I didn’t know about beauty—that awesome kind of beauty…she was just the most beautiful creature I had ever seen in my life. I couldn’t stop staring at her. My siter, Tina, looks a little like Ava did in those days. My sister is an exquisite girl. But Ava had a reckless look about her. She didn’t bother with her hair or makeup—it was sort of haphazard. No matter. Her hair was naturally curly. On my first weekend with them in Palm Springs she was wearing her hair short. She would dive into the pool, looking like a goddess on the diving board, swim a few lengths, throw on a terry robe, come inside, kneel down in fron of the wall heater, turn on the fan, dry her hair with a shake and a few rubs with her fingers and be a goddess again. No makeup, perfect skin, and a wonderful voice. She spoke in whispers. She’d grown up in the Deep South, but there was no trace of an accent when I met her. Dad said that she’d worked very hard to get rid of it so she could be in the movies. She has the magnetism that few stars possess. Ava gave me my first lipstick. It was called Tangee Natural and in the stick it was an orange neon color, but on your lips it ook on the tone of your pigmentation. If your lips were pale, it turned them very pale pink. If they were deeper, it would turn a deepr color. I wish they still made it today—Ava’s makeup secret and my first. At last, in my preteenage wisdom, I had some understanding of why Daddy had left us. My memories of life with Ava are funny, blurry images of the Coldwater Canyon house, visits to Ava’s sister Bappie, dinners in restaurants, car rides, weekends in Palm Springs, their dog Rags, a spunky Welsh Corgi who made us all laugh. Happy moments. Ava was loose and “up.” —Nancy Sinatra

"I was four when I met father’s new wife, and she made a fundamental impression on me; she seemed to stir all my senses at once. Though only five-six, she truly seemed bigger than life, a quality that can accrue to a person whose image is projected at thirty-two times life size. (Not every movie star had it, though my father did, too.) But like Dad, Ava was also gentle and accessible to children; she immediately knelt down to my level. I have never forgotten that gesture. When people talk about a natural beauty, I think of Ava, who had no use or need for coiffing or makeup. Her tousled brown hair was loose and soft. She had a long neck, and seemed freshly scrubbed, casual but impeccable. That first time she was wearing a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a skirt that was softly gathered up, perfect for twirling. And I remember that she smelled of gardenias, and that she was barefoot—and soon Nancy and I were barefoot, too. Looking back, it was the first time I saw simplicity perfected.” —Tina Sinatra

"Ava was always alive. Even in the depths of depression or anguish, she was terribly alive. And she could get heartbreakingly depressed. There were times when she couldn’t see people, times when she was so miserable, when life was so black for her. It couldn’t have been easy for anybody to have been witness to the depths of her unhappiness or self-loathing. She didn’t like herself. And so everyone felt wildly protective about Ava, and therein, of course, lies madness. The vulnerability was part of her great appeal. Everybody felt that yes, they could bring her some solace or help for whatever this bottomless well of unhappiness in her was. Well, of course, you can’t. But Ava didn’t take advantage of that; she wasn’t looking for you to be a nurse. Some people eat you up with that, but Ava wasn’t inclined that way. She was a loner. Like a bear, she would go off somewhere and hibernate.” —Roddy McDowell

"The highly irritating thing about Ava, of course, was that she had no regard for her intellectual capacity or her talent. She was a wonderful actress and she never believed it. If you told her that, or if you told her how beautiful she was, she’d get very uncomfortable and virtually begin to shake. She didn’t know what to do with the information; it unnerved her.” —Roddy McDowell

"Ava Gardner was a beautiful, exquisite, talented creature; a real movie queen, by which I mean a creature of the movies. She existed on the screen and she wiped out anybody who was with her. Not that she did any tricks, she was very modest, very self-deprecating, but born with the thing. You tell people’s character when you work with them. On Bhowani Junction we had a very difficult scene, a rape scene with Lionel Jeffries—at night, under a railroad bridge. We did it once and she said: ‘My God that man is strong!’ And Lionel said, ‘She puts up quite a fight.’ Working a scene like that is not just a question of, ‘Well, let’s take it once more.’ It means a fresh costume, fresh make-up and hairdo. Ava did if four of five times, really did it, fought ferociously, and after is was over she said to Lionel: ‘Now don’t, I won’t be able to re-establish who you are, and I’ll always hate you.’ A very revealing thing. Especially after we’d had a hell of a night doing this scene, and Ava said: ‘You know, I’m terrified of physical violence. Really terrified.’ But she wasn’t going to make a big hassle of it. She had the good sportsmanship to do it all out.” —George Cuckor

"What I liked about Ava was that we had so much in common it was like we were young people from the same hometown. We both were products of middle-class, small American towns where everybody knew everybody, and it was on that basis that we struck up an immediate friendship. Ava was also outspoken, and there was something refreshing about that because sometimes she’d be outspoken when other people would be afraid to. That to me shows a strength of character and the kind of grass-roots, middle-American honesty that she has. Sometimes I’ve thought except for that out-of-the-world beauty—that sensational bone structure, those eyes, and that figure—she was typical of dozens of girls I knew in high school and college. But that beauty shaped and changed her, and she became an object of pursuit, adulation, and attention such as few girls ever know.” —Gregory Peck

"Ava was like my younger sister; she and I were spiritually akin…If Ava came to you, you couldn’t help but like her, because she wasn’t competing with anybody. She walked a mile in everybody’s shoes. She really did."—Lena Horne
Ava Lavinia Gardner | December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990
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