Grabtown Girl: Ava Gardner's North Carolina Childhood ad Her Enduring Ties to Home

( 3 )

Overview

At age nine, Ava Gardner went to the Howell Theater in Smithfield, North Carolina, with her mother Mollie to see her mother's favorite movie star Clark Gable starring as a safari leader in Africa with Jean Harlow in Red Dust. Twenty years later Ava would find herself in Jean Harlow's role in a remake of that story Mogambo, with none other than Clark Gable.

That such a thing could happen to a country girl from North Carolina was beyond the imagination not only of Ava but of ...

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Overview

At age nine, Ava Gardner went to the Howell Theater in Smithfield, North Carolina, with her mother Mollie to see her mother's favorite movie star Clark Gable starring as a safari leader in Africa with Jean Harlow in Red Dust. Twenty years later Ava would find herself in Jean Harlow's role in a remake of that story Mogambo, with none other than Clark Gable.

That such a thing could happen to a country girl from North Carolina was beyond the imagination not only of Ava but of everybody who knew her. But people learned to expect the unexpected from Ava. By 13, she'd decided she wanted to be a movie star, and at 18 she joked with friends that she was going to marry the biggest star in Hollywood. She did both, and went on to become one of the most famous women of the 20th century.

How did a shy, tomboyish farm girl do that?

Doris Rollins Cannon spent years interviewing family, friends, teachers and others who knew Ava to determine the forces that drove her, the values that guided her. She found they were firmly grounded in her North Carolina roots.

"She endured in a profession in which only the strong survive," Cannon writes. "And she survived, not because she overcame her rural North Carolina background-but because she drew her strength from it."

Much has been written about Ava's legendary life, but the material in this book, never before told, adds a new and moving dimension to her story. It includes letters and photographs never before published.

Author Biography: Doris Rollins Cannon, a retired newspaper journalist, is chairman emeritus of the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina. She lives in Clayton.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878086891
  • Publisher: Down Home Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,132,293
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Part 1 They Knew Her When
1. The Gardners of Grabtown 11
2. If Only 17
3. Room for More 21
4. Moving On Down the Road 25
5. Banner Brogden Years 31
6. A Metamorphosis 41
7. Almost Like Going Home 47
8. Winds of Change 61
Part 2 And They Knew Her Then
9. Duhan Does a Double Take 69
10. California, Here They Come! 73
11. Uncle Sam and Other Kin 77
12. Sorrow and Success 81
13. Becoming a Star 91
14. The Sinatra They All Loved 97
15. Leaving America 105
16. Incognito 113
17. Rock Ridge Reunion 119
18. The Trying Eighties 125
19. Coming Home to Stay 129
20. Back to Her Sister's Side 133
21. The Ava Gardner Museum 135
Final Thoughts 141
Ava Gardner Filmography 143
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2003

    For the TRUE AVA FAN

    This is the best book published about Ava Gardner! Grabtown Girl is the truth. There is none of the 'Hollywood Myth' to which we've grown accustomed. Ms. Cannon has done her homework. Great background material on her life. The pictures are good too! Some of which I don't believe have been published before. This book will definately become a collector's item. Every member of the Ava Appreciation Society should definately own a copy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2001

    Ava Gardner-Wow!

    Anyone who's interested in classic movie stars, will enjoy this book. It is very informative about Ava Gardner's earlier years. Many of the things you thought you knew about her are all lies! And much of the truth about Ava is more interesting. She is quite a remarkable person. It was very well written & the pictures were original. Well done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2001

    TRUTH ABOUT AVA GARDNER- A NOVEL IDEA!

    AVA GARDNER DID NOT LIKE THE WAY THE PRESS PRESENTED HER. THEY NEVER GOT THE STORY RIGHT. TEN PREVIOUS BIOGRAPHIES HAD VARIOUS ERRORS. EVEN IN HER OWN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (PUBLISHED POST-HUMOURSLY) THERE WERE ERRORS. BUT GRABTOWN GIRL FINALLY DISPELLS THE OLD RUMORS WITH FACTS. MUCH OF WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT AVA WAS BY MGM PUBLICITY OR THOSE WHO, TOO LAZY TO DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH, BELIEVED IT! DORIS CANNON HAS RESEARCHED THE SUBJECT & VERIFIED HER STORIES WITH AVA'S FAMILY & FRIENDS. EVEN AVA WOULD BE PROUD OF THIS BOOK. IT DISPELLS THE OLD STORIES ABOUT HER FAMILY BEING TENANT FARMERS. GRABTOWN GIRL CORRECTS MGM'S STORY ABOUT CHANGING HER NAME. (I ALWAYS WONDERED IF MGM CHANGED HER NAME TO GARDNER, HOW THE REST OF THE 'POOR FAMILY' WAS NAMED GARDNER! BUT I GUESS THEY DIDN'T READ ALL OF THEIR OWN LIES.) THE PICTURES ARE EXCELLENT. IT'S GOOD TO SEE SOMETHING BESIDES CHEESECAKE & PUBLICITY STILLS. THIS IS A WELL WRITTEN CHRONICAL OF A HARD-WORKING NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY (ONE OF WHOM HAPPENED TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL FILM ACTRESS). GRAB A COPY TODAY!

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