Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

by Peter Evans, Ava Gardner
3.8 25


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Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans, Ava Gardner

This wickedly candid memoir that Ava Gardner dared not publish during her lifetime offers a revealing self-portrait of the film legend’s life and loves in Hollywood’s golden age.

“I EITHER WRITE THE BOOK OR SELL THE JEWELS,” Ava Gardner told her coauthor, Peter Evans, “and I’m kinda sentimental about the jewels.” So began the collaboration that led to this remarkably candid, wickedly sardonic memoir.

Ava Gardner was one of Hollywood’s great stars during the 1940s and 1950s, an Oscar-nominated lead­ing lady who co-starred with Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, and Humphrey Bogart, among others. Her films included Show Boat, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Barefoot Contessa, and On the Beach. But her life off the screen was every bit as fabulous as her film roles.

Born poor in rural North Carolina, Gardner was given a Hollywood tryout thanks to a stunning photo of her displayed in a shop window. Not long after arriving in Hollywood, she caught the eye of Mickey Rooney, then America’s #1 box-office draw. Rooney was a womanizer so notorious that even his mother warned Gardner about him. They married, but the marriage lasted only a year (“my shortest husband and my biggest mistake”). Ava then married band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, who would eventually marry eight times, but that marriage, too, lasted only about a year (“he was a dominating son of a bitch . . . always putting me down”). She carried on a passionate affair with Howard Hughes but didn’t love him, she said. Her third marriage was a tempestuous one to Frank Sinatra (“We were fighting all the time. Fighting and boozing. It was madness. . . . But he was good in the feathers”).

Faithfully recording Ava’s reminiscences in this book, Peter Evans describes their late-night conver­sations when Ava, having had something to drink and unable to sleep, was at her most candid. So candid, in fact, that when she read her own words, she backed out and halted the book. Only now, years after her death, could this frank and revealing memoir be published.

“If I get into this stuff, oh, honey, have you got something coming,” Ava told Evans. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations is the stunning story of a legendary star’s public and private lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451627701
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 384,769
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Peter Evans was a columnist and foreign correspondent with the Daily Express (UK), and wrote for the Los Angeles Times and Vogue, as well as every major newspaper in Britain. His books include Peter Sellers: The Man Behind the Mask and Nemesis. He died in 2012.

Ava Gardner was born in Grabtown, North Carolina, in 1922. Her films include The Killers, Showboat, Mogambo, The Barefoot Contessa, The Sun Also Rises, and On the Beach. She died in London in 1990.

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Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
juleecm1 More than 1 year ago
What makes this book unusual is it's based on Mr. Evans' interviews with Ava Gardner, and is mostly in her own words. She is far earthier than you might imagine a screen goddess to be, and while fairly self-aware, she is clearly lonely and unhappy toward the end of her life. This may be why she lowered her guard with Peter Evans and you get an awful lot of fresh, insider information from the horse's mouth because of it. I enjoyed this book greatly, but couldn't help but wish she had been happier at the end of her life. It would have been fun to interview her (with the same frankness) at the height of her career, but this is still a treasure trove of what she really thought and felt, and well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved ava's fowardness and her honesty. Its hard to find an interview of her (since she hated doing interviews) it was so nice to read about the real ava in her own words. Funny, witty and truthful.
Sicilian More than 1 year ago
I tried so hard to get through this book but finally put it down about half way through. It just seemed repetitious, never saying much new. Don't get me wrong...I bought the book because I love Ava Gardner. Evidently, it's the actress that appealed to me and not her personal life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to real a biography or autobiography. This is all about Gardner and how much she didn't want to write this. It was redundant imo.
Mamaloo More than 1 year ago
Reads like the unfinished project that it is.
Alaska-Young More than 1 year ago
If you want a a biography on Ava Gardner then this isn't the one you want. It's mostly the author's encounters with Ava rather than the memoir that he was supposed to be writing on her life
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ProfessorEC More than 1 year ago
An easy read. You get a good feel of who Ava Gardner really was beyond her beauty.
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This for you mother Emilly to read I gift this to you. How is your little girl doing to to night I will be @ just family . Monday moning I love you ( your girl two loue. Casey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Luke? Gtgtb bbt
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will you go out with me Ava? Your so da.mn se.xy i wanna fu.ck you 24/7
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your dominant and into bondage and that type of stuff go to rio res two
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*finishes unhooking her b<\>ra and stares at ur bo.obs *
Mik3MF More than 1 year ago
This is one of those "starts" of yesteryear that never interested me much. I didn't think she was attractive or interesting. I always thought her life was rather vapid and her acting was worse. After reading this reading this book, I now understand that I was right about her. She never contributed much to the acting world, was not much of a wife, and was a taker not a giver of anything useful to society. The author seems to approve of this lifestyle, as well. Other than servicing her many husbands and lovers, she didn't do much. I read most of this book while multitasking in the bathroom and that's the place for it.