Ava Gardner (Bloomsbury Lives of Women) Paperback – 18 Jan 2010
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'An extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman ... Gardner's genius was not her work, but, as this book proves, her life' Observer 'Server gets movie stars, and he gets movies ... That's quite a trick for a biographer to pull off - both to immerse himself in his subjects, yet make them utterly his own' Sunday Times
About the Author
Lee Server is a writer, biographer, and chronicler of popular culture and author of the highly acclaimed biography Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care. His latest biography, Ava Gardner, was published by Bloomsbury in April 2006.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lee Server has used a lot of slang, presumably to match his subject, and he does give you a pretty complete picture of this somewhat wild, amoral woman. But he also makes you realise she was a very decent person and certainly her own woman.
She was a better actress than she was given credit for, and was one of those movie-stars one simply couldn't take one's eyes off....not just because of her classical beauty, but because of something warm, earthy, lovable and fascinating within her.
She did not lead a very happy life, and this book is no hagiography. But it's fascinating account of Hollywood in the 40s, 50s and 60s, shows very well how a beautiful woman like Ava Gardner could get caught up in the star-making machinery, meet men of all types, some of whom wanted to "mould" her, went her merry way the moment a man did something she didn't like, failed to have a child which might have grounded or fulfilled her, and finally grew old, lost her beauty, became ill, and died like everyone else. But not quite like everyone else because, after all, she WAS Ava Gardner. I could not put this book down. A well-researched, rivetting read.
Any fan of Ava Gardner or a curious on-looking should read this excellent and defining biography.
I believe that anyone who reads this excellent biography will come away with a tinge of sadness, and empathy, for a "dame" who befriended Hollywood Royalty, Noble Royalty, homeless victims, builders, maids and butlers. Now that is a genuine "legend".
But for all her adventures, wildness and debauchery, she was a really good actor. The camera loved her, of course, which made her a movie star, but she really could act too. There was substance to the style. Sadly, some poor career choices followed in her later years; turning down Mrs Robinson and choosing TV. Maybe she needed a good strong manager.
Like any other man, I fell in love with Ava very early on - the first grown up woman to make me feel strange about myself. I fell harder in my 20s when I saw her, older but somehow more sexy and earthy, in The Night of the Iguana. I visited Mexico because of that film.
There is something of the failed screenwriter and noir novelist in the sometimes tortuous prose of Lee Server: "her eyes like Andean emeralds" ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting insight in Ava Gardner's life and times, she was a tough cookie, hard living and loving! Read morePublished 21 hours ago by Bizzy Lizzy
Arrived on time and in good condition. A good read about a strange woman! Ava Gardner didn't seem to want to be an actress, but hated it when she wasn't working, then... Read morePublished 8 months ago by All things Tudor
My, what a gal she was!!. A quite superb read about the always enthralling Ava. Lee Server has done a terrific job bringing alive those times from decades long past. Read morePublished 11 months ago by colmalk