Who was Ava Gardner?
Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990) was an American actress and singer. She first signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew critics' attention in 1946 with her performance in Robert Siodmak's film noir The Killers. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in John Ford's Mogambo (1953), and for best actress for both a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award for her performance in John Huston's The Night of the Iguana (1964).
During the 1950s, Gardner established herself as a leading lady and one of the era's top stars with films like Show Boat, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (both 1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956) and On the Beach (1959). She continued her film career for three more decades, appearing in the films 55 Days at Peking (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), Mayerling (1968), Tam-Lin (1970), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974) and The Cassandra Crossing (1976). She continued to act regularly until 1986, four years before her death in 1990, at the age of 67.
In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Gardner No. 25 on their greatest female screen legends of classic American cinema list.