Fast Facts

  • Discovered when a photo of her was spotted in the window of brother-in-law Larry Tarr's Fifth Avenue photography studio by an MGM talent scout.
  • Beat out good friend Lena Horne for the role of Julie LaVerne in Show Boat. Her voice was dubbed in the film by Annette Warren, but remains on the soundtrack.
  • Lived in Spain from 1955 until 1968, when she moved to London for the rest of her life.
  • Third husband Frank Sinatra, with whom she remained friends throughout her life, paid for her medical expenses in her final illness and her funeral, but did not attend.


  • 1957, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1953, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1960, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1965, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1965, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee


  • Mary Elizabeth Gardner — Mother
  • Mickey Rooney — Ex-husband
  • Melvin Gardner — Brother
  • Raymond Gardner — Brother
  • Howard Hughes — Ex-significant Other
  • Artie Shaw — Ex-husband
  • Walter Chiari — Ex-significant Other
  • Luis-Miguel Dominguin — Ex-significant Other
  • Jonas Bailey Gardner — Father
  • Beatrice Tarr — Sister
  • Elsie Mae — Sister
  • George C. Scott — Ex-significant Other
  • Frank Sinatra — Ex-husband
  • Howard Duff — Ex-significant Other
  • Inez — Sister
  • Myra Pearce — Sister


  • Attended Atlantic Christian College, Wilson, North Carolina, United States

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  • Birth Name: Ava Lavinia Gardner
  • Birth Place: Brogden, North Carolina, United States
  • Died: January 25, 1990
  • Profession: Actor

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BONES:  When an affluent prep school student is found dead Brennan (Emily Deschanel, R) proves that it was indeed murder, not suicide in the BONES episode "A Boy In A Tree" airing Tuesday, Sept. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  Also pictured:  David Boreanaz (C).  ™©2005 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Sam Urdank/FOX.
5 Things to Watch Today – March 28, 2017

The Bones series finale!