- 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.
- 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
- 1953, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 1957, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
- Raymond Gardner — Brother
- Howard Hughes — 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
- Artie Shaw — Ex-husband
- Walter Chiari — Ex-significant Other
- Mary Elizabeth Gardner — Mother
- Frank Sinatra — Ex-husband
- Howard Duff — Ex-significant Other
- Inez — Sister
- Myra Pearce — Sister
- Mickey Rooney — Ex-husband
- Melvin Gardner — Brother
- Attended Atlantic Christian College, Wilson, North Carolina, United States
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