Old Hollywood has some of the best gossip stories. Thanks to the internet, many classic movie stars were able to escape potentially career-damaging rumors and blunders. Can you imagine Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with twitter accounts? Sweet fancy moses, how entertaining would a drunk Dean Martin be on twitter? And you thought Amanda Bynes was a twitter tyrant? Sinatra would @ anyone who said anything bad about him with mafia threats.
Ava Gardner was a huge movie star whose downfall was men and alcohol. She died broke in 1988 and in her last effort to make money, hired someone to write about her love life. Unfortunately, the writer died, but the tapes he used to write the book (presumably, tapes of him interviewing Ms. Gardner) have been found (wow, this never happens) and the book, Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations is finally done.
National Enquirer has some highlights:
Her first husband was Mickey Rooney who she revealed had the nickname Mickey Hard-On. She quotes Rooney as saying, “I wanted to f-ck you the moment I saw you.” Gardner was an 18-year-old virgin at the time, and told Evans, “I was shocked. He’d screw anything that moved.”
He even cheated on Ava – then one of the most glamorous women in Hollywood — within the first months of their marriage while she was in the hospital having her appendix out, RadarOnline noted.
An affair with billionaire aviator movie mogul Howard Hughes followed.
Ava then married and divorced band leader Artie Shaw who she called a “bully” and then simultaneously dated Frank Sinatra and Robert Mitchum, both of whom were married at the time.
She said she was “crazy about” Mitchum but when she told him she was also seeing the Chairman of the Board, he told her, “Get into a fight with him, and he won’t stop until one of you is dead.” Not wanting Sinatra to think that he was competition, Mitchum stepped out of the way. Sinatra left his wife and he and Gardner wed. They had one of the most tumultuous marriages in Hollywood history, and divorced in 1957. It was her last marriage.
Numerous affairs followed including a brutal one with George C. Scott. While co-starring in 1966?s The Bible: In The Beginning, Scott beat her up so badly, Gardner had to be hospitalized.
And because of the times, George C. Scott avoided becoming Chris Brown. But people were much more cavalier about hitting women back then:
Ava’s co-stars in 55 Days in Peking, Charlton Heston and David Niven would’ve LIKED to slug her but didn’t. Ava was habitually late and drunk on set causing delay after delay to the epic.
Fantastic. Check out the photos of these men Gardner bedded, plus the two who wanted to hit her. Oh, Hollywood!