Conversations with Ava Gardner

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About the author:
Lawrence Grobel ( is a novelist, journalist, biographer, poet and teacher. Four of his 22 books have been singled out as Best Books of the Year by Publisher's Weekly and many have appeared on Best Seller lists. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. PEN gave his Conversations with Capote a Special Achievement Award. The French Society of Film Critics awarded his Al Pacino their Prix Litteraire as the Best International Book of 2008. James A. Michener called his biography, The Hustons, "a masterpiece." His The Art of the Interview is used as a text in many journalism schools. Writer's Digest called him "a legend among journalists." Joyce Carol Oates dubbed him "The Mozart of Interviewers" and Playboy singled him out as "The Interviewer's Interviewer" after publishing his interviews with Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Henry Fonda and Marlon Brando. He has written for dozens of magazines and has been a Contributing Editor for Playboy, Movieline, World (New Zealand), and Trendy (Poland). He served in the Peace Corps, teaching at the Ghana Institute of Journalism; created the M.F.A. in Professional Writing for Antioch University; and taught in the English Department at UCLA for ten years. He has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Charlie Rose Show and in two documentaries, Salinger and Al Pacino's Wilde Salome. His books can be found at He is married to the artist Hiromi Oda and they have two daughters.

Conversations with Ava Gardner

Authored by Lawrence Grobel

These conversations with the femme fatale of The Killers, Mogambo, The Barefoot Contessa, Show Boat, and Night of the Iguana, and one of the world's great beauties, are startlingly candid. Two years before she died, Ava Gardner asked Lawrence Grobel to work with her on her memoir. The reclusive actress opened up about her three volatile marriages to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra ("I loved them all; I just couldn't live with them. I'm not going to try and whitewash them anymore"). She tells about Howard Hughes' 15-year pursuit of her ("As soon as I got divorced from Mickey, Howard entered my life and I couldn't get rid of him, no matter who I was with or who I married"). She reveals how George C. Scott was so crazily in love with her that he beat her up on three occasions and once stuck a broken bottle in her face ("I was frightened for my life"). She talks about her tomboy childhood as a tobacco farmer's daughter in North Carolina. She goes into detail about how she was "discovered" and became a contract player at MGM ("white slavery"); her friendships with Hemingway, Dominguin, and Brando; and of working with her favorite director, John Huston. She admits to her struggles with alcohol ("I don't give a damn what time of the day it is, I just drink too much"). And she speaks intimately about the debilitating stroke she suffered toward the end of her life ("I felt this dark cloud that wouldn't go away. I just wanted to lie in bed and drink brandy").

Publication Date:
1500635421 / 9781500635428
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5" x 8"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts / General

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