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"If I had to go back in Hollywood history and name two people who were most desperately and passionately in love with each other, I would say Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner were It," said columnist Liz Smith.
It began in Hollywood's golden age when Ava was emerging as a movie star. But she fell in (and out of) love too easily. Mickey Rooney married her because he wanted another conquest. Artie Shaw treated her like a dumb brunette, giving her a reading list on their honeymoon. Neither marriage lasted a year. Then, after being courted by Howard Hughes and numerous others, along came Frank Sinatra.
His passion for Ava destroyed his marriage and brought him close to ruin. Their wild affair broke all the rules of the prudish era as Frank left his wife and children and pursued Ava on an international stage. They became romantic renegades, with the press following them from location to location.
"Oh, God, Frank Sinatra could be the sweetest, most charming man in the world when he was in the mood," said Ava. They married, but then came the quarrels, separations, infidelities, and reconciliations. Eventually, there was a divorce, and they thought it was over. It wasn't.
Through all of the tortured years of separation and splintered affairs with others, they maintained a secretive relationship known only to those who recognized that this was the love of a lifetime. Over the years they attempted to reconcile, romanced and nurtured each other, right to the end.
The love story of Frank and Ava has never been fully explored or explained - until now. John Brady'sFrank & Ava delves deeply into the lives of these two iconic stars and their turbulent lifelong relationship. More than anything else, this is the story of a romance lived out under battlefield conditions.
The love story of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner has been told piecemeal, from one side or the other, but has never been fully explored or explained--until now.
The story begins in Hollywood's golden age when Ava, ever insecure, was emerging as a movie star. But she fell in (and out of) love too easily. Mickey Rooney married her as a conquest. Artie Shaw treated her like a dumb brunette. Neither marriage lasted a year. Then, after being courted by Howard Hughes and others, along came Sinatra, who was battling his own insecurities--MGM fired him, his record company dropped him, and no one seemed to want him, except Ava.
Their encounter led to an affair that broke all the rules of the prudish era. Frank was married with children. Their reputations could be ruined if this got out--and it did, as Frank left his family and pursued Ava across Europe while she taunted him. They married, but then came quarrels, separations, and reconciliations. Finally, there was a divorce, but even afterwards their long, hot, messy, glorious, painful romance stretched right to the finish line.
Thoroughly researched and reported, Frank & Ava is not another storybook version of a Hollywood romance but a compelling drama of love and emotional war that left two iconic celebrities wounded for life.