Monday, December 6, 2010

SNAPSHOTS: Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner

Sinatra & Ava were one of the great loves of the century. They both loved each other deeply but could not move past the lows of their relationship. They were too similar. Both had an appetite for nightlife, drink, sex, the arts and many other vices. They both feared being alone and shared explosive tempers. Everything about their relationship was public, from their affair while Sinatra was married, to their marriage, their divorce and their remaining friendship. Ava never re-married after Frank and both have referred to each other as the love of their lives. After Ava's crippling stroke in 1986, Frank covered her medical bills due to her financial debt.
Out of all the glamorous actresses from the golden era of Hollywood, Ava is my favorite.
She was beautiful beyond description but she also was an underrated actress. There was an authentic touch in her acting. As with every famous actress in order to see the true talent you must look beyond their epic beauty. She was also a hellcat. Ava took nothing from anyone. She was a handful, a woman who could definitely hold her own. Her temper has its own legend in Hollywood. She once beat Howard Hughes over the head with a glass ash tray (after her punched her and dislocated her jaw) so badly she thought she killed him. Their relationship was too volatile and Ava declined his marriage proposals. She said:

'Our chemistry was the stuff that causes hydrogen bombs to explode. Til death do us part would have been a whole lot sooner than later if we'd tied the knot. 'Howard was a control freak, and I was too independent to take his crap. He was out of his mind most of the time, even then, and he got crazier through the years.'

I feel the same way about Frank that I do for Ava. He was a classic, stand up guy. Sinatra was extremely talented and good looking, but had a magnetism about him that people wish they could harness. Frank was definitely a rock, a leader, and no one could break him but his children and Ava. He once attempted suicide during their union. Frank's suicide attempt was ploy to keep Ava from leaving him. He prayed he'd wake up to find her standing over him at the hospital. But she never came and he discharged himself from the hospital and flew to her. To Frank's dismay Ava left him after that. Not one man could tame her, not even Sinatra. Not one woman could lure Sinatra to divorce his wife, Nancy Sinatra Sr., except Ava.
‘I damn well knew he was married,’ Ava recalled, ‘and married men were definitely not high on my hit parade.

‘But he was handsome, with his thin, boyish face, bright blue eyes and ­incredible grin. And he was so ­enthusiastic and invigorated, clearly pleased with life, in general, himself, in particular, and, at that moment, me.’
No one in this union was an angel as they fought through their infidelities, jealousy and destructive habits.

For every high that accompanied their love also followed a deep trench. The lows weren't enough to take away the eternal love they kept for one another.
The following photos are some of my favorites taken during the span of their affair and their marriage.

the famous couple alongside another: Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh

‘It was magic. We became ­lovers for ever, eternally.' Ava describes. 'Big words, I know, but I truly felt that no matter what happened we would always be in love.’ Frank told Ava: ‘All my life, being a singer was the most important thing in the world. Now you’re all I want.’

quotes taken from James Kaplan, article written for the



  1. Now there both dead...and Nancy Sinatra Sr. is still think about that!!!!

  2. That's true and they're together again.