Ava Gardner first really entered my consciousness when I got into The Wee Small Hours of the Morning by Frank Sinatra. The story is this great album is the result of Ava dumping Frank. From what I’ve read, he was at his lowest point when he met her and she paid his bills. Sinatra owes a revival in his career to her in more ways than one. She also used her great influence to help him land the role in From Here to Eternity.
While he was a great man, she almost seems like too much of a woman for him. She’s all woman, as they say (that’s why I used the De Kooning - those “women” paintings I’ve had a love/hate relationship with, which of course share her same era). Even the small images I find of her, over fifty years old, come off very lush and big.