DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Ava Gardner (aged 67)
Ava Lavinia Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990) was an American actress and singer.
She was signed to a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1941, and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers (1946). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Mogambo(1953), and also received BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for other films.
Gardner appeared in several high-profile films from the 1940s to 1970s, including The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), Pandora and the Flying Dutchman(1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), On the Beach (1959), 55 Days at Peking (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), Earthquake (1974), and The Cassandra Crossing (1976).
DEATH: After a lifetime of smoking, Gardner suffered from emphysema, as well as an unidentified auto-immune disorder. Two strokes in 1986 left her partially paralyzed and bedridden. Although Gardner could afford her medical expenses, Sinatra wanted to pay for her visit to a specialist in the United States, and she allowed him to make the arrangements for a medically staffed private plane. She suffered a bad fall a week before she died, and she lay on the floor, alone and unable to move, until her housekeeper returned. Her last words (to her housekeeper) were reportedly “I’m so tired”. She died of pneumonia at the age of 67, at her London home, 34 Ennismore Gardens, where she had lived since 1968.
Gardner was buried in the Sunset Memorial Park, Smithfield, North Carolina, next to her siblings and their parents, Jonas (1878–1938) and Molly Gardner (1883–1943). The town of Smithfield now has an Ava Gardner Museum.