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"In London, a coincidence brought me together with the actress Ava Gardner, an unforgettable presence, an extraordinarily intelligent and musical individual and a great dinner partner. I had just played my debut on the celebrated series of Christchurch Spitalfields, still in its infancy, in an as yet unrenovated architectural masterpiece of Nicholas Hawksmore. She was still living in a flat at Ennismore Gardens, and though I got to know her a little bit through our mutual friend, the philosopher and Proust scholar Alan Orenstein, I regret it was limited to only a few encounters." --- John Bell Young, pianist.


Leatrice Fountain "Oh yes, Ava Gardner was so breathtaking. She truly was beautiful. Her hair, skin, figure, and exquisite face were, well, just simply gorgeous! She was as sweet, warm, and sincere as she was beautiful; and that's saying a lot. She also was very bright, yes, very intelligent; and too few people in those days and today appreciate that fact. Ava was very bright. She (like my father, John Gilbert) was always trying to improve her quick mind. What a combination she had -- a stunning beauty, a sweet, kind, considerate personality, very intelligent and extremely talented as an actress." --- Leatrice Fountain, actress


In a chapter he penned for Gardner's autobiography, he admitted coaching her and urging her to reach out for more.

"I must have told her hundreds of times that she had it in her to be a great actress," he wrote, "that all she needed was a little more courage to attack, to go at a scene with the intention of selling it, of grasping the audience's attention and holding it."

She was clearly on her way when they made "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in 1952 and magical when they filmed "On the Beach" in '59. "I felt that Ava came into her own in a very relaxed and kind of fulsome way in 'On the Beach,' " Peck said. "She was good in a lot of things, but I thought she was wonderful in 'On the Beach.' " --- Gregory Peck, actor


"Our love affair lasted three, maybe four months. A magical little interlude. We hurt no one because no one knew ... I've never forgotten those few hidden months. I made two more films with Bob, 'Ride Vaquero!' and 'Knights of the Round Table', where he played Sir Lancelot (of course!), but we never renewed our romance. And Bob, despite all his efforts, couldn't break the mold of the beautiful lover. The film world remembers him that way, and I have to say that I do too."

---Ava Gardner speaking of actor Robert Taylor


Spanish Bullfighter Mario Cabré freely expressed his feelings at her departure from Madrid in the spring of 1951 in a book of poems. Excerpt:
In my breast you will still remain
With a throbbing that recalls you.
London will see you arriving,
With your waist slim like a palm tree.
In my troubled silence
Cries will pierce deeper within me...
The palm-slim waist as well as the effusive adulation belong to a green-eyed reddish-haired young woman in the bare age of 30 named Ava Lavinia Gardner. --- from Time Magazine, Sept. 3, 1951, "The Farmer's Daughter"


Time Cover
  "She was simply delightful -- no film, I have found, has ever done her justice. And in all my experience with mannequins and professionals nobody has ever been able to excel her. She acted for photographs as she would before the cameras."
--- Man Ray, world renown photographer of 20th Century