Ava GARDNER

Family tree of Ava GARDNER

Actor

AmericanBorn Ava Lavinia GARDNER

American actress

Born on December 24, 1922 in Brogden, North Carolina, USA , United States

Died on January 25, 1990 in Westminster, London, England

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Gardner was born in the small farming community of Brogden, North Carolina, the youngest of seven children (she had two brothers; Raymond and Melvin, and four sisters; Beatrice, Elsie Mae, Inez and Myra) of poor cotton and tobacco farmers; her mother, Mary Elizabeth ("Mollie") Gardner (née Baker) was a Baptist of Scots-Irish and English descent, while her father, Jonas Bailey Gardner, was a Roman Catholic of Irish American and American Indian (Tuscarora) descent. When the children were still young, the Gardners lost their property, forcing Jonas Gardner to work at a sawmill and Mollie to begin working as a cook and housekeeper at a dormitory for teachers at the nearby Brogden School.



When Gardner was 13 years old, the family decided to try their luck in a bigger town, Newport News, Virginia, where Mollie Gardner found work managing a boardinghouse for the city's many shipworkers. While in Newport News, Gardner's father became ill and died from bronchitis in 1938, when Ava was 15 years old. After Jonas Gardner's death, the family moved to the Rock Ridge suburb of Wilson, North Carolina, where Mollie Gardner ran another boarding house for teachers. Ava Gardner attended high school in Rock Ridge and she graduated from there in 1939. She then attended secretarial classes at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson for about a year.

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Gardner was visiting her sister Beatrice ("Bappie") in New York in 1941 when Beatrice's husband Larry Tarr, a professional photographer, offered to take her portrait. He was so pleased with the results that he displayed the finished product in the front window of his Tarr Photography Studio on tony Fifth Avenue.



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Geographical origins

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