The late actress and sex symbol discusses her early days in Hollywood; her marriages to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra; her memorable roles; her friendships and affairs; and more Reprint. NYT.
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In this chatty autobiography, Gardner, who died last January at age 67, tells of her upbringing in a poor but proud Southern family, her sudden success in early-'40s Hollywood--mainly because of her beauty--and rails against MGM, which played up her cheesecake potential. She neatly sums up the problems in each of her three short marriages: Mickey Rooney was a blatant womanizer; Artie Shaw was cool and overbearing; Frank Sinatra (the two were the loves of each other's lives) was as jealous as she, leading to drunken marathon fights. Gardner also sketches a creepy portrait of Howard Hughes, who for years stopped at no machination in an unsuccessful attempt to bed and marry her. A shy woman who used drink to feel comfortable socially, Gardner seems very likable, down-home, spontaneous and sadly derogatory toward her intelligence, acting abilities--and even her beauty. Of the seven included "eulogies" from friends and colleagues, Stephen Birmingham's best captures the joy and tragedy of Gardner's life. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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