I would like to thank Running Press for sending me a copy of ‘Ava: A Life in Movies’ by Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski.
I’m going to be honest and say that while I know an awful lot about many Hollywood actresses, I didn’t know anything at all about Ava Gardner until I received this book. Actually, that might be a lie, as I do seem to remember knowing that she was once married to Frank Sinatra, though what that marriage was actually like I had no idea. Now I do!
‘Ava: A Life in Movies’ is an extraordinary book. It is a large, coffee-table format, has 264 pages and hundreds of photographs in black and white and colour. These span from portraits to publicity photos to candid and press photos. The cover photograph is by famed photographer Milton H. Greene and makes Ava look positively regal in appearance.
Kendra and Anthony do a superb job of bringing Ava to life both through their text and the photographs chosen to illustrate it. Spanning her entire life, the book tells her story in a respectful and caring way. After reading Kendra’s book on Vivien Leigh a few years ago, I’m not surprised that she has taken such care in writing this biography. ‘Ava’ is fascinating and insightful, without being scandalous or salacious. It also looks fabulous sitting next to the Vivien Leigh book on my shelf!
I would recommend this book to any fans of Ava and the golden age of Hollywood. Anthony and Kendra have done magnificent work here and I hope they will team up again in the future. Incidentally, they are currently doing publicity appearances in Los Angeles, so if you’re in the area, please check out their social media for ways to meet them!
Here is some more information about the book, from the publisher:
“Ava: A Life in Movies is a gorgeous illustrated tribute to a legendary life. Authors Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski take a closer look at the Academy Award-nominated actress’s famous screen roles while shedding new light on the creation and maintenance of her glamorous image, her marriages, and her friendships with famous figures such as Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Tennessee Williams. From the backwoods of Grabtown, North Carolina to the bullfighting rings of Spain, from the MGM backlot to the Rome of La Dolce Vita, Ava: A Life in Movies takes readers on the stunning and exciting journey of a life lived to the fullest and through four decades of film history with one of its most iconic stars.”