This has to be my favourite picture of Ava Gardner. This little girl has the same look, same smile, same cheeks and same chin, but lacks the glamour and womanliness of the Ava we see on screen.
She is one of my favourites, not only for being stunningly beautiful, but for being more "real" to me than any other big star. You see, not many famous people come to Brazil, but Ava did (although I wasn't alive at the time). And by "real" I didn't mean just that. I'll give you an example: John Hawkesworth, a production designer, once said that Ava “could eat twice as much as anyone and drink three times as much.”. See what I'm talking about? She came from a small town in North Carolina, raised with 6 sibilings, living a life that was far from being glamorous. She didn't read books (by 1945 she had read only two books: the Bible and "Gone With The Wind"), and throughout her life she kept with herself the "country girl values". Some of my favourite Ava quotes:
"Everybody kisses everybody else in this crummy business all the time. It's the kissiest business in the world."
"What's the point? My face, shall we say, looks lived in."
"I made it as a star dressed, and if it ain't dressed, I don't want it."