The love affair–and I’m using that term loosely–between Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra was doomed from the start. Both stars were emotionally immature with little impulse control. Both were alcoholics, and both had a history of affairs with equally unstable partners.
And so The Voice and The Shape plunged into a tsunami of a relationship and a six-year marriage (1951 – 1957) punctuated by unbridled passion, threats of suicide, and metronomic doses of violence.
In Autumn of 1949 Gardner and Sinatra, not yet lovers, were both guests at the Palm Springs home of producer Darryl F. Zanuck. The liquor flowed, and the two stars locked in on each other like missiles.