In 1988, Ava Gardner sat down with British author Peter Evans to write a Hollywood memoir. But Evans quickly discovered that Ava was a hopeless alcoholic who, when drunk, told juicy tinsel town tales. But when Ava sobered up, she ordered Evans not to use any of “the good” material.
Ava knew where all the bodies were buried. But too many of her Hollywood crowd were still alive. Settling scores would not settle anything for Ava. The aging star was in desperate need of money. In the end, Ava abandoned the project. Rumor says that Frank Sinatra paid Ava not to write the book.
Ava died just two years later. Evans went to his grave with his Ava Gardner book unpublished. But his notes have finally seen the light of day as Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations. Ava was a natural storyteller with a great eye for the telling detail. Her rich store of memories could have made for an invaluable piece of Hollywood history. However, what remains of those fragmented sessions is compelling and compulsively readable.