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Ava Gardner at a party held in the Hotel Ritz in Madrid.
Ava Gardner singing flamenco

Ava Gardner photographs
in Spain

Love and party: Ava Gardner life in Madrid


Ava Gardner was not drawn to the sun… but rather to the shade. She did not come to Spain for the bulls, but for the bullfighters. It was the perfect setting for her amusement: there were no echoes of society; there was society. And without the press to bother her, Ava Gardner drank away the evening until the wee small hours of the morning, seeking the most entertaining tablaos flamencos and afterhours which managed to dodge the curfew. She first discovered Spain when she came to film a movie in the country. And she stayed. And she had a great time here and was able to be her true self… without photographers that would intimidate her.

From Hollywood to Madrid

Ava Gardner photographs in Spain ...There was only one camera that would bear witness... and that one belonged to a dear friend. The “World’s Most Beautiful Animal” traded Hollywood for Madrid, a city from which she would “squeeze” out every last drop of fun and pleasure. And then she decided to go to London to recover. However, in Spain, she left behind a string of broken hearts and broken glasses, beds undone and lives changed forever. And, best of all, pictures which reveal it all.