Ava Gardner

"Love Is Nothing"

Lee Server

St. Martin's Press

Download Image Lee Server Ava Gardner

Available Formats

“The most complete and engrossing biography yet of this exotic Southern girl...Excellent.”—Liz Smith
She was the sex symbol who dazzled all the other sex symbols.  She was the temptress who drove Frank Sinatra to the brink of suicide and haunted him to the end of his life.  Ernest Hemingway saved one of her kidney stones as a sacred memento, and Howard Hughes begged her to marry him—but she knocked out his front teeth instead.
She was one of the great icons in Hollywood history—star of The Killers, The Barefoot Contessa, and The Night of the Iguana—and one of the few whose actual life was grander and more colorful than any movie. Her jaw-dropping beauty, charismatic presence, and fabulous, scandalous adventures fueled the legend of Ava Gardner—Hollywood’s most glamorous, restless and uninhibited star.
In this acclaimed first full biography of Gardner, Lee Server recreates—with great style and vivid detail—the actress’s life, from her beginnings as a barefoot North Carolina farm girl to her heady days as a Hollywood goddess.  He paints the full spectacle of her tumultuous private life—including her string of failed marriages to Mickey Rooney, Sinatra and Artie Shaw—and Gardner’s lifelong search for adventure and love.
Ava Gardner: “Love is Nothing” is both an exceptional work of biography and a richly entertaining read. 

Connect with the Author

Lee Server

Related Links

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Goddess Country
She was born in Johnston County in the red-dirt heartland of North Carolina, beyond Smithfield, at the western bend of the old Grabtown Road. The baby was delivered from her mother at ten o’clock that December 24, 1922, healthy, noisy as hell. In the morning family and friends gathered around a candlelit Christmas tree and cheered the new arrival and everyone had a look at the infant girl and listened to her yell. Two cakes—one chocolate and one white coconut—were baked to honor a twice-blessed day—a Christmas/birthday ritual forever after.

Read the full excerpt



Praise for Ava Gardner

"A life of much too much, all of it thoroughly and satisfyingly recounted."
--New York Daily News
"Server writes with a contagious enthusiasm."
--Kirkus Reviews
--Library Journal
"Enthralling...an extended toast to [Gardner]."
--Peter Bogdanovich, The New York Times
"A seductive book."
--The New York Times
"Every bit as thrilling as Server's previous biography of Robert Mitchum."
--The Times (UK)
"Server, who perfectly captured Robert Mitchum's laconic laissez-faire in Robert Mitchum: 'Baby, I Don't Care', follows with another captivating chronicle."
"Deliciously entertaining."--Publishers Weekly
"The most complete and engrossing biography yet of this exotic Southern girl...An excellent book, full of juicy new detail."--Liz Smith, New York Post
"Exceptionally well written, a huge step above most star biographies."
--Toronto Globe and Mail
"Writing with poetic grace and titillating candor, he traces Gardner's path from Tobacco Road to Tinseltown."--American Way
"A compelling triumph of a biography."--Filmmonthly
"As close as we will ever get to an evening out with the woman herself."
--The  Sunday Times (UK)
"No writer had ever managed to capture [Ava Gardner's] life of volcanic excess until now."
--Noir City Sentinel
"A wholly worthwhile biography to sink your teeth into."
--Buffalo News
Praise for Lee Server’s Robert Mitchum: “Baby, I Don’t Care.”
“Server sustains a fascination for his subject that is broad enough to encompass the man’s miserable behavior alongside his vast admiration for Mitchum’s body of work and hugely iconic personality.” –The New York Times
“An elegant job.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Is isn’t always pretty, but it’s never boring.” –Biography Magazine

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Lee Server

Lee Server is the author of Danger Is My Business, Sam Fuller: Film Is A Battleground, and Robert Mitchum: "Baby, I Don't Care."

Lee Server

Lee Server


Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Ava Gardner
"Love Is Nothing"
Lee Server

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429908740
ISBN10: 1429908742
560 pages

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312312107
ISBN10: 0312312105
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 560 pages, Includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs

From The Publisher

St. Martin's Press

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter