HomeCelebrityWhy Did Ava Gardner Leave Frank Sinatra?

    Why Did Ava Gardner Leave Frank Sinatra?

    Welcome to another tragic love story of Hollywood. Not tragic in the way they died but tragic in a way that the curtain didn’t fall at their happy ever after. It was Hollywood’s golden era, where the stars used to shine brighter than the sun and scandals always lurked around the corner. In that era, Frank Sinatra, the smooth-talking crooner from Hoboken, and Ava Gardner, the striking Southern beauty from North Carolina, crossed paths at a swanky Hollywood soirée in the early 1940s.

    Sparks flew instantly between these two burning blazes. Frank with his velvety voice and Ava with her captivating charm, it wasn’t long before the couple developed a separate fanbase. Their whirlwind romance had everyone talking, gossip columns clocking and cameras flashing. The stage stars tied the knot In 1951. But the knot wasn’t as well tied as a happy ever after needed. Long story short it ended in a divorce. Now if you want the long story with all the juicy bits, come along. 

    Related: Martin Scorsese To Direct Frank Sinatra Biopic With Leonardo DiCaprio And Jennifer Lawrence In Lead Roles

    From An Illicit Affair To Toxic Marriage

    Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
    Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

    Buckle up before I start because the Frank and Ava saga is a Hollywood drama mixed with a dash of scandal or an entire serving. Ava Gardner, the fiery bombshell with a spirit as fierce as her red locks, stepped on her stage left and caught the eye of none other than Frank Sinatra, the smooth crooner with a voice that could melt hearts. So romantic, except Sinatra was married to Nancy Barbato back then and had three children. Yeah, the marriage was going downhill and was destined to sink under the waters but an illicit affair is an illicit affair. 

    It soon became the talk of the town. Paparazzi had a field day while Sinatra’s career took a hit or more like another one, he had a knack for these. Yet, did that stop Ava? Nope, she stood by her man through thick and thin, even when the world was buzzing with gossip.

    Now a rundown of their relationship—it was like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Public fights, private battles, you name it. Sinatra’s fiery temper met its match in Ava’s legendary independence. There was this one time, rumor has it, Sinatra threw a water-filled douche at Ava and her friend Lana Turner. Now, that’s what you call intense! No, that’s what boomers called intense, we call it, ‘Get your purse and get the hell outta there girl’.

    And of course, she didn’t. Guess some things don’t change even with time, because underneath it all, Ava saw something special in Sinatra. She admired his talent, his charisma—she saw the man beyond the headlines. Sinatra’s vulnerability drew her in, and despite the storms, Ava found comfort in his company. Finding logic in love is a fool’s errand anyway and we choose to be sane here. 

    Why Ava Stayed?

    Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
    Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

    Oh, the trials and tribulations of love! Don’t they make you feel like the star of a movie? Ava Gardner had her fair share of ups and downs with Ol’ Blue Eyes. Given Sinatra’s petite physique of a man weighing 119 pounds (No offense, his voice made up for it) Ava was often asked why she stayed with him. Once she decided to throw away the lady garter and quipped that she stuck around because nineteen pounds is c***.” Atta girl!

    But let’s not gloss over the bumps in the road, Ava was wearing rose-colored glasses. The day before their wedding, she received a gut-wrenching letter detailing Sinatra’s infidelities. She still walked down the aisle but trust issues plagued their union right from the start. As time went on, Ava found herself grappling with Sinatra’s whirlwind of a personality. His relentless pursuit of success often left Ava feeling like she was carrying the weight of the relationship, especially as she became the primary breadwinner while Sinatra’s career hit rough patches. The imbalance took its toll, leading to heated clashes and periods of separation.

    In case you missed: Why Frank Sinatra’s Family Banned Martin Scorsese From Casting Mark Wahlberg In The Music Legend’s Biopic And Why The Film Never Got Made

    The Final Act: When Ava Gardner Left Sinatra

    Ava Gardner and Luis Miguel Dominguin.
    Ava Gardner and Luis Miguel Dominguin

    As the years unfolded, Gardner and Sinatra’s relationship weathered numerous storms. Ava reportedly underwent two abortions during that time, adding extra strain to their already stretched-to-the-flesh relationship. Then, to top it off, she flew off to Kenya to film ‘Mogambo’ and returned with a tabloid streak of headlines displaying her affair with bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin.

    She finally decided to ask for a divorce but Frank wasn’t having it. He wasn’t about to let her go without a fight wasn’t much of a fight given his BMI plus they got divorced in 1957. 

    The aftermath of their split was marked by lingering affection and bittersweet memories. Sinatra remained a constant presence in Gardner’s life, even after their divorce.

    You might also like to read:

    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

    Trending on FC