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Lesson 6

The Greatest Love Story Of All Time

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Frank and Ava. Theirs was one of Hollywood’s hottest romances. She was called the most irresistible woman in the world — sultry, tempestuous and ravishingly beautiful. Ava Gardner lit up the screen in film classics as "Show Boat" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". She romanced Clark Gable in "Mogambo" and dazzled Humphrey Bogart in "The Barefoot Contessa". Off screen, her personal life sizzled with as much glamour and passion as the films that brought her international fame, especially when Frank Sinatra entered her life.

Sinatra was smitten the first time they met, and, although he was still married to Nancy, he pursued Ava with a fervour nobody could match.

Their relationship soon became an open scandal in the Hollywood of the 1950s, where extramarital affairs were viewed very differently from the way they are viewed now. Eventually, Frank begged Nancy for a divorce, but for weeks she refused on religious grounds (they were both raised as Catholics).

Ava, who was 26 at the time, and at the peak of her beauty, had to contend with some very adverse publicity. Ava realized he was a married man, with three children, no less, but the gossip columns had reported he was leaving his wife Nancy for good. At the same time, he was losing his voice, hadn't had a Number 1 record in a while, and had even lost top billing to Gene Kelly in their MGM film "On the Town." He was also about to begin a disappointing career in television.

But at this point, Ava was completely under his spell. "Oh, God, Frank Sinatra could be the sweetest, most charming man in the world when he was in the mood," she recalled in her 1990 autobiography, "Ava: My Story" from Bantam Books.

Sinatra, crazy for her, continued to see her, against the advice of friends, who feared for his career. As their love grew, the couple's hate for the media grew as well. They were the hot story, and the gossip columns were relentless in their pursuit. The press onslaught resulted in Nancy Sinatra officially separating from Frank on Valentine's Day in 1950.

It was the 1950s, and many fans turned their back on Sinatra since the Catholic father of three had left his wife for a glamorous movie star. He soon found himself bankrupt and without a contract with MGM or Capitol Records. He was forced to borrow money from Ava to buy his children Christmas gifts.

On 7 November 1951 in Philadelphia, what was described as the most romantic event of the decade took place: Frank and Ava got married. The bride, who wore a mauve cocktail dress, looked radiant. After the ceremony, and using a chartered plane, the happy couple flew to Miami and then on the Havana for a honeymoon. They appeared to be deeply in love in Cuba, in a picture taken of them while walking barefoot on a beach, holding hands. They were too, but it was not destined to last. Frank and Ava were happy — but not forever after.

During their tumultuous marriage, the reversal of fortune between their careers was becoming more and more apparent to the world. The publicity guys at MGM took a quote from Ernest Hemingway and had christened Ava "the most beautiful animal in the world." While Ava had become one of Hollywood's brightest stars, Sinatra found himself at the low point of his own career. It was not good for the marriage. "She was a female Frank Sinatra and they just clashed at every turn - too stubborn and headstrong to live in harmony for long," according to Kitty Kelley, author of a hugely popular unauthorized Sinatra biography. "It was such a very very bad time for him. He really took a dive over Ava. I mean emotionally he absolutely capsized over her. Then he lost his voice, his career went to ruins, and she was the one with the huge career and that had to bother him."

Ava knew things wouldn't get better unless Frank could make a comeback. Columbia was developing a film version of "From Here To Eternity." Frank wanted the part of Maggio, a head-strong skinny Italian, he was born to play. It even required a death scene.

Ava lobbied the producers of the film to cast him in the role. The only problem was character actor Eli Wallach had already been cast in the role. The producers viewed a screen test Sinatra provided, a rarity in those days for a star of his stature, but he had taken a great fall. Columbia offered him the role for a measly $8,000. He took it. The tables were slowly turning yet again for Ava and Frank. His portrayal of Maggio won him an Academy Award for Supporting Actor. He was back, but even this couldn't save their marriage.

Ava and Frank separated in 1953 and divorced four years later. In the end they were too much alike to stay together. Tired of living in Hollywood Ava moved to Spain. She spent much of her time flamenco dancing and dating bullfighters. Tax problems forced her to move to London in 1968 where she would live for the rest of her life. Ava continued appearing in movies and on television until she suffered a stroke in the 1980s. She would spend her remaining years writing her autobiography.

On 25 January 1990, Ava Gardner died in London after a long illness. She was just a month past her 67th birthday. Burial took place in Smithfield, North Carolina, where she was born. Among the rich and the famous who came to mourn her, one figure stood out in the windswept cemetery – Frank Sinatra.

*Sources:
1. "Western People" - Thomas Crosbie Holdings
2. "Ava Gardner Museum", John Mark Ivey
Vocabulary
  1. irresistible - неотразим, завладяващ, покорявящ
  2. sultry - огнен, страстен (прен.)
  3. tempestuous - бурен, бушуващ (и прен.)
  4. ravishingly - очарователно, пленително
  5. to light up - запалвам, освет(л)явам
  6. to romance - имам любов (с)
  7. to dazzle - заслепявям, поразявам
  8. to sizzle - пръщя
  9. glamour - очарование, обаяние
  10. passion - страст, силно увлечение
  11. to be smitten with a pretty girl - влюбвам се в/лапвам по хубаво момиче
  12. to pursue - преследвам
  13. fervour - жар, плам, страст
  14. to match - противопоставям, устоявам
  15. to beg - моля, искам
  16. to contend - боря се, сражавам се
  17. adverse - враждебен, неблагоприятен
  18. publicity - обществено внимание/отношение
  19. gossip - клюка, клюки
  20. to be about - каня се/готвя се да
  21. under a spell - омагьосан, омаян
  22. charming - прелестен, очарователен, пленителен
  23. to recall - спомням си, припомням си
  24. relentless - неотстъпчив, непреклонен; безмилостен
  25. pursuit - преследване
  26. onslaught - яростна атака
  27. glamorous - 1) очарователен, обаятелен; 2) ефектен, бляскав; 3) сексапилен
  28. mauve - бледоморав
  29. radiant - сияещ, лъчезарен
  30. honeymoon - меден месец; сватбено пътешествие
  31. barefoot - бос, необут; без обувки и чорапи
  32. to last - продължавам, трая (за време)
  33. tumultuous - шумен, буен
  34. reversal - обръщане, преобръщане
  35. to christene - давам име, кръщавам
  36. clash - в конфликт
  37. at every turn - на всяка крачка, много често, постоянно
  38. stubborn - крайно упорит, непреклонен; инат
  39. headstrong - своеволен, вироглав
  40. hugely - извънредно много
  41. unauthorized - неупълномощен, издаден без знанието/разрешението на автора
  42. to take a dive - гмуркам се
  43. come-back - успешно завръщане към минала популярност и пр.
  44. eternity - 1) вечност; 2) задгробен живот; безсмъртие
  45. lobby - проагитирам, влияя на
  46. measly - мизерен; много малко (за количество)
  47. tables - карти
  48. portrayal - изпълнение на роля
  49. marriage - брак, женитба
  50. to be alike with s.o. - приличам си с някого
  51. to date - срещам се с, ходя с
  52. bullfighter - бикоборец
  53. burial - погребение
  54. to mourn - 1) тъгувам, скърбя; 2) оплаквам
  55. burial - погребение
  56. wind-swept - открит, брулен от вятъра (за място)
  57. semetery - гробища
 Adverse or Averse

G a l l e r y

    
    
Links:

If You Love Somebody


The Original Version
If you love somebody, Set her free...
If she comes back, she's yours,
If she doesn't, she never was....

Pessimist
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
If she ever comes back, she's yours,
If she doesn't, well, as expected, she never was.

Optimist
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
Don't worry, she will come back.

Suspicious
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
If she ever comes back, ask her why.

Impatient
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
If she doesn't comes back within some time forget her.

Patient
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
If she doesn't come back, continue to wait until she comes back ...

Playful
If you love somebody, Set her free ...
* If she comes back, and if you love her still, set her free again, repeat *

Vengeful
If you love somebody, Set her free...
If she doesn't come back,
Hunt her down and shoot her.

C++ Programmer
if(you-love(m_she)) m_she.free()
if(m_she == NULL)
m_she= new CShe;

Animal-Rights Activist
If you love somebody, Set her free...
In fact, all living creatures deserve to be free!!

Lawyers
If you love somebody, Set her free...
Clause 1a of Paragraph 13a-1 in the second amendment of the Matrimonial
Freedom Act clearly states that...

Bill Gates
If you love somebody, Set her free...
If she comes back, I think we can charge her for re-installation fees and tell her that she's also going to get an upgrade.

Biologist
If you love somebody, Set her free...
She'll evolve.

Statistician
If you love somebody, Set her free...
If she loves you, the probability of her coming back is high,
If she doesn't, your relation was improbable anyway.

Schwarzenegger's Fan
If you love somebody, Set her free...
SHE'LL BE BACK!

Overpossessive
If you love somebody don't set her free.

HR Specialist
If you love somebody set her free
By Offering her VRS and other benefits, then outsource her.

MBA
If you love somebody set her free...
instantaneously...and look for others simultaneously

Psychologist
If you love somebody set her free...
If she comes back, her super ego is dominant
If she doesn't come, back her id is supreme
If she doesn't go, she must be crazy.

Somnambulist
If you love somebody set her free...
If she comes back, it's a nightmare
If she doesn't, you must be dreaming.

Rhett Butler
If you love somebody set YOURSELF FREE
If she asks you why say you don't give a damn.

ERP Functional Expert
If you love somebody set her free...
If she comes back, map her into your system
If she doesn't, carry out a gap-fit analysis.

Finance Expert
If you love somebody set her free...
If she comes back, its time to look fresh loans.
If she doesn't, write her off as an asset gone bad.

Marketing Expert
If you love somebody set her free...
If she comes back, she has brand loyalty
If she doesn't, reposition the brand in new markets.


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