Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #001422163: AVA GARDNER

Uncommonly early vintage black fountain pen signature on a 4x6-inch tan autograph album page, acquired in-person in 1943, at the very onset of her film career, when she was 19 or 20 years old. In good condition, with minor surface crinkling and a signature of character actor Marc Lawrance on the verso. While working as a model and M.G.M. contract player, gawky, unsophisticated Ava Gardner was completely made over by the studio, transforming her into an impossibly beautiful, glamorous leading lady. After she was lent out to Universal for The Killers (1946), she established a bad girl persona which studio heads struggled to tidy up in wholesome films like The Hucksters (1947), Show Boat (1951), Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), and The Snow of Kilimanjaro (1952). Fans yawned and M.G.M. got the hint: Gardner was allowed full reign as wicked or emotionally complex sexpots in Mogambo (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Bhowani Junction (1956), Seven Days in May (1964), and Night of the Iguana (1964).