Back in the 1950s, Frank Sinatra was married to famed actress Ava Gardner. She was his second wife — he was hitched to Nancy Barbato before that and to Mia Farrow and Barbara Sinatra after that — and quite frankly, their marriage was one of the most tumultuous Hollywood ever saw.
“They were two of a kind, very much alike, and they would always fight,” J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of Sinatra: Behind the Legend, said. “It was a desperate obsession.”
The former couple famously married after Frank left his wife and three kids for her, and while their romance was risky and spontaneous, their arguments, unfortunately, began as soon as their honeymoon started (a lot of the time they bickered about money). “We were fighting all the time — and boozing,” Ava once said (some of their fights even got violent). “Breaking up, getting together again. It was madness.”
Neither of them could ignore their tempers — and it was almost like they enjoyed it. “His eyes do the most incredible thing when he’s angry,” Ava once shared of Frank’s anger. “They turn black. I swear to God, they become as black as the ace of spades. It makes your blood creep.”
And Ava was no better. “She was ambitious, aggressive, and extremely sexy, and Frank could not resist her,” Taraborrelli said. “She treated Frank the way he treated all the women before her.”
Despite all their differences, Frank always came back for more from Ava. After their split in 1957, he married two times more, but Ava was always in the back of his mind before he said “I do” each time. “He’d call Ava to see if there was any hope,” Taraborrelli said.
But Ava wasn’t having it. “I tried to be a good wife—or any kind of wife,” Ava once confessed. “The plain fact is, I just wasn’t meant to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.” We wonder how things would have been if they had stayed together!
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