Frank Sinatra was Ava’s third and last husband, and “the love of her life.” Their relationship was often flawed with bouts of jealousy and conflict over real and imagined infidelities. Unable to reconcile their differences or find common ground to continue their marriage, the couple was divorced on October 29, 1957. Sinatra was known to live by the creed, “once a friend, always a friend,” and he and Ava remained friends until her death in 1990. People magazine profiled Frank and Ava’s marriage as one of the “Romances of the Century,” and Ava never remarried after their divorce.
Francis Albert Sinatra was born December 12, 1915 and Ava Lavinia Gardner was born December 24, 1922. To celebrate the lives and careers of these two special people, the Ava Gardner Museum will host a birthday celebration in their honor on Thursday, December 16th. All visitors will be given free admission and birthday cake will be served during regular Museum hours (9am-6pm). The Ava Gardner Museum will be closed on Ava’s birthday, Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day.
“Many celebrity museums are able to celebrate the birthdays of their stars but with Ava’s birthday on Christmas Eve, it has always been disappointing that we couldn’t celebrate Ava in a similar way. We’re excited to be able to not only recognize this important milestone in Ava’s life, but also to have an opportunity to remember Frank as well,” stated Executive Director Jessica Meadows Hammett.
As an added treat, Santa will be make a stop at the Museum from 4:00 – 6:00 PM to help wish Ava and Frank a Happy Birthday. He will also visit with any children that would like to make some last minute gift requests.
The Ava Gardner Museum is located in downtown Smithfield, at 325 E. Market Street and more information may be found on the museum website, www.avagardner.org or by calling 919-934-5830. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm with admission of $6.00 adults, $5.00 seniors and groups and $4.00 children.