Travelers of all ages continue to flock to the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, where the community pays tribute to one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. From humble beginnings in Johnston County to starring in 59 films, Ava is known around the world as one of the most beautiful women ever to work in Hollywood. Last year marked both the 25th anniversary of Ava's death and what would have been Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. In honor of these occasions the Ava Gardner Museum dedicated their yearly rotating exhibit to highlighting Ava and Frank's passionate and lasting love. The exhibit, which can be viewed through October of 2-16, also includes mementos that represent Ava through the stages of her transcendent life and a memorial to Ava's co-star twice over Omar Sharif, who sadly passed last year.
Since 2015 marked 25 years since her death Ava was also honored with a North Carolina Historical Marker that was privately dedicated in a ceremony with Frank Sinatra Jr. and revealed to the public at its permanent home outside the cemetery in Smithfield that is Ava's final resting place. You can visit her grave, historical marker, and museum in an Ava-inspired trip to the place she called home.
The Ava Gardner Museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9-5pm, and on Sunday 2pm-5pm. Visitors from around the world visit the museum each year, which is conveniently located just one mile off of I-95 at Exit 95. Admission is $8.00 for adults with discounts available for seniors, groups of 15 or more people, military, teens, and children 6-12 years old.
Exhibits are changed our once a year at the museum to keep visitors returning to the museum and to attract new patrons. To keep up with the museum, information may be found on the website, www.avagardner.org and through the BLOG posts.