Ernest Hemingway Made An Odd Request After Ava Gardner Swam In His Pool

In the mid 1950s, a wildly unsuspecting yet no less enduring friendship was kindled between two of the biggest names in arts and entertainment. According to The Vintage News, the eternally radiant Ava Gardner commenced work in 1957 a film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" in Spain, and it was there that she met the author who had a reputation of being something of a bourgeois barbarian.

Though you'd likely not expect the two to hit it off the way they did, Gardner and Hemingway developed an astounding rapport right off the bat. Apparently, the actress's favorite book was "A Farewell to Arms," so there was already something of a preexisting bond. She'd been living in Spain full time since 1955 and was reportedly dating renowned bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin, and given that bullfighting had become one of Hemingway's distinct passions, their eventual acquaintance was more or less inevitable (via Ava Gardner Museum). 

The friendship between Ava Gardner and Ernest Hemingway

According to the Ava Garner Museum, the "Barefoot Contessa" star became captivated by the primordial allure of bullfighting after reading Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon" (1932) some years before. She was reportedly diagnosed with kidney stones in 1954 and had to be hospitalized, and to quell her agony, Dominguin introduced her to a good friend of his: renowned novelist Ernest Hemingway, the man who arguably knew more about bullfighting than anyone else alive. "Though I obviously wasn't crazy about the circumstances, I was delighted to meet Papa [Hemingway] and absolutely floored that he'd take the time to visit me in a hospital" Gardner recalled in her 1990 autobiography

That brief encounter was the beginning of a friendship. The Vintage News reports that Hemingway and Gardner would spend nights drinking and smoking at Spanish delicatessens and marveling over all things worldly and exciting. They also attended their fair share of bullfighting matches together as well (per Ava Gardner Museum). 

Don't throw the Ava out with the pool water

It's common to keep mementos and heirlooms from a certain person or notable life event. Maybe it's a letter, maybe it's a piece of jewelry, or maybe it's a photograph you hold onto to remind yourself of something or someone special. For Ernest Hemingway, it was...pool water? According to The Vintage News, while visiting the writer at his lavish villa in Havana, Cuba, Ava Gardner decided to take a dip in his refreshing pool, and she didn't bother putting on a swim suit. 

Imagine one of Hollywood's most beautiful and desired women bathing in your own backyard completely naked. Something of a dream come true, no? After she emerged from the water and dried herself off, Hemingway apparently instructed his staff to hold off on cleaning duty. "The water is not to be emptied," he allegedly told them (via The Vintage News).