At Casa Robert Graves in Deya to remember Ava Gardner.


Antonio García is a retired Guardia Civil officer. On Tuesday, he was at the Casa Robert Graves in Deya to meet Deanna Branderberger, the director of the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina. There was particular reason for Antonio having been invited. He became known as the "cabo Gardner", the only man believed to not have succumbed to Ava Gardner's charms.

The story goes that one summer night in 1961, the actress attended Robert Graves' birthday party. Antonio, now 83, says that he was "impeccable". Dressed in full uniform, he was at an "incredible" party with other Hollywood celebrities and had a drink with Gardner. She suggested that they dance. "That was unthinkable. I refused. 'Sorry, but I'm on duty'." Even then, Gardner was persistent, insisting that they finish the night on her yacht. Antonio declined the offer.

Deanna Branderberger was invited to Deya by the town hall and by William Graves on behalf of the Casa Robert Graves. Kimberley Marshall, the US consular agent was in attendance, as also was Penn Sicre, a friend of Ava Gardner's.


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Ron / Hace over 5 years

I was playing in the band at Al Burnett's Stork Club in London in 1969 when Ava Gardner came in. She sat drinking alone all night and was particularly interested in our piano player. Continually coming up to him asking for requests and being over friendly. Being a bit of a dour Scotsman our pianist was not at all impressed by Ava's attention. Thinking back I'm sure he was a bit overwhelmed by it all! Our drummer and I tried to get him interested - but no use. Who knows where it all could have ended?!