Sinatra first met Ava Gardner in 1945, but saw her only sporadically until late 1949, when they began their relationship. Their relationship was extremely tempestuous, and coincided with the collapse of Sinatra`s professional career, as Gardner`s blossomed.
They married on November 7, 1951, ten days after Sinatra`s divorce from Barbato became final. Both were frequently made jealous by the other`s extramarital affairs,
Gardner`s power in Hollywood helped Sinatra get cast in From Here to Eternity (1953), and his subsequent Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor helped revitalize Sinatra`s professional career. They separated in October of 1953, and finally divorced in 1957.
Gardner's third and last marriage was to singer and actor Frank Sinatra, from 1951 to 1957. She would later say in her autobiography that he was the love of her life. Sinatra left his wife, Nancy, for Gardner and their subsequent marriage made headlines. Sinatra was savaged by gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, the Hollywood establishment, the Roman Catholic Church and by his fans for leaving his wife for a noted femme fatale. Gardner used her considerable influence, particularly with Harry Cohn's wife, to get Sinatra cast in his Oscar-winning role in From Here to Eternity (1953). That role and the award revitalized both Sinatra's acting and singing careers.