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Two Leading Ladies of the Screen Leave Behind Sweet Memories

February 04, 1990

At a 1947 forum at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, a brash young friend asked me to keep his seat while he was off being brash.

A woman, almost formless under layered sweaters, approached to ask me if the seat was taken.

I replied, "Yes, I'm sorry," and I've been sorry ever since. Because when I looked at her face, I saw it was Ava Gardner.

If I had allowed myself a quota of mistakes, turning down this glorious beauty surely would have used up my quota far into the future.

MARK NICHOLS

Beverly Hills

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