At the age of 18, Ava is asked to appear for a screen test and Ava signs a seven-year movie contract with MGM studios for fifty dollars a week.
After over 15 movies where she played bit parts and still being considered a "starlet," Ava stars in The Killers, which launches her career as a star.
Ava sings in the big budget production of Show Boat. Although her voice was dubbed by Annette Warren in the film, her voice can be heard to this day on the film soundtrack.
Ava makes her mark in Hollywood by placing her footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater.
Ava receives her first and only Oscar nomination for her role as Honey Bear Kelly in Mogambo.
Ava won her first Box Office Blue Ribbon Award for Knights of the Round Table (1954). She later won this award for On the Beach (1960), Seven Days in May (1964), and The Bible…in the Beginning (1966).
Ava was nominated by the British Academy Awards for "Best Foreign Actress" for Bhowani Junction. She received additional nominations by the British Academy for On the Beach (1960) and The Night of the Iguana (1964).
After 17 years under contract with MGM, Ava is finally free to choose to do the movies she wants to do. She had always felt constricted by her contract at MGM and that they had done little to promote her as an actress.
Ava receives a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Maxine in the film version of The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams. She was also awarded the San Sebastian International Film Festival award as "Best Actress" and was nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her role in Iguana