Would you rob a bank and ruin your life for this woman? (Maybe!) Ava Gardner poses in her role as plush-lipped femme fatale Kitty Collins in the 1946 thriller The Killers, directed by Robert Siodmak. Burt Lancaster played The Swede, the big lug who falls for her and pays the price. Ava Gardner was born in 1922, so she turned 24 years old the year The Killers was released. By that point, she had already been married and divorced twice: to actor Mickey Rooney (1942-43) and to bandleader Artie Shaw (1945-46).