Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Birth name: Sári Gábor
Born: February 6, 1917
Age: 107
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
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Zsa Zsa Gabor (/ˈʒɑːʒɑː ˈɡɑːbɔːr, ɡəˈbɔːr/ ZHAH-zhah GAH-bor; born Sári Gábor; February 6, 1917) is a Hungarian-American actress and socialite.

Gabor began her stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She emigrated to the United States in 1941 and became a sought-after actress with "European flair and style," with a personality that "exuded charm and grace." Her first film role was a supporting role in Lovely to Look At. She later acted in We're Not Married! and played one of her few leading roles in Moulin Rouge (1952), directed by John Huston, who described her as a "creditable" actress.

Outside of her acting career, Gabor is best known for having nine husbands, including hotel magnate Conrad Hilton and actor George Sanders. She once stated, "Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman - not just a man with muscles."


Early life and career

Gabor was born February 6, 1917 in Budapest (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) as Sári Gábor (Gábor Sári in Hungarian order, ), the middle of three daughters born to Vilmos Gábor (circa 1876-1962), a soldier, and Jolie Gabor (née Tilleman; 1896-1997). She was reportedly named after Sári Fedák, a popular Hungarian entertainer. Her elder sister Magda was a socialite and her younger sister Eva was an actress and businesswoman.

Gabor's mother, Jolie, was an aunt of Annette Lantos, the wife of Hungarian-born U.S. congressman and Holocaust survivor, Tom Lantos. Jolie was Jewish, and barely escaped Hungary after the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, crediting Magda's influential connections with rescuing her: "For Magda's Portuguese Ambassador I thank God. It was this man who saved my life." Gabor's maternal grandmother and uncle Sebastian (Annette Lantos's father) chose to remain in Budapest feeling they "had a good place to hide." However, both died during an Allied bombing raid. The fate of Zsa Zsa's three maternal aunts, Jolie's sisters, remains unclear.

Following studies at Madame Subilia's, a Swiss boarding school, Zsa Zsa was discovered by tenor Richard Tauber on a trip to Vienna in 1934 and was invited to sing the soubrette role in his new operetta, Der singende Traum (The Singing Dream), at the Theater an der Wien, making her first stage appearance. Author Gerold Frank, who helped Gabor write her autobiography in 1960, describes his impressions of her while the book was being written:

Zsa Zsa is unique. She's a woman from the court of Louis XV who has somehow managed to live in the 20th century, undamaged by the PTA ... She says she wants to be all the Pompadours and Du Barrys of history rolled into one, but she also says, "I always goof. I pay all my own bills. ... I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me."

In his autobiography, television host Merv Griffin, who often squired Zsa Zsa's younger sister Eva socially, described the Gabors in their heyday as glamour personified: "All these years later, it's hard to describe the phenomenon of the three glamorous Gabor girls and their ubiquitous mother. They burst onto the society pages and into the gossip columns so suddenly, and with such force, it was as if they'd been dropped out of the sky."

Personal life

Gabor has been married nine times. She was divorced seven times, and one marriage was annulled. Her husbands, in chronological order, are:

  • Burhan Asaf Belge (1937-1941; divorced)
  • Conrad Hilton (April 10, 1942 - 1947; divorced)
  • George Sanders (April 2, 1949 - April 2, 1954; divorced)
  • Herbert Hutner (November 5, 1962 - March 3, 1966; divorced)
  • Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (March 9, 1966 - October 18, 1967; divorced)
  • Jack Ryan (January 21, 1975 - August 24, 1976; divorced)
  • Michael O'Hara (August 27, 1976 - 1983; divorced)
  • Felipe de Alba (April 13, 1983 - April 14, 1983; annulled)
  • Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 - present)

Gabor's divorces inspired her to make numerous quotable puns and innuendos about her marital (and extramarital) history. She commented: "I am a marvelous housekeeper: Every time I leave a man I keep his house." When asked, "How many husbands have you had?", she was quoted as responding, "You mean other than my own?" Gabor later claimed to have had a sexual encounter with her stepson, Nicky.

In 1970, Gabor purchased a 8,878-square-foot Hollywood Regency-style home in Bel Air, which once belonged to Elvis Presley. It was originally built by Howard Hughes and featured a unique-looking French style roof. In June 2011, it was announced that Gabor placed the house for sale as it had "gotten too big to manage" for her. Originally put up for sale for $15 million, it was reduced to $12.9 million, and then pulled from the market. In 2012, the house was listed for sale again, at $14.9 million.

Gabor's only child, a daughter named Constance Francesca Hilton, was born on March 10, 1947. According to Gabor's 1991 autobiography One Lifetime Is Not Enough, her pregnancy resulted from rape by then-husband Conrad Hilton. She was the only Gabor sister to have a child. In 2005, a lawsuit was filed accusing her daughter of larceny and fraud, alleging that she had forged her signature to get a US$2 million loan on her mother's Bel Air house. However, the Santa Monica Superior Court threw out the case due to Gabor's failure to appear in court or to sign an affidavit that she indeed was a co-plaintiff on the original lawsuit filed by her husband, Frédéric von Anhalt. Francesca Hilton died on January 5, 2015, at the age of 67 from a massive stroke.

On March 4, 2014, John Blanchette, Gabor's publicist for 30 years, died in Santa Monica.

On 11 April 2016, Gabor expressed her wishes to move back to Hungary during 2017 to live out the rest of her life there. Her husband stated that he was determined to make her wish come true and that he intended to arrange for "a big party in the summer" to celebrate the actress' 100th birthday, after which she would return to Budapest.

Legal difficulties

On June 14, 1989, in Beverly Hills, California, Gabor was accused of slapping the face of Beverly Hills police officer Paul Kramer when he stopped her for a traffic violation at 8551 Olympic Boulevard. On September 29, 1989, it was announced that a jury convicted the actress of slapping a police officer, driving without a license and possessing an open container of alcohol--a flask of Jack Daniels--in her $215,000 Rolls-Royce, but also acquitted her on charges of disobeying officer Kramer when she drove away from a routine traffic stop. On October 25, 1989, it was announced that Beverly Hills Municipal Judge Charles G. Rubin had sentenced Gabor to serve three days in jail, to pay fines and restitution totaling $12,937, to perform 120 hours of community service -- and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. On June 14, 1990, Gabor decided to drop her conviction appeal and agreed to serve her sentence. However, Gabor refused to take part in community service and served three days in jail between July 27 and July 30, 1990

Gabor also had a long-running feud with German-born actress Elke Sommer that began in 1984 when both appeared on Circus of the Stars and escalated into a multi-million dollar libel suit by 1993.

2009 financial problems

On January 25, 2009, the Associated Press reported that her attorney stated that forensic accountants determined that Gabor may have lost as much as $10 million invested in Bernie Madoff's company, possibly through a third-party money manager. Marcus Prinz von Anhalt, a German nightclub owner and adopted son of Gabor's husband, reportedly provided significant financial assistance to the couple.

Official records of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York reportedly do not list Gabor as a victim.


On November 28, 2002, Gabor was a front seat passenger in an automobile crash in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, from which she remained partially paralyzed and reliant on a wheelchair for mobility. She survived strokes in 2005 and 2007 and underwent surgeries. In 2010, she fractured her hip and underwent a successful hip replacement.

In August 2010, Gabor was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in serious condition and received last rites from a Catholic priest.

In 2011, her right leg was amputated above the knee to save her life from an infection. She was hospitalized again in 2011 for numerous emergencies.

On February 8, 2016, two days after her 99th birthday, Gabor was rushed to hospital after suffering from breathing difficulties. She was diagnosed with a feeding tube-related lung infection and was scheduled to undergo surgery to have her feeding tube removed.



Year Film Director Note
1952 Lovely to Look At LeRoy
We're Not Married! Goulding
Moulin Rouge Huston
The Million Dollar Nickel Ballbusch
1953 The Story of Three Loves Minelli
Lili Walters
L'ennemi public no. 1 (Public Enemy Number 1) Verneuil
1954 Sangre y luces (Love in a Hot Climate) Rouquier/Suey
Ball der Nationen Ritter
3 Ring Circus Pevney
1956 Death of a Scoundrel Martin
1957 The Girl in the Kremlin Birdwell
1958 The Man Who Wouldn't Talk Wilconx
Country Music Holiday Ganzer
Touch of Evil Welles
Queen of Outer Space Bernds
1959 For the First Time Mate
1960 La Contessa azzurra (The Blue Countess) Gora
Pepe Sidney
1962 Lykke og krone Helander/Saelen
The Road to Hong Kong Panama
Boys' Night Out Gordon
1966 Picture Mommy Dead Gordon
Drop Dead Darling Hughes
1967 Jack of Diamonds Taylor
1972 Up the Front Kiliett
1976 Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Winner
1978 Every Girl Should Have One Hyatt
1984 Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie Gold
1986 Charlie Barnett's Terms of Enrollment Frank Video
Smart Alec Wilson
1987 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Russell Cameo
Johann Strauß: Der König ohne Krone (Johann Strauss: The King Without a Crown) Antel
1991 The People vs Zsa Zsa Gabor Documentary
The Naked Gun 2.5: the Smell of Fear Zucker
1992 The Naked Truth Mastorakis
1993 Est & Quest: Les Paradis Perdus (East & West: Paradises Lose) Rival
Happily Ever After Blossom voice only
The Beverly Hillbillies Spheeris Cameo
1996 A Very Brady Sequel Sanford Cameo


Year Series Role Notes
1953 Jukebox Jury Musical Judge
1955 The Red Skelton Show Movie Star
Climax! Mme Florizel, Princess Stephanie
1956 The Milton Berle Show
Sneak Preview Sneak Preview
The Ford Television Theatre Dara Szabo
The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford Herself October 18, 1956
1956-1961 General Electric Theater Flora
1956-1958 Matinee Theatre Eugnenia
1957 The Life of Riley Gigi
What's My Line? Mystery guest August 18, 1957
Playhouse 90 Erika Segnitz, Marita Lorenz
The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom Herself
1958 Shower of Stars
1959 Lux Playhouse Helen
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Herself
1960 Ninotchka
Make Room for Daddy Lisa Laslow
1962 Mister Ed Herself
1963 The Dick Powell Show Girl
1963-1964 Burke's Law Anna, the Maid
1965 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Pilot
Gilligan's Island Erika Tiffany Smith
1966 Alice in Wonderland (or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?) The Queen of Hearts voice
The Rounders Ilona Hobson Episode "The Scavenger Hunt"
F Troop Marika
1967 Bonanza Madama Marova
1968 My Three Sons Herself
Rowan & Martin's Laugh In Herself
The Name of the Game Mira Retzyk
Batman Minerva
1969 Bracken's World Herself Cameo
1971 Mooch Goes to Hollywood Narrator Voice
Night Gallery Mrs. Moore
1976 Let's Make a Deal Home Viewer
1977 3 Girls 3
1979 Supertrain Audrey Episode "A Very Formal Heist"
1980 The Love Boat Annette
Hollywood, ich komme Stargast
1981 The Facts of Life Countess Valvet
As the World Turns Lydia Marlowe cast member
1982 Hart to Hart Jennifer Hart's aunt Renee
Matt Houston
1983 California Girls
1986 Charlie Barnett's Terms of Enrollment "Star Hungry" Celebrity Video
1988 Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
1989 It's Garry Shandling's Show Goddess of Commitment
1989 The Munsters Today Herself
1990 City Babette Croquette
1991 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Sonya Lamor
1994 Late Show with David Letterman Self Sketch


Gabor appeared in Forty Carats on Broadway, as well as in the national tour of Blithe Spirit (as Elvira).


  • Gabor, Zsa Zsa; Frank, Gerold (1960). Zsa Zsa Gábor: My Story. Cleveland, Ohio: World Pub. Co. OCLC 1069078.
  • —— (1970). How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. OCLC 92114.
  • ——; Leigh, Wendy (1991). One Lifetime Is Not Enough. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-29882-X.
  • Turtu, Anthony; Reuter, Donald F. (2001). Gaborabilia: An Illustrated Celebration of the Fabulous, Legendary Gabor Sisters. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80759-5.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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