Eva Gabor

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The native form of this personal name is Gábor Éva. This article uses the Western name order.
Eva Gabor
Eva Gabor.jpg
Born (1919-02-11)February 11, 1919
Budapest, Hungary
Died July 4, 1995(1995-07-04) (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Respiratory failure, pneumonia
Other names Éva Gábor
Occupation Actress, businesswoman, socialite
Years active 1941-1994
Spouse(s) Eric Valdemar Drimmer
Charles Isaacs
John Elbert Williams
Richard Brown
Frank Gard Jameson, Sr.
Relatives Zsa Zsa Gabor (sister,1917-)
Magda Gabor (sister,1915-1997)

Eva Gabor (February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995) was a Hungarian-born American socialite and actress. She was widely known for her role on the 1965 to 1971 television sitcom Green Acres as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas. She voiced "Duchess" in the 1970 Disney film The Aristocats, and Miss Bianca in Disney’s The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. Gabor was successful as an actress in film, on Broadway and on television. She was also a successful businessperson, marketing wigs, clothing, and beauty products. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.

Early life and career[edit]

Gabor was Born in Budapest to a Hungarian Jewish mother and a Hungarian father, Eva Gabor was the youngest of three daughters of Vilmos Gábor (1884–1962), a soldier, and his wife Jolie (1896–1997),[1] a jeweler.[2] She was the first of the sisters to emigrate to the United States, with her first husband, a Swedish osteopath, Dr. Eric V. Drimmer, in 1939, shortly after they married in London. Her first movie role was in the United States in Forced Landing at Paramount Pictures. She acted in movies and onstage throughout the 1950s.

During the 1950s, she appeared in several “A”-movies, including The Last Time I Saw Paris, starring Elizabeth Taylor; and Artists and Models, which featured Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. These roles were again bit parts. In 1953, she was given her own television talk show, The Eva Gabor Show, which ran for one season (1953–54). Through the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, she appeared on television and in movies. She appeared in one episode of the mystery series Justice, and was on the game show What's My Line? as the "mystery challenger". Her film appearances during this era included a remake of My Man Godfrey, Gigi, and It Started with a Kiss.[citation needed]

In a 2007 article in Vanity Fair, Gabor was called, "A game performer with a wholesome, even cheerful sensuality that can undercut the Continental sophistication that was supposedly her calling card—she can come across like Sally Field doing a party impression of Marlene Dietrich. You can see the effort. She was probably at her best on television in Green Acres, playing a cross between Gracie Allen and herself."[3]

Green Acres[edit]

In 1965, Gabor began the role for which she is best-remembered, Lisa Douglas, whose attorney husband (Oliver Wendell Douglas, played by Eddie Albert) decides to leave the city. They buy and run a farm in a rural community, forcing Lisa to leave her beloved New York City, in the Paul Henning sitcom Green Acres, which aired on CBS. Green Acres was set in Hooterville, the same backdrop for Petticoat Junction (1963–1970), and would occasionally cross over with its sister sitcom. Despite proving to be a ratings hit, staying in the top twenty for its first four seasons, Green Acres, along with another sister show, The Beverly Hillbillies, was cancelled in 1971 in the CBS network's infamous "rural purge" — an attempt to attract a younger viewer demographic, as most viewers of the series were at least 40 years old.[citation needed]

Later years[edit]

Gabor later did voice-over work for Disney movies, providing the European-accented voices of Duchess in The Aristocats, Miss Bianca in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under, and the Queen of Time in the Sanrio film Nutcracker Fantasy. She was a panelist on the Gene Rayburn-hosted Match Game. From 1983–84, she was on Hollywood Squares. She reunited with Albert on Broadway as Olga in You Can't Take It with You. In 1990, Gabor attempted a TV series comeback in the CBS sitcom pilot Close Encounters, in which she played the successful owner of a video dating service; the pilot aired as a special that summer, but it did not make it to series.

Gabor toured post-communist Hungary on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous after a forty-year absence.[citation needed]

Eva was a staunch Republican[4].


In 1972, Gabor launched her eponymous fashion collection, with Luis Estevez, a Cuban-born, Coty-award-winning fashion designer.[5][6][7]


Eva Gabor was married five times:

  • Eric Valdemar Drimmer, a Swedish-born masseur turned osteopath and psychologist. They wed in London in June 1939, and divorced in Los Angeles, California, on February 25, 1942 (the divorce was finalized on March 6); Gabor claimed cruelty, saying, "I wanted to have babies and lead a simple family life but my husband objected to my having children".[8] The marriage was childless.
  • Charles Isaacs, an American investment broker.[9] They married on September 27, 1943, and were divorced on April 2, 1949. The marriage was childless.
  • John Elbert Williams, M.D., a plastic surgeon.[10] They married on April 8, 1956 and were divorced on March 20, 1957.[11] The marriage was childless.
  • Richard Brown, a textile manufacturer, who later became a writer and director.[12][13] They married at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 4, 1959, and divorced in Santa Monica, California, in June 1973.[12][14] The marriage was childless.
  • Frank Gard Jameson, Sr., an aerospace executive and former vice president of Rockwell International.[15] They married in the Vivien Webb Chapel of The Webb School, Claremont, California on September 21, 1973. The couple divorced in 1983.[16] The marriage was childless but Gabor became a stepmother to Jameson's four children.[17]


Gabor died in Los Angeles on July 4, 1995, from respiratory failure and pneumonia, following a fall in the bathtub in Mexico, where she had been on vacation.[18]

The youngest sister, Eva predeceased her elder sisters and her mother. Sister Magda and mother Jolie Gabor both died two years later, in 1997. As of 2015, Zsa Zsa is still alive.


Eva Gabor's grave

Gábor is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. She is buried just yards from TV husband ("Green Acres") Eddie Albert, who died on May 26, 2005, at age 99.

Stage work[edit]

Opening Date Closing Date Title Role Theatre
January 24, 1950 July 14, 1951 The Happy Time Mignonette Plymouth
March 26, 1956 March 31, 1956 Little Glass Clock Gabrielle John Golden
January 31, 1958 February 8, 1958 Present Laughter Joanna Lyppiatt Belasco
March 18, 1963 November 9, 1963 Tovarich Tatiana
(succeeded Vivien Leigh October 21)
Winter Garden
April 4, 1983 January 1, 1984 You Can't Take It with You Olga
(succeeded Colleen Dewhurst)

Select filmography[edit]

Television work[edit]


See also[edit]


  • Orchids & Salami, by Eva Gabor, Doubleday, 1954
  • Gaborabilia, by Anthony Turtu and Donald F. Reuter, Three Rivers Press, 2001; ISBN 0-609-80759-5


  1. ^ Date of birth was 30 September 1896, although most sources cite 29 September, but the 30 September date and her name at birth as "Janka" not "Jansci" are supported by her birth certificate (see image)
  2. ^ Jewish descent cited in Vanity Fair
  3. ^ Online Vanity Fair article about Eva Gabor
  4. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=F8fWKZQDflgC&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=Eva+Gabor+Republican&source=bl&ots=jZYmWlMGhy&sig=OQQr8mnWsDOSjVAdqypkbbyZmhY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pUxfVf7QGcqayASNhYHgCg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Eva%20Gabor%20Republican&f=false
  5. ^ Marian Christy, "Mama Gabor: Ageless Mother of 3", Newport Daily News, February 17, 1975.
  6. ^ Launch date cited in McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion by Colin McDowell (F. Muller, 1984)
  7. ^ Profile at americanhistory.si.edu
  8. ^ "Eva Gabor Obtains Divorce", The New York Times, February 25, 1945
  9. ^ "Eva Gabor in Hospital", The New York Times, December 2, 1946
  10. ^ Plastic Surgeon memoirs website
  11. ^ "Eva Gabor Wed to Surgeon", The New York Times, April 9, 1956
  12. ^ a b Eva Gabor Wed in Las Vegas", The New York Times, October 5, 1959
  13. ^ Brown's later career was described in "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  14. ^ "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  15. ^ Notice of death of Frank Gard Jameson, Sr., May 18, 1993; accessed December 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "Notes on People", The New York Times, September 22, 1973
  17. ^ Los Angeles Times website covering Gabor's marriage to Frank Jameson
  18. ^ New York Times Archives, "Eva Gabor, 74, (sic) the Actress; Youngest of Celebrated Sisters", 5 July 1995
  19. ^ "What's My Line?: EPISODE #389". TV.com. 

External links[edit]