Zsa Zsa Gabor
|Zsa Zsa Gabor|
Publicity photo of Gabor, 1955
6 February 1917
Budapest, Austria-Hungary (present-day Budapest, Hungary)
|Spouse(s)||Burhan Aspaf Belge
Joshua S. Cosden, Jr.
Felipe de Alba
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt
|Relatives||Magda Gabor (sister)
Eva Gabor (sister)
She began her stage career in Vienna at age 15, 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 movie role was as supporting actress 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. Besides her film and television appearances, she 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
Born in Budapest (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), her birth name was Sári Gábor. She is the middle of three daughters born to Vilmos Gábor (1884–1962), a soldier, and Jolie Gábor (née Tilleman; died 1997). Gabor was named after Sári Fedák, a popular Hungarian actress. 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, wife of Hungarian-born U.S. congressman and Holocaust survivor, Tom Lantos. Jolie was of Jewish descent and barely escaped from Hungary after the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944. She credited Magda's lover with helping 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 a bombing raid.
Following studies at Madame Subilia's, a Swiss boarding school, Zsa Zsa Gabor was discovered by the tenor Richard Tauber on a trip to Vienna in 1936 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 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."
A biographical film is to be made on her life by Italian director Gabriela Tagliavini who claimed that Gabor "is a perfect celebrity to be the focus of a movie". According to Insider, Gabor is "an original. Her free spirit, eccentricity and wicked wit made her one of the most memorable celebrities of our time." Gabor's husband will reportedly be involved in the film's production.
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 (10 April 1942 – 1947; divorced)
- George Sanders (2 April 1949 – 2 April 1954; divorced)
- Herbert Hutner (5 November 1962 – 3 March 1966; divorced)
- Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (9 March 1966 – 18 October 1967; divorced)
- Jack Ryan (21 January 1975 – 24 August 1976; divorced)
- Michael O'Hara (27 August 1976 – 1983; divorced)
- Felipe de Alba (13 April 1983 – 14 April 1983; annulled)
- Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (14 August 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?"
In 1974, she purchased a home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California which once belonged to Elvis Presley. In June 2011, it was announced that Gabor placed the house for sale. It was originally built by Howard Hughes and featured a unique-looking French style roof.
Gabor's only child, a daughter named Constance Francesca Hilton, was born on 10 March 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 because of Gabor's refusal 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 Prinz von Anhalt.
In May 2011, Frederic von Anhalt admitted to Alan Duke on CNN that he had been limiting visits between Zsa Zsa and her daughter Francesca Hilton at Zsa Zsa's home. Hilton was banned from both the house and the hospital during Zsa Zsa's frequent visits to Reagan UCLA Medical Hospital. Hilton was given access to her mother for limited visits only after she conducted an interview with Duke on CNN in May 2011, revealing the limits von Anhalt set on her for seeing her mother, and limiting medical and psychological evaluations. In 2012, Francesca Hilton filed for conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court for the Court to investigate and rule on the visitation limits, and the lack of medical records and accountability of her mother's assets. On 11 July 2012 von Anhalt was ordered by the Court to become Conservator on a 6 month trial basis. Francesca Hilton won the loss of restrictions on seeing her mother, won monthly court ordered reports on her mother's medical and psychological care, asset records and an order that von Anhalt provide the Court with a $250,000 bond, a $100,000 checking account verification, and restrictions on refinancing his wife's home.
On 14 June 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. 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.
In 2002, Gabor was a passenger in an automobile crash in Los Angeles, from which she would remain partially paralyzed and reliant on a wheelchair for mobility. She survived strokes in 2005 and 2007 and underwent surgeries. In 2010, she fractured and underwent a successful hip replacement.
2009 financial problems
On 25 January 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 Bernard Madoff's company, possibly through a third-party money manager. Marcus Prinz von Anhalt, a German nightclub owner and adopted son of Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, reportedly provided significant financial assistance to the couple. Official New York Bankruptcy Court records reportedly do not list Gabor as a victim.
- Lovely to Look At (LeRoy, 1952)
- We're Not Married (Goulding, 1952)
- Moulin Rouge (Huston, 1952)
- The Million Dollar Nickel (1952) (short subject)
- The Story of Three Loves (Minnelli, 1953)
- Lili (Walters, 1953)
- L'ennemi public no.1 ("The Most Wanted Man") (Verneuil, 1953)
- Sangre y luces ("Love in a Hot Climate") (Rouquier/Suey, 1954)
- Ball der Nationen ("Ball of the Nations") (Ritter, 1954)
- 3 Ring Circus (Pevney, 1954)
- Death of a Scoundrel (Martin, 1956)
- The Girl in the Kremlin (Birdwell, 1957)
- The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (Wilcox, 1958)
- Country Music Holiday (Ganzer, 1958)
- Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958) (as a "guest star")
- Queen of Outer Space (Bernds, 1958)
- For the First Time (Maté, 1959)
- La contessa azzurra ("The Blue Countess") (Gora, 1960)
- Pepe (Sidney, 1960) (Cameo)
- Lykke og krone (Helander/Sælen, 1962) (documentary)
- The Road to Hong Kong (Panama, 1962) (unbilled cameo)
- Boys' Night Out (Gordon, 1962)
- Picture Mommy Dead (Gordon, 1966)
- Drop Dead Darling (1966)
- Arrivederci, Baby! (Hughes, 1966)
- Jack of Diamonds (Taylor, 1967) (cameo)
- Up the Front (Kellett, 1972)
- Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (Winner, 1976)
- Every Girl Should Have One (Hyatt, 1978)
- Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie (Gold, 1984)
- Charlie Barnett's Terms of Enrollment (1986)
- Smart Alec (Wilson, 1986)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Russell, 1987) (cameo)
- Johann Strauß: Der König ohne Krone ("Johann Strauss: The King Without a Crown") (Antel, 1987)
- "The People vs. Zsa Zsa Gabor" (1991) (documentary)
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (Zucker, 1991) (cameo)
- The Naked Truth (Mastorakis, 1992)
- Est & Ouest: Les paradis perdus ("East & West: Paradises Lost") (Rival, 1993)
- Happily Ever After (Blossom, 1993) (voice only)
- The Beverly Hillbillies (Spheeris, 1993) (cameo)
- A Very Brady Sequel (Sanford, 1996) (cameo)
- Jukebox Jury, as musical judge (1953)
- The Red Skelton Show (1955), as Movie Star
- Climax! (1955), as Mme. Florizel, Princess Stephanie
- The Milton Berle Show (1956)
- Sneak Preview (1956)
- The Ford Television Theatre (1956), as Dara Szabo
- The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford (October 18, 1956), as Herself
- General Electric Theater (1956–1961), as Gloria
- Matinee Theatre (1956–1958), as Eugenia
- The Life of Riley (1957), as Gigi
- Playhouse 90 (1957), as Erika Segnitz, Marta Lorenz
- The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as Herself
- Shower of Stars (1958)
- Lux Playhouse (1959), as Helen
- Queen of Outer Space (1959), with Eric Fleming
- Ninotchka (1960)
- Make Room for Daddy (1960), as Lisa Laslow
- Mr. Ed (1962), as herself
- The Dick Powell Show (1963), Girl
- Burke's Law (1963–1964), as Anna, the Maid
- Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1965), Pilot
- Gilligan's Island (1965), as Erika Tiffany Smith
- Alice in Wonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1966), as The Queen of Hearts (voice)
- The Rounders (1966), as Ilona Hobson in "The Scavenger Hunt"
- F Troop (1966), as Marika
- Bonanza (1967), as Madame Marova
- My Three Sons (1968), as herself
- Rowan and Martin's Laugh In (1968), as herself
- The Name of the Game (1968), as Mira Retzyk
- Batman (1968), as Minerva
- Bracken's World (1969), Cameo
- Mooch Goes to Hollywood (1971), as Narrator
- Night Gallery (1971), as Mrs. Moore
- Let's Make a Deal (1976) (playing for a home viewer)
- 3 Girls 3 (1977)
- Supertrain 1 episode "A Very Formal Heist" (1979), as Audrey
- The Love Boat (1980), as Annette
- Hollywood, ich komme (1980), as Stargast
- The Facts of Life (1981), as world-renowned beautician Countess Calvet
- As the World Turns (cast member in 1981), as Lydia Marlowe
- Matt Houston (1983)
- California Girls (1985)
- Charlie Barnett's Terms of Enrollment (1986)
- Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (1988)
- It's Garry Shandling's Show as goddess of commitment (1989)
- The Munsters Today (1989) as herself
- City (1990), as Babette Croquette
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991), as Sonya Lamor
- Late Show with David Letterman (1994), as herself in a sketch
- Zsa Zsa Gabor, My Story By Zsa Zsa Gabor with Gerold Frank, The World Publishing Company, 1960.
- How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, and How to Get Rid of a Man, by Zsa Zsa Gabor, Doubleday, 1970.
- One Lifetime Is Not Enough, by Zsa Zsa Gabor, assisted by and edited by Wendy Leigh, Delacorte Press, 1991. ISBN 0-385-29882-X
- Gaborabilia, by Anthony Turtu and Donald F Reuter, Three Rivers Press, 2001. ISBN 0-609-80759-5
- Hischak, Thomas S. The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, p.271
- Barris, George. Barris Cars of the Stars, MBI Publishing (2008), p. 71
- Huston, John. John Huton: Interviews, Univ. Press of Mississippi (2001) p. 11
- "Love Hints from Zsa Zsa", Life magazine, 15 October 1951, cover story
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor Film Reference biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- Gerold Frank, "Zsa Zsa Gabor", Films in Review, January 1961, p. 48
- Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau (2007-01-01). "Tom Lantos: the master storyteller, communicator". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- Bennetts, Leslie. "''Vanity Fair'' article on Zsa Zsa Gabor". Vanityfair.com. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- Bennetts, Leslie. "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World", Vanity Fair, 6 September 2007
- Adams, Cindy. Jolie Gabor, Mason/Charter Publ. (1975) pgs. 135-49, 173
- "Ghost", Life magazine, 29 June 1959, pgs. 129-39
- Griffin, Merv. Merv: Making the Good Life Last, Simon & Schuster (2003), pg. 179
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor: The Movie". Contactmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- Gabor, Zsa Zsa; Frank, Gerold. Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story, The World Publishing Company, 1960.
- Feinberg, Alexander. "Bandit Gets $600,000 Gems in Raid on Penthouse Home: Mrs. Sari Hilton, Hotel Chain Owner's Wife, Reveals Hiding Place of Jewel Box After Intruder Threatens to Shoot Baby", The New York Times, 5 October 1947.
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor Is Married Here to Corporation Head", The New York Times, 6 November 1962.
- "Herbert L. Hutner, Arts Adviser, Is Dead at 99", The New York Times, 19 December 2008.
- "Zsa Zsa Decides It's Time to Sell Beauty Formulas", The New York Times, 29 January 1969.
- "Jack Ryan Dies at 65, Designer (sic) of Barbie Doll", The New York Times, 21 August 1991.
- Gabor, Zsa Zsa (and Wendy Leigh). One Life is Not Enough (Delacorte Press, 1991), p. 311.
- Current Biography Yearbook (H. W. Wilson Company, 1989), p.177.
- IMDb biodata
- "Xenophobe's guide to the Hungarians". Ovalbooks.com. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- Bennetts, Leslie (6 September 2007). "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World". Vanity Fair. p. 2. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- "Elvis Presley's old home owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor on market for $28 million". Telegraph. 20 January 2011.
- "The battle over Zsa Zsa Gabor's mansion". Guardian. June 2011
- "Gabor dispute heads to courtroom", BBC, 4 June 2005.
- "Zsa Zsa says daughter stole $2m"[dead link]
- Mugshots.net Retrieved on 18 April 2007
- Pool, Bob. $3.3-Million Libel Award in Sommer-Gabor Feud, Los Angeles Times, 9 December 1993. Accessed 15 January 2011.
- "Report on Zsa Zsa Gabor's health". Courant.com. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor hip surgery successful, her husband says". Los Angeles Times. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- Oldenburg, Ann (18 July 2010). "Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized". USA Today. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- "UCLA statement on Zsa Zsa Gabor’s condition following today's surgery". UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- "Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed to hospital again". CNN. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Zsa Zsa Gabor is unresponsive, hospitalized, husband says". CNN. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Update re Zsa Zsa Gabor's health, 9 October 2010
- CNBC report on financial losses due to Bernie Madoff[dead link]
- "Gabor's Husband Says They Lost $10 Million Due to Madoff", The Times Online, 26 January 2009.
- "Sein Adoptivsohn hilft ihm aus der Patsche" Freizeitwoche, 18 February 2009 (German)
- "Madoff Affidavit Exhibits" (PDF). Wall Street Journal. March 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
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