Gabor sisters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gabor sisters

The Gabor sisters were three Hungarian-American actresses/socialites: Magda (June 11, 1915 – June 6, 1997), Zsa Zsa (February 6, 1917 – December 18, 2016), and Eva (February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995). Born in Budapest, Hungary, the trio relocated to the United States in hopes of starting film careers.

Outside of their careers, they were each well known for their serial matrimony: Magda was married six times; Zsa Zsa nine times; and Eva five times. British actor George Sanders was first married to Zsa Zsa and later to Magda, though the latter marriage only lasted one month.


The Gabor sisters were born into a family of Hungarian-Jewish background, in Budapest, Hungary to parents Vilmos and Jolie Gabor. The family moved to New York in the wake of World War II. Magda had played a small role in a Hungarian film before the war, so Jolie and her three daughters moved to Hollywood to break into the film business. Eva was the first of the sisters to immigrate to the US, shortly after her first marriage, to a Swedish osteopath, Dr. Eric Drimmer, whom she married in 1937 when she was 18 years old.[1]

In 1953, Eva was given her own television talk show, The Eva Gabor Show, which ran for one season (1953–54). Both of her sisters appeared on the show in guest spots. From September 1965 through April 1971, Eva starred in the CBS sitcom Green Acres, which proved to be a ratings success.[2]

Zsa Zsa's only child, Francesca Hilton, was born on March 10, 1947, by then-husband Conrad Hilton. Zsa Zsa was the only Gabor sister to have a child. Francesca Hilton died on January 5, 2015, at the age of 67, from an apparent stroke or heart attack. She had no children.[3]

Widespread fame[edit]

The sisters were well-known socialites, with Eva and Zsa Zsa becoming notable for their acting and personality work. Both sisters had recurring roles on hit series such as Climax!, The Love Boat, and The Matinee Theater, at separate times, and appeared as themselves regularly on Hollywood Squares, The Dean Martin Show, and The Merv Griffin Show.[4][5] In his autobiography, television host Merv Griffin, who was known to spend time with Eva socially, wrote of the Gabor sisters' initial presence in New York and Los Angeles:

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.[6]


The youngest sister, Eva predeceased her elder sisters and her mother. Eva died in Los Angeles on July 4, 1995, from respiratory failure and pneumonia, following a fall in a bathtub in Mexico, where she had been on vacation.[7] Her funeral was held on July 11, 1995, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills.[8]

Their mother, Jolie, was apparently never told of Eva's death and died less than two years later, in Palm Springs, California, of natural causes on April 1, 1997, at age 100. The cause of death was declared as kidney failure.[9][10] Two months after Jolie's death, Magda died on June 6, 1997, five days before her 82nd birthday.[11]

Francesca Hilton, Zsa Zsa's daughter, died in 2015. Zsa Zsa was reportedly never told of her daughter's death.[12] Zsa Zsa died at the age of 99 of cardiac arrest while in a coma at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on December 18, 2016, 50 days shy of becoming a centenarian. The causes of death were given as "Cardiopulmonary arrest, Coronary Artery Disease, and Cerebral Vascular Disease".[13] She had been on life support for the previous five years.[14]

Appearances together[edit]

Year Title Magda[15] Zsa Zsa Eva Notes
1953 All Star Revue[16] Herself Herself Herself TV series; guest appearance
1953–1954 The Eva Gabor Show Guest Guest Host Television series
1955 The Colgate Comedy Hour Herself Herself Herself TV series; guest appearance
1974 V.I.P.-Schaukel Herself Herself Herself TV series; guest appearance
1975 Arsenic and Old Lace None Aunt Abby Aunt Martha Play in Chicago, Illinois[17]
1993 Hollywood Woman None Herself Herself TV series; Episode: "Glitz and Glamour"[18]
2005 Screen Goddess Herself Herself Herself Documentary


  • Brown, Peter H (1985). Such Devoted Sisters: Those Fabulous Gabors. New York, N.Y: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-77498-2.
  • Turtu, Anthony; Reuter, Donald F. (2001). Gaborabilia: An Illustrated Celebration of the Fabulous, Legendary Gabor Sisters. New York, N.Y: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80759-5.


  1. ^ Johnson, Irving (February 29, 1948). "Those Gabor Girls". San Antonio Light. p. 62. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  2. ^ "19 Marriages and an Overbearing Mother: The Glamorous Life of the Gabor Sisters". February 23, 2020.
  3. ^ Oldeburg, Ann (January 6, 2015). "Francesa Hilton, Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter, dies". USA Today. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Zsa Zsa Gabor on IMDb
  5. ^ Eva Gabor on IMDb
  6. ^ Griffin, Merv. Merv: Making the Good Life Last, Simon & Schuster (2003), pg. 179; ISBN 0743456963
  7. ^ "Eva Gabor, 74, the Actress; Youngest of Celebrated Sisters". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 5, 1995.
  8. ^ Gary Wayne (May 20, 1998). "Church of the Good Shepherd". Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). "Chapter 8: East L.A. and the Desert". Laid to Rest in California: a guide to the cemeteries and grave sites of the rich and famous. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. p. 238. ISBN 978-0762741014. OCLC 70284362.
  10. ^ Explorer's Guide
  11. ^ "Glamour and Goulash". Vanity Fair. July 2001.
  12. ^ Witchel, Alex (June 6, 1998). "The Lives They Lived: Jolie Gabor; Mother Dahling". The New York Times.
  13. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (December 18, 2016). "Zsa Zsa Gabor, Actress Famous for Her Glamour (and Her Marriages), Dies at 99". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  14. ^ Tim Gray (December 18, 2016). "Hollywood Legend Zsa Zsa Gabor Dies at 99". Variety. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Magda Gabor on IMDb
  16. ^ All Star Revue Season 4 - 1953
  17. ^ LA Times - Hollywood Star Walk
  18. ^ Hollywood Women – Episode: Glitz and Glamour (Aired December 2, 1993)