Magda Gabor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The native form of this personal name is Gábor Magdolna. This article uses the Western name order.
Magda Gabor
Born Gábor Magdolna
(1915-06-11)June 11, 1915
Budapest, Austria-Hungary (present-day Budapest, Hungary)
Died June 6, 1997(1997-06-06) (aged 81)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Cause of death Renal failure
Resting place Desert Memorial Park
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Actress, socialite
Years active 1937–1991
  • Jan Bychowski
    (m. 1937–44; his death)
  • William Rankin
    (m. 1946; div. 1947)
  • Sidney Robert Warren
    (m. 1947; div. 1950)
  • Tony Gallucci
    (m. 1957–67; his death)
  • George Sanders
    (m. 1970; ann. 1971)
  • Tibor Heltai
    (m. 1972; div. 1973)
Parent(s) Jolie and Vilmos Gábor
Relatives Zsa Zsa Gabor (sister)
Eva Gabor (sister)
Constance Francesca Hilton (niece)

Magdolna "Magda" Gabor (June 11, 1915 – June 6, 1997)[1] was a Hungarian-born actress and socialite, and the elder sister of Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor.


The eldest daughter of a jeweler, Jolie (1896–1997),[2] and a soldier, Vilmos Gábor (1881-1962), she was born in 1915 in Budapest.[3] Her parents were both from Jewish families.[4][5][6] She is listed in Hungary: Jewish Names from the Central Zionist Archives, under her first married name, as Magda Bychowsky.[7] She stood 5'6" tall with red hair and gray eyes.[8]

During World War II, Gabor was reported to have been the fiancée of the Portuguese ambassador to Hungary, Carlos Sampaio Garrido;[9] another source claims she was his mistress and another claims she was his aide.[10][11][12] After she fled to Portugal in 1944, following the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and, with Sampaio's assistance, she was reportedly the mistress of a Spanish nobleman, José Luis de Vilallonga.[13] Gabor arrived in the United States in February 1946, from Natal, Brazil. Within a year of her arrival she married an American citizen, William Rankin, and remained in the country.[7]


Gabor married six times. She was widowed twice, divorced three times, and one marriage was annulled. All the unions were childless. Her husbands, in chronological order, were:

  • Jan Bychowsky (m. 1937–1944; his death), a reputed Polish count and RAF pilot. Gabor gave her name as Magda de Bychowsky and her marital status as divorced[why?] on a February 11, 1946 airline passenger manifest, accessed on, December 30, 2011; according to this form, she had left her city of residence (Lisbon, Portugal), where she lived at 17 Buenos Aires, and arrived in New York City to visit her family.
  • William M. Rankin (m. 1946–August 11, 1947; divorced) an American playwright and screenwriter (The Harvey Girls, among other films); they divorced in Los Angeles in 1947. He was born on March 31, 1900 and died in March 1966.[14]
  • Sidney Robert Warren (M July 14, 1949–1950; divorced) an attorney. They married in Riverhead, Long Island, New York in 1949, and divorced the following year.[15]
  • Tony Gallucci (m. April 1, 1957–1967; his death), president of Samuel Gallucci & Son, "one of the oldest building contracting concerns in the United States".[16][17][18] They wed in Franklin, New Jersey. He died of cancer in 1967.[19]
  • George Sanders (m. December 4, 1970–February 1971; annulled) a British actor, who had previously been married to Zsa Zsa Gabor. They married in Riverside, California[20]
  • Tibor R. Heltai (August 5, 1972 – 1975; divorced) an economic consultant who became a real-estate broker. They married in Southampton, New York in 1972, separated in June 1973 and divorced two years later in 1975.[20]


More than three decades after suffering an incapacitating stroke, Magda Gabor died on June 6, 1997, five days before her 82nd birthday, from renal failure, two months after the death of her mother,[21] and was interred in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[22][23]


See also[edit]


  • Anthony Turtu and Donald F. Reuter Gaborabilia, Three Rivers Press, 2001; ISBN 0-609-80759-5


  1. ^ The birth year of 1915 is cited in Hungary: Jewish Names from the Central Zionist Archives, an online database (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008) and accessed on on December 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Jolie Gabor's 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)
  3. ^ Hungary: Jewish Names from the Central Zionist Archives, an online database (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008)
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b The online database is based in Provo, Utah: The Generations Network, Inc. (2008); information accessed at on December 30, 2011.
  8. ^ Gabor's physical attributes are stated on a February 11, 1946 airline passenger manifest, also accessed at on December 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Dr. Carlos Almeida Afonseca de Sampaio Garrido
  10. ^ Relationship with Dr. Carlos Almeida Afonseca de Sampaio Garrido cited in "The Most Wives Club" article in Palm Springs Life (1996)
  11. ^ Relationship with Dr. Carlo de Sampaio Garrido referenced during an interview with Magda's sister, Zsa Zsa, as cited in Vanity Fair
  12. ^ Zsa Zsa Gábor: my story, written for me by Gerold Frank (World Publishing Co., 1960), p. 161.
  13. ^ Paul Preston, Doves of War: Four Women of Spain (UPNE, 2002), p. 106.
  14. ^ "The Billboard", August 23, 1947, p. 53.
  15. ^ "Mrs. Magda Gabor Married", The New York Times, July 15, 1949
  16. ^ "Arthur Gallucci, Contractor Here; Chief of Building Concern, Active in Charities, Dies", The New York Times, January 24, 1967.
  17. ^ "Magda Gabor Weds in Jersey", The New York Times, April 2, 1956.
  18. ^ Jolie Gabor, with Cindy Adams, Jolie Gabor (Mason/Charter, 1975)
  19. ^ "Arthur Gallucci, Contractor Here—Chief of Building Concern, Active in Charities, Dies", The New York Times, January 24, 1967
  20. ^ a b "Notes on People", The New York Times, February 19, 1975.
  21. ^ "Glamour and Goulash". Vanity Fair. July 2001. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ Magda Gabor at Find a Grave

External links[edit]