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Zsa Zsa Gabor

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Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor - 1959.jpg
Gabor in 1959
Born Sári Gábor
(1917-02-06) February 6, 1917 (age 99)
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Occupation Actress, socialite
Years active 1934–1996
Spouse(s)
Children Francesca Hilton (1947–2015)
Parent(s) Jolie Gábor (mother)
Vilmos Gábor (father)
Relatives Magda Gabor (sister)
Eva Gabor (sister)
The native form of this personal name is Gábor Zsazsa. This article uses the Western name order.

Zsa Zsa Gabor (/ˈʒɑːʒɑː ˈɡɑːbɔːr, ɡəˈbɔːr/ ZHAH-zhah GAH-bor; born Sári Gábor; February 6, 1917) is a retired Hungarian-American actress and socialite.

Gabor began her stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936.[1] 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."[2] 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.[3]

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."[4]

Early life

Gabor was born February 6, 1917[5] in Budapest (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire)[5][6] as Sári Gábor (Gábor Sári in Hungarian order, pronounced [ˈɡaːbor ˈʃaːri]), the middle of three daughters born to Vilmos Gábor[7] (19 September 1881, Budapest[8] – 07 July 1962, Budapest[8]), a soldier, and Jolie Gabor (née Tilleman; 1896–1997).[9][10][11] She was reportedly named after Sári Fedák, a popular Hungarian entertainer.[12] Her elder sister, Magda, was a socialite, and her younger sister Eva, was an actress and businesswoman. Their parents were both from Jewish families.[13][14][15]

Gabor's mother, Jolie, was an aunt of Annette Lantos, the wife of Hungarian-born U.S. congressman and Holocaust survivor, Tom Lantos.[16][15] Jolie barely escaped Hungary after the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944,[15] crediting Magda's influential connections with rescuing her: "For Magda's Portuguese Ambassador [ Garrido ] I thank God. It was this man who saved my life."[17] 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.[17]

Dancing with director Nicholas Ray (1953)

Career

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. In 1936, she was crowned Miss Hungary. In 1944, she and a woman named Victoria Wolf wrote a novel that was bought by an American magazine. While fictional, it was partially derived from Zsa Zsa's own life experiences.[18] In 1949, she declined an offer to play the role of Lady Chatterley in a film version of the book Lady Chatterley's Lover due to its controversial theme.[19]

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."[20]

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."[21]

Personal life

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

Gabor arriving at a movie premiere in 1962

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."[30][31] When asked, "How many husbands have you had?", she was quoted as responding, "You mean other than my own?"[30] Gabor later claimed to have had a sexual encounter with her stepson, Nicky.[15]

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[32] 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.[33][34][35]

Gabor's only child, a daughter named Constance Francesca Hilton, was born on March 10, 1947.[23] 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.[15] 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.[36][37] Gabor′s husband has yet to tell her about her daughter′s death, fearing that this information could cause her own death.[38][39]

On March 4, 2014, John Blanchette, Gabor's publicist for 30 years, died in Santa Monica.[40]

Zsa Zsa helping out at the Denver Muscular Dystrophy TV Marathon, c. 1955

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.[38]

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.[41] 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 Daniel's--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.[42] 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.[43] On June 14, 1990, Gabor decided to drop her conviction appeal and agreed to serve her sentence.[44] However, Gabor refused to take part in community service and served three days in jail between July 27 and July 30, 1990[45]

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.[46]

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.[47] Marcus Prinz von Anhalt, a German nightclub owner and adopted son of Gabor's husband, reportedly provided significant financial assistance to the couple.[48]

Official records of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York reportedly do not list Gabor as a victim.[49]

Health

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.[50] In 2010, she fractured her hip and underwent a successful hip replacement.[51][52]

In August 2010, Gabor was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in serious condition and received last rites from a Catholic priest.[53][54]

In 2011, her right leg was amputated above the knee to save her life from an infection.[55] She was hospitalized again in 2011 for numerous emergencies.[56][57][58]

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.[59][60]

Filmography

Film

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

Television

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
1994 This Is Your Life Self Tribute

Plays

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

Bibliography

  • 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. 

See also

Gabor sisters

References

  1. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, p.271
  2. ^ Barris, George. Barris Cars of the Stars, MBI Publishing (2008), p. 71
  3. ^ Huston, John. John Huton: Interviews, Univ. Press of Mississippi (2001), pg. 11
  4. ^ "Love Hints from Zsa Zsa", Life Magazine, October 15, 1951 (cover story).
  5. ^ a b "The Secret Is Out: Zsa Zsa is 72". News Archive. November 3, 1989. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 for Zsa Zsa Gabor A3619 - Los Angeles, 1957-1964 063
    Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger & Crew Manifests of Airplanes Arriving at Los Angeles, California; NAI Number: 2788930; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2009; Record Group Number: 85
    Source Information, Ancestry.com. California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
    Original data: Selected Passenger and Crew Lists and Manifests. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  7. ^ His birth name was Farkas Miklós Grün, but he changed his surname in 1916 and his given name in 1917.
  8. ^ a b "The Original Surname of Zsa Zsa Gabor's Family". Nick Gombash. 
  9. ^ "The Hungarian-Jewish Family Tree of Zsa Zsa Gabor - Nick Gombash's Genealogy Blog". nickmgombash.blogspot.ro. 
  10. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ Jolie Gabor's date of birth was September 30, 1896, although most sources cite September 29, but September 30 date and her name at birth as "Janka" not "Jansci" are supported by her birth certificate.
  12. ^ Gerold Frank, "Zsa Zsa Gabor", Films in Review, January 1961, p. 48
  13. ^ "Reflecting on the life of Zsa Zsa Gabor". newyorksocialdiary.com. August 17, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Jews in the News: Bonni Tischler, Steven Spielberg and Vilmos Gabor - Tampa Jewish Federation". jewishtampa.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Bennetts, Leslie (September 6, 2007). "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau (January 1, 2007). "Tom Lantos: the master storyteller, communicator". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Adams, Cindy. Jolie Gabor, Mason/Charter Publ. (1975) pgs. 135–49, 173
  18. ^ Parsons, Louella (February 23, 1944). "Zsa Zsa Hilton". Waterloo Daily Courier. p. 8. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  19. ^ Parsons, Louella (November 28, 1949). "Snapshots of Hollywood". Cedar Rapids Gazette. p. 22. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Ghost", Life magazine, 29 June 1959, pgs. 129–39
  21. ^ Griffin, Merv. Merv: Making the Good Life Last, Simon & Schuster (2003), pg. 179, ISBN 0743456963
  22. ^ a b c Gabor, Zsa Zsa; Frank, Gerold. Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story, The World Publishing Company, 1960.
  23. ^ a b 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, October 5, 1947.
  24. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor Is Married Here to Corporation Head", The New York Times, November 6, 1962.
  25. ^ "Herbert L. Hutner, Arts Adviser, Is Dead at 99", The New York Times, December 19, 2008.
  26. ^ "Zsa Zsa Decides It's Time to Sell Beauty Formulas", The New York Times, January 29, 1969.
  27. ^ "Jack Ryan Dies at 65, Designer (sic) of Barbie Doll", The New York Times, August 21, 1991.
  28. ^ Gabor, Zsa Zsa (and Wendy Leigh). One Life is Not Enough (Delacorte Press, 1991), p. 311.
  29. ^ Current Biography Yearbook (H. W. Wilson Company, 1989), p.177.
  30. ^ a b "Zsa Zsa Gabor". 
  31. ^ "Xenophobe's guide to the Hungarians". Ovalbooks.com. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Gabor dispute heads to courtroom", BBC, June 4, 2005.
  33. ^ "Elvis Presley's old home owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor on market for $28 million", telegraph.co.uk; accessed February 13, 2014.
  34. ^ "The battle over Zsa Zsa Gabor's mansion", guardian.co.uk. June 27, 2011.
  35. ^ Miller, Daniel (May 25, 2012). "Zsa Zsa Gabor Lists Bel-Air Residence for Sale at $14.9 Million (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  36. ^ Duke, Alan (April 19, 2011). "Zsa Zsa Gabor to become new mother at 94, husband says". CNN. 
  37. ^ Oldeburg, Ann (January 6, 2015). "Francesa Hilton, Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter, dies". USA Today. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  38. ^ a b "Zsa Zsa Gabor: "I want to die in Hungary"". 17 April 2016. 
  39. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor - Facebook". 
  40. ^ Barnes, Mike (March 10, 2014). "Hollywood Publicist John Blanchette Dies at 68". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  41. ^ Mugshots.net Archived June 3, 2004, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on April 18, 2007
  42. ^ David Ferrell and Edmund Newton (September 30, 1989). "'I Can't Believe It,' She Says : Zsa Zsa Gabor Convicted of Slapping Police Officer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  43. ^ Los Angeles Times (October 25, 1989). "Beverly Hills Judge Slaps Zsa Zsa Gabor With 3 Days In Jail". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Gabor to Give Up Appeal of Slapping Conviction". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1990. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  45. ^ Zsa Zsa Gabor Fast Facts CNN.com accessed April 25, 2016
  46. ^ Pool, Bob. "$3.3 million libel award in Sommer-Gabor Feud", Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1993; accessed January 15, 2011.
  47. ^ "Gabor's Husband Says They Lost $10 Million Due to Madoff", The Times Online, January 26, 2009.
  48. ^ "Sein Adoptivsohn hilft ihm aus der Patsche" Archived March 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., princegermany.com, February 18, 2009. (German)
  49. ^ "Madoff Affidavit Exhibits" (PDF). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  50. ^ "Report on Zsa Zsa Gabor's health". Courant.com. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  51. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor hip surgery successful, her husband says". Los Angeles Times. July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  52. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (July 18, 2010). "Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized". USA Today. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  53. ^ Catholic Online. "Priest called to administer final rites to Zsa Zsa". catholic.org. 
  54. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor asks for 'last rites' from priest". cnn.com. 
  55. ^ "UCLA statement on Zsa Zsa Gabor's condition following today's surgery". UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  56. ^ "Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed to hospital again". CNN. May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  57. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor is unresponsive, hospitalized, husband says". CNN. May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  58. ^ Update re Zsa Zsa Gabor's health Archived August 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., October 9, 2010.
  59. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed to hospital two days after her 99th birthday". dailymail.co.uk. February 8, 2016. 
  60. ^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed to hospital for breathing issues". nydailynews.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 

External links