The following biography
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Zsa Zsa Gabor /ˈʒɑːʒɑː
(Hungarian: Gábor Zsazsa [ˈɡaːbɔr
born February 6, 1917) is a Hungarian-born American stage, film and
She acted on stage in Vienna,
Austria, in 1932, 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
Born Sári Gábor
February 6, 1917 (1917-02-06) (age
(present-day Budapest, Hungary)
Nationality Hungarian American
Occupation Actress, socialite
Years active 1936–1997
Spouse Burhan Asaf Belge
Joshua S. Cosden, Jr.
Felipe de Alba
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt
Children Francesca Hilton (b. 1947)
Parents Vilmos and Jolie Gabor
Relatives Magda Gabor, Eva Gabor
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
(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 credits Magda's
lover for 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, 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
Television host Merv Griffin, in
his autobiography, 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 biopic 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 (April 10, 1942 – 1947)
George Sanders (April 2, 1949 – April 2,
Herbert Hutner (November 5, 1962 – March 3,
Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (March 9, 1966 –
October 18, 1967) (divorced)
Jack Ryan (January 21, 1975 – August 24,
Michael O'Hara (August 27, 1976 – 1983)
Felipe de Alba (April 13, 1983 – April 14,
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 –
Gabor's high number of 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 [or 'apart from'] my
While Gabor was still married to
Conrad Hilton, she once admitted to having sexual relations with her stepson
Nicky, future husband of Elizabeth Taylor.
In 1974, she purchased a home in
Bel Air, Los Angeles, California which once belonged to Elvis Presley.[citation
needed] 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 March 10, 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, Gabor accused her daughter of larceny and fraud, alleging
that she had forged her signature to get a $2 million loan on her mother's Bel
Air house, and filed a lawsuit against Francesca in a California court. However,
the Santa Monica Superior Court threw out the case due to 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.
Gabor said in a November 27, 1991,
interview with David Letterman that she is a Democrat.
In 2002, Gabor was a passenger in
an automobile crash in Los Angeles, from which she would remain partially
paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. She suffered strokes in 2005 and 2007 and
underwent surgeries. In 2010, Gabor fractured and underwent a successful hip
replacement. In 2011, her right leg was amputated above the knee to save
her life due to an infection. She was hospitalized again during 2011 for
On June 14, 1989, in Beverly Hills,
California Gabor was accused of slapping the face of a police officer named Paul
Kramer when he stopped her for a traffic violation. She poked fun at her
role in the incident in various cameo appearances, most notably in the 1991
comedy The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, where she swats the police siren at
the end of the opening credits shouting, "This happens every f*cking time I go
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
Financial problems (2009)
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 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. However,
official New York Bankruptcy Court records reportedly do not show Gabor as a
Lovely to Look At (LeRoy, 1952)
We're Not Married (Goulding, 1952)
Moulin Rouge (Huston, 1952)
The Million Dollar Nickel (1952)
The Story of Three Loves (Minnelli,
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,
The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (Wilcox,
Country Music Holiday (Ganzer,
Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958) (as a
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,
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)
Up the Front (Kellett, 1972)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved
Hollywood (Winner, 1976)
Every Girl Should Have One (Hyatt,
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Charlie Barnett's Terms of
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"
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)
The Beverly Hillbillies (Spheeris,
A Very Brady Sequel (Sanford, 1996)
Jukebox Jury, as musical judge
The Red Skelton Show (1955), as
Climax! (1955), as Mme. Florizel,
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
The Life of Riley (1957), as Gigi
Playhouse 90 (1957), as Erika
Segnitz, Marta Lorenz
The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as
Shower of Stars (1958)
Lux Playhouse (1959), as Helen
Queen of Outer Space (1959), with
Make Room for Daddy (1960), as Lisa
Mr. Ed (1962), as herself
The Dick Powell Show (1963), Girl
Burke's Law (1963–1964), as Anna,
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler
Theatre (1965), Pilot
Gilligan's Island (1965), as Erika
Alice in Wonderland or What's a
Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1966), as The Queen of Hearts
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),
The Name of the Game (1968), as
Batman (1968), as Minerva
Bracken's World (1969), Cameo
Mooch Goes to Hollywood (1971), as
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
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
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas
It's Garry Shandling's Show as
goddess of commitment (1989)
The Munsters Today (1989) as
City (1990), as Babette Croquette
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991),
as Sonya Lamor
The Late Show with David Letterman
(1994), as herself in a sketch
Gabor appeared in several plays,
most notably Forty Carats, on Broadway, and Blithe Spirit (as Elvira), in the
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
Gaborabilia, by Anthony Turtu and
Donald F Reuter, Three Rivers Press, 2001. ISBN 0-609-80759-5
1.^ Hischak, Thomas S. The Oxford
Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television, Oxford Univ.
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) p. 11
4.^ "Love Hints from Zsa Zsa", Life
magazine, Oct. 15, 1951, cover story
5.^ Zsa Zsa Gabor Film Reference
6.^ Gerold Frank, "Zsa Zsa Gabor",
Films in Review, January 1961, page 48
7.^ Tom Lantos: the master
8.^ Vanity Fair article on Zsa Zsa
9.^ Bennetts, Leslie. "It's a Mad,
Mad, Zsa Zsa World", Vanity Fair, September 6, 2007
10.^ a b Adams, Cindy. Jolie Gabor,
Mason/Charter Publ. (1975) pgs. 135-49, 173
11.^ "Ghost", Life magazine, June
29, 1959, pgs. 129-39
12.^ Griffin, Merv. Merv: Making
the Good Life Last, Simon & Schuster (2003), pg. 179
13.^ a b c
14.^ a b c Gabor, Zsa Zsa; Frank,
Gerold. Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story, The World Publishing Company, 1960.
15.^ 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, 5 October 1947.
16.^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor Is Married Here
to Corporation Head, The New York Times, 6 November 1962.
17.^ "Herbert L. Hutner, Arts
Adviser, Is Dead at 99", The New York Times, 19 December 2008.
18.^ "Zsa Zsa Decides It's Time to
Sell Beauty Formulas", The New York Times, 29 January 1969.
19.^ "Jack Ryan Dies at 65,
Designer of Barbie Doll", The New York Times, 21 August 1991.
20.^ Gabor, Zsa Zsa; Leigh, Wendy.
One Life is Not Enough (Delacorte Press, 1991), p.311.
21.^ Current Biography Yearbook (H.
W. Wilson Company, 1989), p.177.
22.^ a b
23.^ "Xenophobe's guide to the
Hungarians". Ovalbooks.com. http://www.ovalbooks.com/xeno/Hungarians.html.
24.^ a b Bennetts, Leslie (6
September 2007). "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World". Vanity Fair. p. 2.
Retrieved 30 March 2011.
25.^ "Gabor dispute heads to
courtroom", BBC, 4 June 2005.
26.^ "Zsa Zsa says daughter stole
27.^ Report on Zsa Zsa Gabor's
28.^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor hip surgery
successful, her husband says". Los Angeles Times. July 19, 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2010/07/zsa-zsa-gabor-hip-replacement-surgery.html.
Retrieved July 19, 2010.
29.^ Oldenburg, Ann (July 18,
2010). "Zsa Zsa Gabor hospitalized". USA Today. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2010/07/zsa-zsa-gabor-hospitalized/1.
Retrieved July 18, 2010.
30.^ "UCLA statement on Zsa Zsa
Gabor’s condition following today's surgery". UCLA Health Sciences Media
Retrieved January 14, 2011.
31.^ "Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed
to hospital again". CNN.com. May 18, 2011. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/18/gabor.hospitalized/index.html?hpt=T2.
Retrieved May 18, 2011.
32.^ "Zsa Zsa Gabor is
unresponsive, hospitalized, husband says". CNN.com. May 19, 2011. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/celebrity.news.gossip/05/18/zsa.zsa.gabor.health/index.html?hpt=T2.
Retrieved May 19, 2011.
33.^ Update re Zsa Zsa Gabor's
health, October 9, 2010
34.^ Mugshots.net Retrieved on
35.^ Pool, Bob. $3.3-Million Libel
Award in Sommer-Gabor Feud, Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1993. Accessed
January 15, 2011
36.^ CNBC report on financial
losses due to Bernie Madoff
37.^ "Gabor's Husband Says They
Lost $10 Million Due to Madoff", The Times Online, January 26, 2009.
38.^ "Sein Adoptivsohn hilft ihm
aus der Patsche" Freizeitwoche, February 18, 2009 (German)
39.^ "Madoff Affidavit Exhibits"
(PDF). Wall Street Journal. March 2009. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/madoffclientlist020409.pdf.
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