“I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Zsa Zsa Gabor Biography
Sári Gábor, later known as Zsa Zsa was born on 6 February 1917 in Budapest, Hungary. She was the daughter of a soldier called Vilmos Gábor and Janka Tilleman, known as Jolie and had two sisters, one who was older called Magda, who was a socialite, and one who was younger called Eva, who was a business woman and an actress.
Zsa Zsa studied at a Swiss boarding school called Madame Subilia’s. Some time later, during a trip to Vienna, she was invited to sing the soubrette role in a new operetta called The Singing Dream by the tenor Richard Tauber. This was in 1934. Only two years later, Zsa Zsa was crowned Miss Hungary.
Both sides of the family were of Jewish descent and Jolie was fortunate enough to leave Hungary as the Nazis took control of Budapest in 1944. She credited the family’s good fortune to the connections Magda had made, one of which was Carlos Sampaio Garrido, a Portuguese diplomat, who whilst serving as Portugal’s ambassador in Budapest, arranged to rescue over 1000 Jews from Hungary. During the same year, she co-authored a novel with Victoria Wolf. The novel was a work of fiction, but it was heavily influenced by Zsa Zsa Gabor’s life experiences.
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s movie career began in 1952 with three movies, Lovely to Look At, We’re Not Married, and Moulin Rouge. However, it could have started earlier than this were it not for the fact that she turned down an offer to play Lady Chatterley’s Lover, due to the controversial subject matter. Over the next forty plus years, Zsa Zsa played a huge mix of parts, including as herself, on both television and in the movies. She also could never be accused of being typecast either as she played all sorts of different roles in movies as diverse as Touch of Evil from 1958, Queen of Outer Space in 1958, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Her final movie was A Very Brady Sequel in 1996.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was married nine times and in her autobiography, she wrote “All in all – I love being married. I love the companionship, I love cooking for a man (simple things like chicken soup and my special Dracula’s goulash from Hungary), and spending all my time with a man. Of course, I love being in love – but it is marriage that really fulfils me. But no in every case.”
Her first husband was Burhan Asaf Belg, a Turkish politician who she married in 1937. They were divorced in 1941. Her second husband was Conrad Hilton who change her name from Zsa Zsa to Georgia, signifying to her that she was his property and that her Hungarian background meant nothing. They were married in 1942 and divorced in 1947. Husband number three was George Sanders who she married in 1949 and divorced in 1954. Herbert Hutner and American private investment banker came next in 1962. They were divorced in 1966. Zsa Zsa married Joshua S. Cosden Jnr in March 1966, but by October the following year, they were divorced. Gabor’s sixth husband was Jack Ryan who she married in January 1975. He too would not last long. They were divorced in August 1976. Michael O’Hara was husband number seven, who Zsa Zsa married in August 1976 but divorced in 1983. She married Felipe de Alba in the same year but that marriage was annulled. Finally, she met someone she decided to stay married to. Husband number nine. His name was Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, a German-American entrepreneur who inherited his name after paying Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt to adopt him. He and Zsa Zsa were married on 14 August 1986 and remained married until Zsa Zsa’s death in December 2016.
Through all her marriages, Zsa Zsa Gabor had only one child, a daughter called Constance Francesca Hilton who was born on 10 March 1947. According to Zsa Zsa, in her 1991 autobiography, her pregnancy was the result of rape, by her then-husband Conrad Hilton. Francesca died at the age of 67 from a stroke in 2015. Her husband didn’t tell Zsa Zsa of Francesca’s death out of concern for her state of health.
In early 2016, Zsa Zsa Gabor announced intentions to move back to Hungary to live the rest of her life there. Plans were being made by her husband to make the move happen in 2017, but sadly they never would come to fruition.
On 28 November 2002, She was involved in an automobile accident in Los Angeles in a vehicle in which she was the front seat passenger. The accident left her relying on a wheelchair to get around. From 2005 onwards she suffered from a number of different health issues and on 18 December 2016 Zsa Zsa Gabor died of a heart attack at her home in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, only two months before what would have been her 100th birthday.