The Hungarian-American actress and socialite who lived a glamorous jet-set lifestyle and essentially created a new kind of fame, has died aged 99.
Born Sari Gabor, she was the middle child of three daughters who came to America in 1941. Becoming a sought-after actress due to her ‘European flair and style’, Gabor had roles in Moulin Rogue and We’re Not Married! amongst others.
Her husband of thirty years, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, announced the news of her death on Sunday night. The actress passed away in her Bel-Air home from a heart attack.
Gabor had suffered with bad health for several years. In 2010 she had a fall in her home that resulted in a broken hip and was already in a wheelchair following a car accident in 2002 as well as suffering from a stroke in 2005.
The original celebrity said to have been famous simply for just being famous, was the great aunt of Paris Hilton and a matriarch to the Kardashians.
Cultural historian Neal Gabler said when talking about Gabor:
“When she first came to fame in the early 1950s, Zsa Zsa wasn’t an actress or a singer or a dancer or an entertainer of any sort. She was the beautiful wife of actor George Sanders who happened to appear on a quiz show dispensing offhanded advice to lovelorn viewers. By being herself she became such a success that she immediately landed movie roles.”
Zsa Zsa’s success helped her to live the life she soon became known for – a typically extravagant Hollywood lifestyle.
All of the Gabor sisters were known for their numerous marriages, but Zsa Zsa trumped the others.
Whilst Magda married six times and Eva five times, throughout her years, Zsa Zsa married eight times – nine if you include a ceremony that was annulled and may not have been legal.
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 not in every case.”