Zsa Zsa Gabor (born February 6, 1917), also known as Sári Prinzessin
von Anhalt, is a Hungarian actress, socialite and former beauty queen.
Zsa Zsa was born as Sári Gábor (reportedly named after a famed Hungarian actress, Sári Fedák, in Budapest (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), the middle daughter of Vilmos Gábor, a soldier, and Jolie Gábor. Her sisters, Magda and Eva, also became actresses and socialites. Their mother, Jolie (née Jancsi Tilleman), was of Jewish descent, and was related to Annette Tilleman, the wife of California politician Tom Lantos.
Following studies at a Swiss boarding-school, Madame Subilia's, Gabor competed in the Miss Hungary beauty contest in 1936, but was disqualified for being underage (according to her mother's biography). On a trip to Vienna in the same year, she was discovered by the famous tenor Richard Tauber 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. Gabor reportedly had a romance with a composer named Willi Schmidt-Kentner, according to the 1960 "bio-autobiography" Zsa Zsa Gábor, My Story, written by Gabor with Gerold Frank. Her initial fame came from her work as an actress, and grew from her public appearances in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gabor has been married nine times. Zsa Zsa Gabor was divorced seven times, and one marriage was annulled. Her husbands, in chronological order, are:
In 1974, Zsa Zsa Gabor purchased from Elvis Presley a two-story Bel Air home with an eccentric-looking French roof, built by Howard Hughes.
Zsa Zsa was the only sister to bear a child. According to her 1991
autobiography One Lifetime Is Not Enough, her pregnancy resulted from being
raped by then-husband Conrad Hilton. Her only paternal child is daughter
Francesca Hilton (born March 10, 1947).
In 2005, Gabor accused her daughter Francesca of larceny and fraud, alleging that her daughter 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.
In the late 1950s, Gabor had dinner with Frank Sinatra at LaRue's on the Sunset Strip and spent a "forced" romantic evening with him, also according to One Lifetime Is Not Enough. Zsa Zsa Gabor also had a relationship with Porfirio Rubirosa, a noted Dominican international playboy and sometime diplomat. She refused to leave George Sanders to marry Rubirosa, whereupon Rubirosa married Barbara Hutton (for 53 days) and then renewed his relationship with Gabor, who claimed that Rubirosa proposed to her every time he could, and would change the subject when she refused. They had a four-year relationship and were at one time engaged. Gabor essentially broke the engagement when she took a part in the movie Death of a Scoundrel (1956), which starred her ex-husband George Sanders, over Rubirosa's intense objections. Gabor, along with her current husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, has adopted four men. Under the adoption, these men were given new names. The three best known adopted children of Gabor are Oliver Prinz von Sachsen-Anhalt, Michael Prinz von Anhalt, and Marcus Prinz von Anhalt.
On June 14, 1989, Gabor was accused of slapping the face of a Beverly Hills police officer named Paul Kramer when he stopped her for a traffic violation. She was found guilty of the assault in a well-publicized trial and sentenced to three days (72 hours) in the El Segundo jail. The judge also required her to pay $13,000 in court costs. Zsa Zsa Gabor testified that her behavior had been provoked by the officer, who she said had behaved extremely rudely and insulted her with obscenities. This fiasco was published in the documentary, The People vs. Zsa Zsa Gabor, without her consent.
Zsa Zsa Gabor poked fun at her role in the incident in various cameo appearances:
Gabor was a passenger in an automobile accident that occurred on November 27,
2002. Zsa Zsa Gabor was initially reported as being in a coma when she was
actually conscious at the time medical assistance arrived. Zsa Zsa Gabor left
the hospital in early January 2003, but required continued physical therapy. Zsa
Zsa sued and was awarded $2 million.
On July 7, 2005, Zsa Zsa Gabor suffered a massive stroke, leaving her in critical condition at a local hospital. Zsa Zsa Gabor underwent surgery to remove a blockage in her carotid artery. Zsa Zsa Gabor returned home on July 15.
In early September 2007, Zsa Zsa Gabor underwent surgery to deal with after-effects of her previous stroke.
On September 18, 2007, aged 90, Zsa Zsa Gabor underwent surgery to treat a
leg infection, which developed as a result of her immobility.
On January 25, 2009, the Associated Press reported that attorney Chris Fields has stated that forensic accountants have determined that as much as $10 million may have been lost by Gabor when it was invested with swindler Bernard Madoff, possibly through a third-party money manager. Marcus Prinz von Anhalt, German brothel owner and adopted son of her husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, helped out with a cheque over $6 million.
This Zsa Zsa Gabor Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub