Zsa Zsa Gábor (born Sári Gábor on February 6,
1917(1917-02-06)) is a Hungarian-American actress and socialite.
Gábor was born in Budapest, the second of three daughters (Magda, Sári, and Éva) born to Vilmos Gábor, a soldier, and Jolie Gábor (Janci Tilleman). She was named after the then top Hungarian actress Sári Fedák, who was also called Zsa Zsa because her daughter couldn't pronounce the name Sári. Gabor's maternal family was Jewish and her maternal grandparents died in the Holocaust. Biographers speculate that her paternal family were originally Jewish as well, but converted to Roman Catholicism in order to assimilate, although this has not been confirmed.
Following studies at a Swiss boarding-school, Zsa Zsa won the Miss Hungary beauty contest, in 1936, but was disqualified for being "underage." On a trip to Vienna the same year, she was discovered by the famous tenor Richard Tauber, and was invited to sing the soubrette rôle in his new operetta, Der singende Traum ("The Singing Dream"), at the Theater an der Wien. This was her first stage appearance and, at the time, she had a romance with a composer named Willi Schmidt-Kentner, according to the 1960 "bio-autobiography," Zsa Zsa Gábor, by Gerold Frank.
Her sisters are Magda and Éva. All the Gabor sisters were both actresses and socialites. Éva is known for her role as the scatterbrained wife, Lisa Douglas, in the sitcom "Green Acres." Éva died in 1995 of respiratory failure from complications from food poisoning. Magda would often appear on talk shows as "One of the Gábor Sisters." Magda died in 1997 of kidney disease and renal failure.
Zsa Zsa has been married nine times and divorced seven; one marriage was annulled. Her current husband, whom she married August 14, 1986, is Frédéric von Anhalt, the adopted son of Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt, a member of the German nobility and daughter-in-law of the last Kaiser, Wilhelm II. This is her longest running marriage. Her husbands, in chronological order, are:
Burhan Belge (1937 - 1941) (divorced)
Conrad Hilton (10 April 1942 - 1947) (divorced)
George Sanders (2 April 1949 - 2 April 1954) (divorced)
Herbert Hutner (5 November 1962 - 3 March 1966) (divorced)
Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (9 March 1966 - 18 October 1967) (divorced)
Jack Ryan (21 January 1975 - 1976) (divorced)
Michael O'Hara (27 August 1976 - 1982) (divorced)
Felipe de Alba (13 April 1983 - 14 April 1983) (annulled)
Frédéric von Anhalt (1986 - present)
Zsa Zsa is the only Gábor sister to bear a child. According to Zsa Zsa's book, One Lifetime Is Not Enough, Conrad Hilton raped her, causing the pregnancy. Their only child (born after their divorce), is Francesca Hilton (Gabor) born 10 March 1947. In 2005, Zsa Zsa accused her daughter, Francesca, of larceny and fraud, and filed a lawsuit against her in a California court.
Zsa Zsa purchased her house sometime between 1967 and 1975. It is located in Bel Air on Bel Air Road. Her home used to belong to Howard Hughes who built the house which is the cause for its eccentric looking french roof. She was not married at the time of the purchase making it possible, according to Zsa Zsa, to add for herself a three tiered closet that is thirty feet long, twelve feet wide, and fourteen feet high. The closet contains over 5,000 garments that are sorted through and given to charities (with the exception of her classically designed gowns) every one to two years. That means she gives about 30,000 dollars worth of designer clothing to charities every year.
Zsa Zsa's living there was cause for her marriage to her 6th husband, Jack Ryan. Ryan was her next door neighbor which was how they met. Zsa Zsa could slip in from her fence and cross into Mr. Ryan's back yard which was decorated like a child's dream, complete with tree house (where Jack wanted the wedding to be). Jack was the inventor of the Barbie Doll, Sparrow 3, and many other inventions and loved childrens toys. Zsa Zsa would invite him over continually until eventually he fell in love with her, and all this was possible because of Bel Air Road.
On June 14, 1989, Zsa Zsa 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 (and required to pay $13,000 in court costs). She testified that her behavior had been provoked by the officer, who she said had behaved extremely rudely and insulted her with obscenities. According to the Rotten Library, "Gabor later complain[ed] that she was denied a jury of her peers, saying 'It was not my class of people. There was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor.'"
Gabor poked fun at her role in the incident in various cameo appearances:
in the 1993 film version of The Beverly Hillbillies: she claimed that the officer had slapped her in what was described as a "drive-by slapping,"
in A Very Brady Sequel: she gloated upon the publicity she earned from the incident,
in the November 18, 1991, season 2, episode 10 of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: when Carlton accidentally slaps a cop when trying to slap his cousin Will, Zsa Zsa replies by saying "I have witnesses, it wasn't me," and when Hilary asks, "There's something that I'm just dying to know," Zsa Zsa says, "Yes, I did it...and he deserved to be slapped."
Zsa Zsa was a passenger in an automobile accident that occurred November 27, 2002, that was initially reported as having sent her into a coma, but the report was in error. She was conscious by the time medical assistance arrived. She left the hospital in early January 2003, facing continued physical therapy. She sued and was awarded $2 million.
On July 7, 2005, Zsa Zsa suffered a massive stroke leaving her in critical condition at a local hospital. She underwent surgery to remove a blockage in her carotid artery. She returned home on the following July 15th and was said to be making a good recovery.