The Hungarian actress, Zsa Zsa Gábor, is as notable for her extraordinary acting career as for her notorious lifestyle. She was married to 9 husbands, but her humourous maxims also wrote her name into history. In the following, you can gain a little insight into the life of the celebrated actress who always remained Hungarian at heart, until the end of her life.
As Vs.hu reports, Zsa Zsa Gábor was born in 1917 in Budapest, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She was the middle of three daughters of Vilmos Gábor, a soldier, and Jolie Gábor, an heiress to a European jewellery business. Both of her parents were of Jewish origin. The sisters lived a life of luxury which included expensive vacations and boarding schools.
Her first name was originally Sára which was given to her after Sári Fedák, one of the most well-known Hungarian prima donnas of her time. In an interview given to Sándor Friderikusz in the 90s while being in Hungary, the actress revealed how her name Zsa Zsa was born. She unfolded the story about her parents debating over how to call her. Her father wanted to call her Sárika, but finally, the version of her mother triumphed, and thus she became Zsa Zsa.
In her adolescence, she studied in Switzerland at a boarding school; then she began her stage career in Vienna where Richard Tauber discovered her talent. Her 1st performance was in his new operetta, The Singing Dream. She was not only talented but also beautiful which was publicly acknowledged when she became crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. An interesting fact related to her triumph in the beauty contest is that she lied about her actual age and was later disqualified from the competition because of this.
Her Hollywood fame and the first few marriages
She became known for her notorious lifestyle first in 1937, at the age of 20. That was when she married her 1st husband, a Turkish government official. The relationship lasted until 1941 when their marriage started to deteriorate, and it is a simple twist of fate that her parents also divorced at that time, reports Biography.com. She emigrated to the United States where her younger sister lived. It was there that she got her 1st minor role in the piece called Lovely to Look At in 1952, but in the same year, she appeared in John Huston’s Moulin Rouge as well.
Zsa Zsa performed in several TV series, too, like in the Touch of Evil (1958), but in later years, she formed herself more on the screen, for example in the romantic comedy, We’re Not Married! (1952). She was a sought-after actress full of charm and grace who had an outstanding sarcastic sense of humour and who also possessed such self-confidence that the whole world was at her feet. Once she said:
“What is really important for a woman, you know, even more than being beautiful or intelligent, is to be entertaining.”
That was the philosophy that permeated through her life. Therefore, it is without surprise that men were obsessed with her intelligence and beauty.
Her love for men
Not long after arriving in the United States, she met Conrad Hilton, the famous and wealthy hotel magnate. They got married after some months, and from this relationship, Zsa Zsa had a daughter, called Francesca. Seven other men followed Hilton, but since 1986, she lived together with Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt who was 26 years younger than the actress. Her shortest marriage was with Felipe de Alba which lasted only for a day since she officially never divorced from her previous husband. However, this did not discourage her from remarrying later on.
Once she said:
“Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.”
And here are some other witty comments:
“I never hated a man enough to give him diamonds back.”
“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”
Another interesting fact is that her 3rd husband, George Sanders actor, got married to Zsa Zsa’s sister after having divorced from the Hungarian film star. Her 6th husband, Jack Ryan, is also worth mentioning as he was an American designer best known for the Barbie dolls 🙂
It seems that up to this day, people have been more interested in her private life than in her professional achievements, but it is no surprise since she was seen as the icon symbolising luxury and European glamour, and all eyes were on her.
Some further funny facts about Zsa Zsa
- Sources mention that she called everyone Darling with her sister, Éva, including close friends and aquaintances or even people invited to her regular parties. There is also a frequently mentioned quotation of her:
“I call everyone ‘Darling’ because I can’t remember their names.”
And what would be the title of her at-home fitness video other than It’s Simple Darling? Check it out! 🙂
- One of her infamous incidents happened in 1989 with the police when she slapped a police officer after he had stopped her in Los Angeles. It was a routine traffic stop, but she did not have her driving license with herself. Therefore, she drove away. She was later arrested not only because of disobeying the officer’s command but also because of assault as she slapped the officer believing to have been treated rudely.
As Articles.latimes.com points out, the court found that the whole situation was the result of simple miscommunication between the two parties. Finally, she was sentenced to prison for 3 days, but when asked about the prospects of jail, she wittily said:
“That would be wonderful. I’d have time to write my book. If I go to jail, Bistro Gardens (a restaurant) said they would serve me food three times a day.”
That was Zsa Zsa Gábor. A funny, humorous and entertaining woman. In the 2000s, however, she got more into the news because of severe health problems. She was injured in a car accident after which she was confined to a wheelchair. She also suffered a stroke, broke her hip and underwent replacement surgery. When she got to know that Elizabeth Taylor, her great actress adversary, died, she said that “I’m next.” Eventually, one day after her 99th birthday she died of heart failure. According to her wish, she was buried in Budapest.
Featured image: facebook/Zsa Zsa Gábor
Source: vs.hu; biography.com, articles.latimes.com