Zsa Zsa Gabor of Hungarian origin, born February 16, 1917, died of heart failure at the ripe old age of 99, just two months away from becoming a centenarian, at her residence in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, after a five-year ordeal with chronic dementia and other complications. She is survived by her husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt.
Her award-winning publicist and best friend, Edward Lozzi, confirmed her death to NPR and expressed his relief over her death as the iconic actress and famous socialite had been suffering from “chronic dementia” for the past five years.
“Zsa Zsa Gabor has died. I am pleased that she is finally out of her misery. For the past five years, Zsa Zsa has suffered chronic dementia, locked away in her mansion laying in a hospital bed being fed through tubes in her naval, not able to speak, see, write or hear. Nor knowing who she was or how famous she was,” he revealed in his emotional statement.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, born Sári Gábor, in Budapest, Hungary, was the middle of three daughters to parents Vilmos, a soldier by profession, and Jolie Gabor both of Jewish lineage.
Her two sisters Magda, the elder, and Eva the younger also experienced their fair share of fame in their careers; however all three are no more, Magda passing away in 1997 , Eva in 1995 and the last surviving and most famous of the three, for various reasons, breathed her last on December 18, 2016.
Beyond their acting careers and fame as socialites, they will be better remembered for their numerous marriages – Magda had six marriages to her credit, Eva made do with five while Zsa Zsa Gabor stole the show with nine marriages which included seven divorces and one annulment.
“All in all – I love being married”, she wrote about her marriages to rich and famous husbands, in their own rights, in her autobiography.
“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 a marriage that really fulfils me. But not in every case.”
Here’s a list of her nine marriages and the outcome of each:
1. Burhan Asaf Belge (1937–1941; divorced)
2. Conrad Hilton (April 10, 1942 – 1947; divorced)
3. George Sanders (April 2, 1949 – April 2, 1954; divorced)
4. Herbert Hutner (November 5, 1962 – March 3, 1966; divorced)
5. Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (March 9, 1966 – October 18, 1967; divorced)
6. Jack Ryan (January 21, 1975 – August 24, 1976; divorced)
7. Michael O’Hara (August 27, 1976 – 1983; divorced)
8. Felipe de Alba (April 13–14, 1983; annulled)
9. Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 – December 18, 2016; her death)
Zsa Zsa’s who was apparently discovered by operatic tenor Richard Tauber made her first stage appearance in Tauber’s new operetta in a soubrette singer role and in 1936 she was crowned miss Hungary.
She is known to have turned down the lead role in Lady Chatterley’s Lover because of its controversial theme.
Although not considered a great actress by many, some of her more memorable performances as an actress include Moulin Rouge (1952), Lovely to Look At (1952), We’re Not Married (1952), and Lili (1953).
Between the 1950s and the 1990s, her television appearances include programs like serial dramas, comedy specials, westerns, and talk and game shows.
In her later years, ever since her automobile accident in 2002 which left her partially paralyzed, wheelchair bound, and out of the limelight, she had been in and out of hospitals for various reasons.
She suffered strokes in 2005 and 2007 and had to undergo surgeries. In 2010 she was again operated upon for a fractured hip.
Her suffering did not seem to have an end when again in 2011, to save her life from a serious infection, her right leg had to be amputated above the knee to be hospitalized again the same year for various other complications and emergencies.
Again in February 2016, Gabor had to return to a hospital bed for breathing-related complications.
Finally, on December 18, 2016, aged 99 she got permanent relief from her miseries having been on life support for the last five years.
RIP Zsa Zsa Gabor!