Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Happy Birthday today to Zsa Zsa Gabor!
Zsa Zsa Gábor (born February 6, 1917) is a Hungarian-born American actress and socialite.

Zsa Zsa Gábor was born Sári Gábor in Budapest, Hungary on February 6, 1917, the daughter of Jolie Gábor (née Tilleman), a manager, and Vilmos Gábor, a soldier. She had two sisters, Magda and Éva, both well-known actresses and socialites. Gabor's mother was born Jewish and was related to Annette Tillemann, the wife of politician Tom Lantos. Gabor was named after the then top Hungarian actress Sári Fedák, also called Zsa Zsa because her daughter was unable to pronounce the name Sári, which is Hungarian for Sarah. (The Gábors's family name is Hungarian for Gabriel; hence, "Sári Gábor," her real name, is Hungarian for "Sarah Gabriel.") Following studies at a Swiss boarding-school Gábor won the Miss Hungary beauty contest in 1936, but was disqualified for being underage. 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 rôle in his new operetta Der singende Traum ("The Singing Dream") at the Theater an der Wien, her first stage appearance. 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.

Gabor has been married nine times. She was divorced seven times, and one marriage was annulled. Her husbands, in chronological order, are:

* Burhan Belge (1937 – 1941) (divorced)
* Conrad Hilton (April 10, 1942 – 1947) (divorced)
* George Sanders (April 2, 1949 – April 2, 1954) (divorced)
* Herbert Hutner (November 5, 1962 – March 3, 1966) (divorced)
* Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (March 9, 1966 – October 18, 1967) (divorced)
* Jack Ryan (January 21, 1975 – 1976) (divorced)
* Michael O'Hara (August 27, 1976 – 1982) (divorced)
* Felipe de Alba (April 13, 1983 – April 14, 1983) (annulled)
* Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 to present)

In 1974, Gabor purchased from Elvis Presley a two-story Bel Air home with an eccentric-looking French roof, built by Howard Hughes. There is a magnificent view of Los Angeles from the pool area. She was not married at the time of the purchase making it possible, according to Zsa Zsa, to add a three-tiered closet thirty feet long, twelve feet wide, and fourteen feet high. The closet contained over 5,000 garments that were sorted through and given to charities, with the exception of her classically designed gowns, every one to two years—about 30,000 dollars worth of designer clothing every year.

Gábor is the only Gábor sister to bear a child. According to Gábor's book One Lifetime Is Not Enough her pregnancy resulted from Conrad Hilton. Hilton and Gabor's only child, born after their divorce, is Francesca Hilton (Gabor) born March 10, 1947. In 2005, Zsa Zsa accused her daughter, Francesca, of larceny and fraud, and filed a lawsuit against her in a California court.

In the late 1950s, Zsa Zsa had dinner with Frank Sinatra at LaRue's on the Sunset Strip and spent only one romantic evening with him. 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 seventy-three days) and then renewed his relationship with Zsa Zsa. Zsa Zsa claims that Rubirosa proposed to her every time he could, and would change the subject when she refused. She just wouldn't budge. They had a four-year relationship and were at one time engaged. Technically, Zsa Zsa broke the engagement when "Rubi" claimed he would break the engagement if she took a part in the movie Death of a Scoundrel which starred her ex-husband George Sanders.

Gabor's initial fame came from her work as an actress, and grew from her public appearances in the 1970s and 1980s.

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--and the judge required her 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.

Gabor poked fun at her role in the incident in various cameo appearances:

* In the 1991 film The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, Zsa Zsa was pulled over by the police car at the end of the opening credits. She then proceeded to step out of the car and slap the red light, then walked away, muttering, "Ach, this happens every fucking time when I go shopping."
* 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 Gabor showed up as a guest at the Banks' residence, Hilary asked, "There's something that I'm just dying to know." Zsa Zsa responded by saying, "Yes, I did it...and he deserved to be slapped." Subsequently, Carlton accidentally slapped a cop when trying to slap his cousin Will, Zsa Zsa replied by saying, "I have witnesses, it wasn't me."

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