Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor, known more for her larger than life personality and string of marriages than for her films, died at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday (December 18, 2016) at age 99, her publicist confirmed to PEOPLE.
Gabor had numerous health problems in recent years and had her leg partially amputated in January due to poor circulation. She suffered a stroke in 2005, three years after a car accident had left her partially paralysed. In 2010 she reportedly asked a priest to administer the last rites after surgery to remove two blood clots. The last stage of her life was reported to have been spent suffering from dementia.
“I am pleased that she is finally out of her misery,” Gabor’s rep Ed Lozzi said in a statement. “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.”
Long before Paris Hilton, Gabor was a Hollywood starlet who was, quite simply, “famous for being famous.” Zsa Zsa Gabor began her stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1941 and became a sought-after actress with "European flair and style" and was considered to have a personality that "exuded charm and grace". Her first film role was a supporting role in Lovely to Look At. She later acted in We're Not Married! and played one of her few leading roles in the John Huston-directed film, Moulin Rouge (1952).
Outside of her acting career, Gabor was known for her extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, glamorous personality, and her many marriages. In total, Gabor had nine husbands, including hotel magnate Conrad Hilton and actor George Sanders. She once stated, "Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman – not just a man with muscles."
Gabor was drawn to the limelight and parlayed legal difficulties into media attention when on June 14, 1989, she was arrested for slapping a police officer, Paul Kramer, in Beverly Hills, California. Kramer stopped her after noticing that her license tag on her automobile was no longer valid and expired. After a short but costly trial Beverly Hills Municipal Judge Charles G. Rubin sentenced Gabor to serve three days in jail, to pay fines and restitution totaling $12,937, to perform 120 hours of community service—and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. On June 14, 1990, Gabor decided to drop her conviction appeal and agreed to serve her sentence. However, Gabor refused to take part in community service and served three days in jail between July 27 and July 30, 1990.
Zsa Zsa GAbor is survived by husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, whom she wed in 1986 and who claimed titles of nobility for himself, his wife and a number of adoptees.
ZSA ZSa Gabor Trivia per IMDB:
- Daughter of Jolie Gabor. Sister of Magda Gabor and Eva Gabor. Mother of actress Francesca Hilton and ex-step-great-grandmother of Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton Rothschild.
- Her marriage to Frédéric von Anhalt awarded her the title Princess Von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony. The legitimacy of this title is strongly questioned by many royal genealogists.
- In 1993, she and her husband were commanded, by a judge, to pay $2,000,000 to actress, Elke Sommer, because of false accusations that they had spoken of Elke.
- Has appeared as Minerva, the glamorous owner of a mineral spa, in the last episode, Batman: Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires (1968), of Batman (1966).
- On November 27, 2002, an automobile accident in Los Angeles left her in a coma for a short time, and, subsequently paralyzed. She was a passenger riding in a vehicle that struck a light pole on Sunset Boulevard.
- Inducted into the B-Movie Hall of Fame on October 26, 2004.
- Was considered for the role of Miss Caswell in All About Eve (1950), but Marilyn Monroe was cast instead.
- Once held up an episode of The New Hollywood Squares (1986) for about 45 minutes after breaking a fingernail.
- She and her sister Magda Gabor were both married to George Sanders.
- She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
- Living with, and cared for by, her husband at their home in Bel Air, California (a property once owned by Elvis Presley).
- Her daughter, Francesca Hilton, died at age 67 of a massive stroke on January 5, 2015. She was cremated and her ashes were interred beside Gabor's sister, Eva Gabor, at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.