Sunday, December 18, 2016

Zsa Zsa Gabor Passes Away At 99

(publicity photo from 1959 via Wikipedia)
The year 2016 claims yet another celebrity as Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Paris Hilton of her time, passed away today at the age of 99.

From the New York Times:

Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Hungarian actress whose self-parodying glamour and revolving-door marriages to millionaires put a luster of American celebrity on a long but only modestly successful career in movies and television, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. She was probably 99.

The cause was heart failure, her longtime publicist Edward Lozzi said.

Married at least eight times, calling everyone “Dahlink,” flaunting a diamonds-and-furs lifestyle and abetted by gossip columnists and tabloid headline writers, Ms. Gabor played the coiffed platinum femme fatale in plunging necklines in dozens of film and television roles, many of them cameos as herself. Her career, which began with the title Miss Hungary in 1936, was still going strong in the 1990s, outlasting those of her sisters, Eva and Magda, celebrities in their own right. She was the last surviving Gabor sister.

“A girl must marry for love, and keep on marrying until she finds it,” Ms. Gabor once said. Her husbands included a Turkish diplomat, the hotel heir Conrad Hilton, the actor George Sanders, an industrialist, an oil magnate, a toy designer, a divorce lawyer and a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony. Another marriage that nobody counted — a case of bigamy at sea with a has-been Mexican actor — lasted only a day and was annulled.

In 1989, she was arrested for slapping a police officer who had pulled her over for a traffic violation and found that her license had expired and that she had an open vodka bottle in her car, a Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible. Breezing into court, she took the stand and, by turns haughty, coquettish, weepy and coarse, spoke of Gestapo tactics in Beverly Hills. The judge gave her 72 hours in jail.

“You just cannot drive a Rolls-Royce in Beverly Hills anymore, because they have it in for you,” she said after things had blown over.

Ms. Gabor appeared in more than 60 television movies and feature films, mostly American-made, although some were Italian, French, German and Australian. Critics said her best roles were early in her career, in “Moulin Rouge” (1952) and “Lili” (1953). She also appeared as a nightclub manager in Orson Welles’s 1958 classic “Touch of Evil” and, the same year, as a sexy alien in “Queen of Outer Space,” a camp favorite about virile American astronauts landing on a planet populated by scantily clad women.

From the 1950s into the ’90s, she was also on scores of television programs: talk shows, game shows, comedy specials, westerns, episodic dramas. On the 1960s series “Batman,” she played the gold-digging Minerva, whose mineral spa fleeced swells by extracting secrets from their brains. “A real vicked voman,” she described the character in her Hungarian accent.

My favorite Zsa Zsa quote:

"The only way to learn a language properly, in fact, is to marry a man of that nationality. You get what they call in Europe a 'sleeping dictionary.' Of course, I have only been married five times, and I speak seven languages. I'm still trying to remember where I picked up the other two."

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