Long before the Kardashians, there were the Gabors– mama Jolie, daughters Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda. They are all gone now. Zsa Zsa has died at age 99, just two months short of her 100th birthday. She tied her mother, Jolie, who also lived to 99.
But Zsa Zsa has been gone for years, confined to her bed in her once stately mansion. Her one child, Francesca Hilton, died at age 68. Zsa Zsa’s sole heir is her husband, “Prince” Frederic von Anhalt. I run into him once a year at awards-events (not the actual awards shows). It’s been his duty to care for Zsa Zsa and make sure she was alright despite many illnesses and hospitalizations. They made it through 30 years.
Zsa Zsa was married nine times, most famously to Conrad Hilton. Here is the list of her husbands:
- Burhan Asaf 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 – August 24, 1976; divorced)
- Michael O’Hara (August 27, 1976 – 1983; divorced)
- Felipe de Alba (April 13, 1983 – April 14, 1983; annulled)
- Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 – December 18, 2016; her death)
She was famous for being famous, that’s true. In the 60s, her sister Eva actually became famous for the kitschy TV show “Green Acres.” Eva and Zsa Zsa were also regulars on “The Merv Griffin Show” and other talk shows. Remember, in those days there were fewer venues, no cable or internet. The Gabors were popular for being silly and beautiful, for being smarter than they looked, and never failing to entertain an audience with their jet set lifestyle. They were also classy. Sex tape? Horrors! They kept it clean, at least in public, and that’s what gave them longevity.
What a life! Rest in peace, Zsa Zsa. There will never be another you.
Here’s Zsa Zsa in 1953 on “What’s My Line,” well after her marriage to Hilton. She comes in around 18:00
Here’s Eva with Eddie Albert (a great actor if you’re too young to know) from 1966 on “What’s My Line.” Ffwd to 20:00