Zsa Zsa Gabor, famous actress and socialite, dead at 99
Image: AP Photo/George Brich
Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Hungarian socialite and actress better known for her celebrity than her acting career, passed away Sunday at the age of 99.
Born in Budapest on February 6, 1917, Gabor said she was "born to make headlines."
Before emigrating to the United States in 1941 during World War II, Gabor got a taste of show business when she was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936 at the age of 15.
Gabor's acting career took off in the 1950s with supporting film roles in We're Not Married and Lovely to Look At. One of her few starring roles came in 1952 with the lead in Moulin Rouge.
Despite the moderate acting success, it was her appearances on television in the '50s and '60s that catapulted her to fame. Her larger-than-life persona was a hit on the talk show circuit, with Gabor's exotic accent and risqué jokes being just as responsible in helping her land gigs as her good looks and charm.
"I want a man who is kind and understanding," she once said. "Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?"
In the 1960s, Gabor, by then a widely known personality, began taking guest roles on television series like Gilligan's Island, Batman and Bonanza.
However, the following decade Gabor turned down many smaller parts on television. She continued to appear on talk shows and game shows well into the 1990s.
While acting was a major aspect of Gabor's success, her tumultuous personal life was responsible for keeping her in the spotlight and the tabloids for more than six decades.
Gabor was married nine times, most notably to businessman Conrad Hilton, founder of the hotel chain bearing his name. Hilton was twice Gabor's age when they married in 1942. The couple had one child, Francesca Hilton, who passed away last year.
In addition to her marriages, Gabor made headlines in 1989 when she was convicted of assaulting a Beverly Hills police officer. Gabor served three days in jail and paid tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
When asked if she was prepared for a long trail, Gabor quipped, "I have enough outfits to last a year."
In recent years, Gabor became more reclusive. A car accident in 2002 left her partially paralyzed. Since 2010, Gabor had been in and out of the hospital after breaking her hip and having most of her right leg amputated due to an infection.
Just two months shy of her 100th birthday, Gabor passed away from heart failure in Los Angeles. She's survived by her husband of 20 years, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt.