Glamour, Diamonds, Husbands and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Before there ever was a Kim Kardashian, there was someone far more important, a socialite in her own right. A diva, a trendsetter, a woman who never hated a man that much to return (him) his diamonds, this Hungarian-born actress and socialite understood charms of life better than anyone else has before or after her.
I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.
Known for her unapologetic love for luxury and her glamorous sense of style, this larger-than-life personality carried out all of her branded vices with such grace and charming dominance that even the biggest of her caprice were not only tolerated but adored with devotion and admiration. Of the course of her 99 years of life, men adored her, women envied her and she lived vicariously with, ostensibly, no worry in the world. And it seems that, she never failed to speak her mind—especially when it came to matters of love, marriage, men and life as a celebutante.
Yes, you’ve guessed it – the woman is Zsa Zsa Gabor.
How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?
Breathtakingly gorgeous, Gabor spent 60 years in Hollywood, lining up nine (happy) marriages and husbands most of which worshiped the ground she walked on. In her biographies, Zsa Zsa has said she proposed to all of her husbands and she truly believed (as she would often say) that – to a smart girl men are no problem – they’re the answer.
Zsa Zsa’s Jewish mother Jolie Gábor (whose wealth was linked with brothels in Budapest, Hungary) provided boarding school education for her daughters which landed them education in plenty fields, including languages. Zsa Zsa spoke Hungarian and German at home and learned English and French when attending Madame Subilia’s School for Young Ladies in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Zsa Zsa (the nickname from childhood) was very young when she expressed her free spirit and desire for adventure. On leave from school in 1934, the then dark-haired Zsa Zsa met Burhan Belge, the visiting Director of Press for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, who will later become her first husband. At the time, Burhan was a twice-divorced man and she was only 17 years old. As her biography states, the two lived together without consummating the marriage (her wish, not his).
Zsa Zsa was a girl who would quickly get tired of things and move on; same was true of her life decisions and her husbands and marriages.
With the World War II raging in Europe, unhappy in her marriage, Zsa Zsa left Europe and arrived in New York mid-1941, leaving Burhan Belge behind in Ankara, Turkey. It was just a husband, after all… right? From that moment on, Zsa Zsa’s marital doors open and she’ll meet the loves of her life that will lend a hand in celebrating her name, provide emotional fulfillment and help her to a more than a solid bank account.
Zsa Zsa’s maybe most important husband of all was a 54-year-old devout Roman Catholic and hotelier Conrad Hilton Sr. (yes, THAT Hilton) whom she met at the age of 24. Just as it happens with all love-at-first-sights (are we convinced?), they married just a few months after first meeting but then divorced very soon after. Apparently, Zsa Zsa described “being shocked at having separate bedrooms, and Conrad keeping his door locked to her” while the thrifty Conrad Hilton explained in his autobiography that “Zsa Zsa was glamour raised to the last degree. She also knew more days on which gifts could be given than appear on any holiday calendar.”
The two had a daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton whom Zsa Zsa claimed was born as the result of a rape by her estranged husband, Conrad Hilton Sr. He never publicly disavowed Francesca nor had a paternity test done but he did express doubts to his layers that Constance, in fact, was his daughter.
And that was that.
From there on, she went through husbands like a diet-conscious girl would through chocolate – with a slight addiction to the taste but cautious not to eat (too) much.
After engaging in an affair with Conrad’s son Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr. Zsa Zsa later married actor George Sanders, had an affair with a Dominican diplomat, polo player, rumored spy and playboy Porfirio Rubirosa and was linked with builder millionaire Hal Hays and Ramfis Trujillo. Following, she married and divorced financier Herbert Hutner and then, for the fifth time, married the oil millionaire Joshua S. Cosden Jr.
It appears that most of Zsa Zsa’s relationships were fantastic thrills ending in disappointments that, unlike Marilyn Monroe, Zsa Zsa never took to heart. Rather, our girl would always find her way up, mocking anything that would stand in her way to a true emotion. I want a man who’s kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?
Even after her marriage to Joshua S. Cosden Jr. had failed (along with Zsa Zsa’s not that blooming acting career), her marital career was still zipping along. Gábor married yet another millionaire called Jack Ryan and divorced a year later. Lawyer Michael O’Hara was her lucky husband number seven in 1977 and, unlike her previous, short-breath marriages, this one managed to last for a while. The couple didn’t divorce until 1983.
Before her divorce from O’Hara was finalized, Zsa Zsa married a Mexican, Felipe de Alba at sea on April 13, 1983. This was her eighth marriage but it was annulled the next day, on April 14, 1983. Why? Gábor claimed that “He bored me. He’s a playboy and I’m a hard working actress.”
By now, an extremely youthful-looking senior citizen was lining yet another failed marriage, however – that didn’t stop her. In 1986, Gábor married Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (born Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg in 1943) who was more than 25 years younger than Gábor. This was her 8th legal marriage.
To her last days, Zsa Zsa’s motto seems not to have changed: A girl must marry for love, and keep on marrying until she finds it. We hear you, Gabor… we hear you!
I pay all my own bills… I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me.
While Zsa Zsa Gabor thought of herself as a serious actress, truth is – she was more famous for being famous than for her roles. However, knowing the right people in the right circles, Gabor did star in some TV shows and had landed a few movie roles, starting with 1952’s MGM musical “Lovely to Look at.” She also appeared in Fox comedy “We’re Not Married”. Her by far biggest role was opposite Jose Ferrer in “Moulin Rouge”.
Gabor played supporting roles throughout the 1950s in such movies including “Lili” and “Death of a Scoundrel.”
She had numerous guest roles on shows such as “The Dick Powell Theater,” “Bonanza,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Bob Hope Show,” “The Facts of Life”, “The Love Boat,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
By the 1960s she was mostly playing herself in shows like “The Joey Bishop Show” and “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” to comedies like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “My Three Sons,” and “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” She was also doing cameo appearances in films 1967’s “Jack of Diamonds” and 1991’s “The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear.”
In her entrepreneurial manner, even as a senior citizen, Gabor wasn’t ready to stop. She released a “very low-impact exercise video It’s Simple Darling in 1993, notable more for humor than exercise benefits”. We loved it.
Gabor was also a frequent and very darhling guest on shows like “Late Night With David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show” with hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, “The Mike Douglas Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and “The Ruby Wax Show.” With her charmingly exotic accent and a lilting voice, Gabor was a game-changer everyone could only grasp at.
Slapping a police officer in LA while drunk-driving on an occasion got her more publicity than all of her movie roles had up to then Image Source
Being jealous of a beautiful woman is not going to make you more beautiful.
Gabor was a charming, breathtakingly beautiful woman with fantastic physique and a very specific awareness for beauty and style. In fact, she was so aware that her and her last husband had continued to undergo plastic surgery and beauty treatments well into their seventies. While experts from major beauty clinics like Medaesthetics and other celebrity-approved centers would’ve never agreed to performing procedures on seniors (as they are highly risky), we have a feeling Zsa Zsa might have a way to charm them into letting her get her way.
Was she right when she observed that men love with their eyes and women love with their ears? Most probably.
I don’t remember anybody’s name. How do you think the ‘dahling’ thing got started?
Calling everyone “darling,” which came out “dah-link” was one of Gabor’s trademarks; apart from being famous for her accented English her eccentric name, her offscreen antics and one-liners about her jewels, men, marriages, beauty and love – Zsa Zsa Gabor was always that one girl you couldn’t stand but always wanted to be her, or a part of her inner circle.
May your soul rest in peace Zsa Zsa, you will be missed.