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Zsa Zsa Gabor Dies at 99, Last of 3 Hungarian Socialite Sisters

Image: Zsa Zsa Gabor Dies at 99, Last of 3 Hungarian Socialite Sisters

Zsa Zsa Gabor leaves court in 1989 after slapping a police officer. (AFP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 19 Dec 2016 07:38 AM

Zsa Zsa Gabor died at 99 on Sunday, remembered by many for her off-screen publicity antics that compare with latter-day Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians.

The Hungarian actress suffered from chronic dementia, said her publicist Edward Lozzi, according to NPR. Lozzi said Gabor had lost her memory and was being fed via a tube at the time of her death.

Gabor and her sisters Eva Gabor – who starred in the 1960s sitcom "Green Acres" – and Magda Gabor were longtime Beverly Hills socialites. Eva died in 1995 and Magda died in 1997.

Zsa Zsa Gabor married nine times, including to Conrad Hilton from 1942 to 1947.

Zsa Zsa Gabor had nearly 80 television and movie credits, but many where she often played herself. The Los Angeles Times said Gabor's celebrity status was enhanced with the advent of television talk shows in the 1950s where she charmed "audiences with her fractured English and slightly risque jokes about her reputation as an oft-married seductress fond of men and money."

"Husbands are like fires. They go out if unattended," Gabor said on one show, noted the Times. "I want a man who is kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?"

Born Sari Gabor in Budapest and crowned Miss Hungary in 1936, she appeared in MGM's "Lovely to Look At" and the "Moulin Rouge," both in 1952, said Variety. In television she appeared on "The Red Skelton Hour," "Playhouse 90" and "Matinee Theater," and guest starred on "Bonanza," "Batman," "The Facts of Life," and the soap opera "As the World Turns."

Her marriage to Hilton produced her only child, a daughter, Francesca Hilton, and Hilton would later question if she was his biologically, leaving her just $100,000 in his will, reported Variety. Francesca Hilton died destitute last year after spending years fighting the will.

"She is one of the most important figures of the late 20th century in terms of thinking about celebrity, thinking about women," Kirsten Pullen, a professor at Texas A&M University, told National Public Radio.

Pullen said Gabor sought the press regularly and "could dominate a newsreel" at movie premieres she was not involved in by what she wore, noted NPR.

"You can't make this stuff up," Pullen told NPR. "Whether or not we think it's great to be famous for being famous, she is the one who really set the template for that."

Gabor parlayed a 1989 incident where she slapped a Beverly Hills police officer during a traffic stop into a comeback, returning to the talk show circuit, noted NPR.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor died at 99 on Sunday, remembered by many for her off-screen publicity antics that compare with latter-day Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians.
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Monday, 19 Dec 2016 07:38 AM
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