Zsa Zsa Gabor – who was one of the first celebrities to be “famous for being famous,” paving the way for the Kardashian-types of this generation — has died. She was 99.
Her publicist confirmed to Variety that Gabor died Sunday (Dec. 18, 2016) of a heart attack in her Bel Air mansion. Gabor had a series of health problems since her 2002 car accident. She had a stroke in 2005, lost part of her leg and then broke her hip in 2010. She had been on life support for the last five years.
Born in Budapest, she was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She ended up following sister Eva Gabor (best known for the ’60s show Green Acres) to Hollywood in the 1950s and starred in a series of films, such as Moulin Rouge, Touch of Evil and the 1958 camp classic Queen of Outer Space.
On TV, she appeared on shows such as Bonanza, Batman (as the villainess Minerva) and The Facts of Life. She even appeared on the soap As the World Turns in 1981.
Gabor, however, became most famous later in life, playing her larger-than-life self, who called everyone “dah-link” and talked about her jewels, nine marriages and ex-husbands. She made frequent appearance on talk and game shows. She was also known for off-screen antics, including a 1989 incident in which she slapped a Beverly Hills cop.
As for her husbands, the most notable one was to magnate Conrad Hilton, with whom she had her daughter, Francesca. Hilton would later claim Francesca was not his daughter and left her little in his will. Francesca died destitute in 2015.
Unfortunately, Zsa Zsa’s later years were difficult personally, especially in battles between her much-younger ninth husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, who she married in 1986, and her daughter, who accused von Anhalt of keeping her away from her mother. It is doubtful Gabor knew of her daughter’s death.