The Gabor Sisters Were The Original Socialites
It’s fair to say that the Kardashian clan is pretty hard not to keep up with thanks to all of their drama. It’s like they almost will do anything to stay in the spotlight and momager Kris Jenner is the mastermind behind it. This isn’t the first group of sisters and momager to have the limelight on them for being gorgeous and working smart. The Gabor sisters were the first to do it nearly five decades ago. Born during World War I, by the ’50s, these sisters brought scandal to the world.
A Little Background
Did you know the Gabor sisters came from a Hungarian-Jewish background? Their father, Vilmos Gabor ranked up to become a major in the Hungarian Army while their mother, Jolie Gabor, was an heiress to a jewelry empire.
Magda was born in 1915, Zsa Zsa in 1917 and Eva in 1919. Chances are, if they remained in Hungary, they might’ve never become the stars we know them to be. They fled during WWII and headed to America. There was still more they needed to do before becoming free.
Arriving in America
Jolie Gabor and the rest of the family left in 1944, but they wouldn’t arrive in America until December 1945, trekking their way through war-torn Europe. Meanwhile, Magda Gabor didn’t make it to the States until 1946 due to her minor scandal with the Portuguese ambassador.
There were rumors of an affair and even an engagement. All of that set the people more curious than ever, but there was never any official proof that she was more than an aide to the ambassador.
The Talent Of Attracting Men
Jolie raised the girls in Budapest Hungary, and she became determined to give them a good life. She recognized the beauty her children had (ironically, Jolie means pretty in French) and taught them how to attract wealthy men.
Jolie also owned and managed a brothel. It was through her business acumen that allowed her and her daughters to pack up shop and sail to America in 1946. At this time, the oldest daughter Magda already began her career as an actress. The other sisters planned on continuing their career in Hollywood as well.
Jolie Gabor = Early Kris Jenner
The same way Kris Jenner commands the career of her daughters, Jolie was the same way. Some might even argue that she blazed the trail for the current wave of momagers as we know it.
Jolie thought that if brought up her daughters in ways that rich people acted, they would become wealthy as well. At the same time, she didn’t want her kids to become completely submissive to men. “When you can support yourself, you can choose your husbands,” Jolie said. “You have not to be the slave of a rich man.”
How To Land A Man According To Jolie
Jolie might’ve been a product of her time, but she was also ahead of her time. Her thoughts were that women weren’t strictly on this Earth to service men and that they could be the masters of their lives.
She said that if you want to catch a husband, you need to have, “Beauty to capture, brains to hold. Brains are important because if a man is just looking for beauty, he can buy a beautiful painting.”
More Scandal for Magda
Magda married Jan Byschowsky in Hungary in 1937, and her “affairs” with the ambassador Carlos Sampaio Garrido went on until his death in 1944. When she fled for America, rumors were that she slept with Spanish nobleman Jose Luis de Vilallonga during her travels.
Within a few months of arriving in the States, she tied the knot with her second husband, William M. Rankin. He was a playwright and screenwriter, but that marriage didn’t last too long. They ended up getting divorced in 1947.
Magda Marries Again and Again
Magda wasn’t finished marrying American men. By July 1949, she would say “I do,” but this time to an attorney named Sidney Robert Warren. We sense a trend picking up here because by 1950 they got a divorce!
She wasn’t done yet, as she went on to marry Arthur “Tony” Gallucci. This time around, he was the president of one of America’s oldest contracting companies called Samuel Gallucci and son. This time it was a great match as they only separated once he passed away from cancer in 1967.
And There’s More for Magda
Magda would mourn the death of her past husband Gallucci for three years before getting into another marriage. May we remind you that it was a scandal to go through one divorce during this era, but what happened next shocked the world.
Magda wound up marrying the British actor George Sanders, who previously was with her sister Zsa Zsa! No surprise here, it only took one month for the two to split up. That’s when her sixth and final marriage took place in 1972 to a man named Tibor Heltai, a real-estate broker. Those two divorced in 1975.
Eva Enters the Limelight
Magda only appeared on the big screen briefly, but only in Hungary. It was her sister Eva who would become a minor star and help push the family name, including their dirty laundry, into the spotlight.
Have you ever heard of a Paramount Pictures movie called Forced Landing? That would be the on Eva made her debut in, but it was nothing more than a firm “B movie” action flick. Gabor’s acting wasn’t too stellar in this breakthrough role, but the film did come out with two sequels.
Eva Briefly Becomes the 1950s Oprah Winfrey
There is such a thing called pretty privilege, and Eva had it going for her. Despite a rocky start to acting, she was too gorgeous to leave off screens, so Hollywood handed her The Eva Gabor Show in 1953.
It was a chat show that allowed her to bring celebrity gossip and news to the nation. It wasn’t as wide-ranged as the Oprah Winfrey show; Eva only had 15 minutes a week on screen. She had to interview a litany of stars, but the show would only last for a year.
Eva and Green Acres
In 1965, Eva finally broke the threshold and became mainstream. Eva starred in a sitcom titled Green Acres which was produced to be a “sister” to the triumphant Petticoat Junction, both of which aired on CBS.
Boy was Green Acres a smash. It stayed on the air for six years and never received a poor rating. Sadly, the show got the ax after CBS decided it was that time shift the focus of their shows to urban settings. The setting for Green Acres was a rural landscape.
Eva Voiced Some Of Your Fav Cartoons
Not only was Eva a well-known actress, but she also did voiceovers for some of your favorite cartoons. Eva voiced The Duchess in the Disney film, The Aristocrats and Miss Bianca from The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under.
She was apart of many people’s childhood’s, and they weren’t even aware! Throughout the ’80s, Eva continued to show face in sitcoms, including The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, and Fantasy Island. In the ’90s, she appeared alongside Will Smith in a guest role on the Fresh Prince.
Eva’s Love Life Was Also Rocky
Eva didn’t get married as many times as Magda, but she came close. Her first marriage was in 1937 in London with Eric Valdemar Drimmer. He was a Swedish masseur and osteopath. They ended up getting a divorce in Los Angeles in 1942.
In an interview, Eva said the split happened because “I wanted to have babies and lead a simple family life, but my husband objected to me having children.” A year after that matrimony finished, she struck up another husband, Charles Isaacs. Those two ended it in 1949.
Eva Marries Thrice More
In 1956, it was time for wedding number between Eva and John Elbery Williams M.D. The plastic surgeon was less successful than the past men who tried to be Eva’s husband. This union would only last for one year.
It wouldn’t be until Eva found a textile manufacturer by the name of Richard Brown that she would find long-lasting love. Their marriage would go on from 1959 to 1973. Eva’s last wedding came in 1973 to Frank Gard Jameson Sr., the vice president of Rockwell International. They cut ties in 1983, but not before Eva became a stepmother his kids.
Zsa Zsa Gabor Begins Her Rise To Fame Early
Out of the three sisters, Zsa Zsa Gabor was the biggest star. With all the failed marriages that her siblings went through considered minor scandals, Zsa Zsa had to tread lightly with the spotlight on her.
Nearly all the moves she made ended up getting reported across the world. Her stardom began in Hungary when she won Miss Hungary in 1936. She was also in an operetta after getting discovered by Richard Tauber, a famous tenor at the time. The operetta was The Singing Dream and received tons of praise at the time.
The Queen of the Scandal
If you thought the other sisters said their vows a lot, Zsa Zsa makes them look like amateurs. She tied the knot an immaculate nine times! Once, someone asked, “how many husbands have you had?” To which she replied, ” you mean other than my own?”
After her first marriage with Burhan Asaf Belge in 1937 (divorced in 1941), she went on to wed Conrad Hilton in 1942. Regarding that marriage, she said, “I soon discovered that my marriage to Conrad meant the end of my freedom. My own needs were completely ignored: I belonged to Conrad.” They split in 1947.
Two More Husbands
The next on the list would be George Henry Sanders, an English actor. He would also go on to marry Zsa Zsa’s sister, but that only lasted for a month. Sanders faced a tragic death by suicide in 1972 by an overdose of barbiturates.
After Sanders came Herbery Hutner from 1962 to 1966. He was a banker, philanthropist, and attorney. The two would get a divorce because Zsa Zsa claims he was too good to her and she almost lost her drive because of that.
More Husbands for Zsa Zsa
In 1966, after leaving the man that was too good to her, she married Joshua S. Cosden. Those two only lasted a year, then came along Jack Ryan. He was the inventor of Mattel’s Barbie doll. They wed in 1975, but it would only run until 1976.
After the Barbie creator was Michael O’Hara, and these two lasted a long while. It was six years before would get a divorce, but that’s way longer than the one year flings she had.
The Briefest Marriage Of Them All
The one-year marriages were way longer than the one between Zsa Zsa and Mexican attorney Felipe de Alba. In fact, that particular marriage might be the shortest in history. The couple said their vows on April 13, 1983, and things ended one day later.
It happened like that because the paperwork from her marriage with Michael O’Hara didn’t process correctly, leaving her legally unable to start a new union. It was probably best for Felipe’s wallet as the couple fell apart soon enough.
A Happily Ever After, At Last
The ninth time was a charm. Finally, Zsa Zsa found a permanent love in the German-American entrepreneur Frederic Prinz von Anhalt. He bought the “von Anhalt” from the Princess Marie-Auguste so he could be her heir.
Anhalt repaid the favor by adopting ten male heirs, whom all paid him $2 million for the right. A friendly reminder that doing such a thing was illegal in Germany. The two wed in 1986, and they stayed together until she passed away in 2016.
A Questionable “Prince”
The odd factor looming around Frederic Prinz von Anhalt is enough to earn him an individual slide. Leading up to Zsa Zsa, Anhalt got married seven times. He also had a reputation for a flamboyant lifestyle. Many believed he took advantage of Zsa Zsa, especially in her later years of living.
Something strange he did was when he claimed to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter Dannielynn, after her tragic death. He even went as far as to submit DNA for testing. The thrill of it all is what excited Anhalt and also made those close to Zsa Zsa watch him closely.
Zsa Zsa’s Only Child
With Zsa Zsa hearing wedding bells nine times, she amazingly only ended up with one child, Constance Francesca Hilton. Zsa Zsa’s autobiography revealed that Constance was the result of a rape by Conrad Hilton, one of her husbands.
Zsa Zsa and Conrad got a divorce well before Constance came out of the womb. She said she would spend holidays with her dad and the occasional upscale lunch, but they were never close. He only left his daughter $100,000 out of $200 million estates when he passed away.
Francesca Challenges The Will
After her father passed, Francesca sued to challenge the will, but she didn’t win in court. At the same time, her half-brother, Barron Hilton, challenged the estate in court but walked away with income rights over the majority of Hilton Hotel corporate stock.
Barron was already the acting CEO of the company, so he would tremendously increase the value and holdings of the Hilton empire. He soon worked his way to Forbes 400-ranked billionaire. Then he followed in his father’s footsteps and announced a large portion of the holdings would go to charity after he passes.
Francesca Tries To Make Ends Meet
Unlike her fortunate rich niece, Paris Hilton, Francesca stopped receiving support from her well-off parents long ago. She had to make ends meet somehow as a result. Between acting, stand-up comedy, and working for her dad’s foundations, she many hats.
All while this was going on, she had to watch her mother get married six times after she ended things with her father. We would categorize that in the bin for “what type of parenting is that?”
Francesca Vs. Frederic
Upon Zsa Zsa becoming ill, Francesca started bumping heads with Frederic. Pretty soon, Zsa Zsa’s condition worsened to the point of no return; she couldn’t speak and developed full-blown dementia. That’s when her only daughter accused Frederic of keeping her from her mother.
Eventually, Francesca passed away before her mom did from an unexpected stroke. Frederic attempted to claim her body, but the medical examiner denied him. That’s when her half-brother Barron Hilton and the Hilton family laid her to rest.
Francesa Works Odd Jobs
She might’ve had a rocky upbringing, but Francesca still had a mildly successful career in entertainment. In 1971, she starred alongside Orson Welles, Tuesday Weld, and Jack Nicholson in A Safe Place. Three years after that, she had a small role in The Gravy Train.
After appearing on the big screen, she became a photographer in the ’80s before going to work for her father’s foundation. In 2008, Francesca tried her hand at comedy, becoming a regular at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood.
Francesca Passes Away In 2015
Unfortunately, on January 5, 2015, Francesca passed away at the age of 67. Her final moments were in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after she suffered an unexpected stroke. After her stepfather wasn’t allowed to take her body, she remained in the morgue until her half-brother claimed her.
At the time of Francesca’s death, Zsa Zsa wasn’t aware of anything. She had no clue her daughter passed away, and the following year, she died as well.
Zsa Zsa’s Glamorous Mugshot
Over the history of celebrities taking mugshots, many of them tend to take a glamorous shot. Zsa Zsa falls into this category, of course. After her picture came out, you could have mistaken it for a portfolio shooting.
The reason she even got arrested was for slapping a cop on June 14, 1989, in Beverly Hills. Looking fabulous under those fluorescent lights, but Zsa Zsa had her hair perfectly teased and she pulled off this mischevious look that made it all the sweeter.
Zsa Zsa Cries In Court
Zsa Zsa might’ve had a stellar mugshot, but the scene of her in the courtroom wasn’t as pretty. Her charges were severe because not only did she get accused of the slapping of a cop, but she also was driving without a license.
She also had an open container of Jack Daniel’s while driving her $215,000 Rolls-Royce. She might’ve been a big name, but that didn’t mean she made it out with a simple slap on the wrist.
The Slappers Goes To The Slammer
Zsa Zsa’s punishment turned out to be a three-day sentence. On July 27, 1990, she began her short stint in prison and even had a photo taken of her wearing a large orange sweatshirt.
Her lawyer Harrison Bull did his best work to make special arrangements for the actress at the El Segundo City Jail. They charged $85 a day and provided food for inmates that qualify for a weekend jail program. For only three days, that doesn’t seem so bad.
Met By Fans And Media Crew Outside The Jail
After Zsa Zsa surrendered, her lawyer bull escorted her to the city jail in what was thought to be private transportation. Upon their arrival, photographers, television crews, reporters, and fans met the actress there.
In the thick of it all, Zsa Zsa’s fans managed to show their undying support for their beloved star. They created homemade signs that protested her sentencing. Even with her driving with an open alcoholic beverage and slapping a cop, her supporters didn’t care at all.
Posing For The Camera In 1953
Something socialites today have in common with those in the past is that they love having an inventory of stunning pictures. They leave you wondering who takes all these glamorous shots.
The only difference is that there were no social media sites back then. As you can see in this photo of Zsa Zsa, she’s posing for the thrill of it. The image might appear in print form, but that’s about it. Zsa Zsa would’ve been a significant influencer in this era.
Zsa Zsa’s Signature Pose 40 Years Later
It’s something about continuity that leaves people satisfied. Maybe its the familiarity of it. Four decades after debuting her signature laid-back pose, she brought it back, but this time in front of a pool. The kicker is that she still looked gorgeous.
In this picture, Zsa Zsa was 75, but one might think she was 45. This was three years after her issues with the law that caused her to serve three days in jail. The experience was tough, but it led her down a better path.
Three Generations Of Gabors
In this epic photo, we see three generations of the Gabors group at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, in 1955. This is probably one of the more rare moments in their family history.
From left to right: (top row) Madga (1919 – 1997), ‘Mama’ Jolie (1894 – 1997) and Eva Gabor (1919 – 1995); (bottom row) Zsa Zsa and Papa (Vilmos) Gabor and Francesca Hilton, age 8, Zsa Zsa’s daughter with Conrad Hilton. Interestingly enough, Francesca was the only child that came from the combined 20 marriages.
Zsa Zsa Lived Life In The Fast Lane
Not only did Zsa Zsa collect husbands, but she also had a serious collection of luxury cars. She had more cars than she did husbands! In the life of any ordinary person, that statement would sound unnecessary, but that’s the life of Zsa Zsa.
In this picture, we see Zsa Zsa posing with her Rolls Royce while in California during 1978. The version of this car was one of only 299 examples of the 2716 Cloud II’s with long wheelbases.
Zsa Zsa’s Other Exquisite Rides
That Rolls Royce was only one of her over the top vehicles as she had a slew of them! We see her here posing next to her Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Dominican diplomat, race car driver, and polo player Porfirio Rubirosa purchased it for her.
It was his way of showing his appreciation to Zsa Zsa after she showed his nephew around Hollywood. The gift turned out to be an excellent investment for Zsa Zsa, as it easily could sell for more than $1 million today.
Zsa Zsa’s Studebaker Lark
One of her less fabulous and humble vehicles was her Studebaker Lark that deserves mention. The manufactures only produced the Studebaker for seven years from 1959 to 1966 in Southbend, Indiana.
She made the car look so good that she appeared in a commercial for it. In the ad, she hilariously showed the new features of the vehicle. She explained how the flat carpeted floor wouldn’t break your heels and how the vanity would help you keep your makeup perfect.
Zsa Zsa’s Other Love: Her Dogs
Who doesn’t love dogs? Well, some people don’t, but Zsa Zsa wasn’t one of those people. Her real love was the furry little creatures. She had numerous poodles and Shih Tzus and revealed in interviews that she would love throwing parties for them.
On August 2011, her last dog passed away, and she was heartbroken. Her husband told reporters, “The last of my wife’s dogs died recently, Macho, her little Shih Tzu. A couple of years earlier, her other two Shih Tzus, Ruby and Zolan, died. We can’t have any more dogs around the house because there are so many nurses and help coming and going.”
She Was Superstitious
Zsa Zsa was strikingly beautiful. She was someone who loved doing her makeup and dressing up like every day was the Met Gala, but she had some unusual beauty regimes. We’re not here to judge but to merely inform.
She would religiously cook a recipe that included ginger snaps that was pretty ghoulish. She said it was one of her secrets for glowing and healthy skin. Another one of her tricks was eating a single piece of green pepper every day to help stay youthful.
Eva Passes Away
The first Gabor sister that passed away was the youngest one, Eva. She felt that the perception people placed on her being the “good Gabor” wasn’t her. She thought she caused just as much commotion as her big sisters.
After breaking her hip from a fall on June 21, 1995, Cedars-Sinai medical admitted her that same day. Fast forward to the 4th of July, and she passed away due to complications from the fall, respiratory issues, and multiple infections. She was 74 years old.