In our ongoing series, #WomenThatDid, ENTITY profiles inspirational and famous women in history whose impact on our world can still be felt today. If you have a suggestion for a historical powerhouse you would like to see featured, tweet us with the hashtag #WomenThatDid.
Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor, best known for her lavish lifestyle and various marriages to millionaires, died Dec. 18, 2016, due to heart failure. She was 99. In celebration of her memory, here are the stories she’ll be remembered for.
NAME: Sári “Zsa Zsa” Gábor
LIFETIME: February 6, 1917 – December 18, 2016
WHAT SHE’S KNOWN FOR: Even before the Kardashian-Jenner empire, Zsa Zsa Gabor and her two sisters, Magda and Eva, dominated the national tabloids and intrigued the public’s imagination. She began her career with the title Miss Hungary in 1936. She moved to the United States in 1941, but it wasn’t until 1952 that Zsa Zsa began to establish her career.
She landed a starring role in John Huston’s 1952 “Moulin Rouge.” She then continued to work as a supporting actress throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Her biggest film credit, however, was her role as a scientist in 1958’s “Queen of Outer Space.”
And although she continued to make onscreen appearances in talk shows, game shows, comedy specials and episodic dramas through the mid 1990s, she made headlines after she was arrested for allegedly slapping a police officer.
READ MORE: #WomenThatDid: Barbara Strozzi
WHY WE LOVE HER: It was Zsa Zsa’s vivacious lifestyle, entertaining character and eight marriages that kept her interesting. She’s married a Turkish diplomat, an industrialist, an oil mogul, a hotel air and even actor George Sanders. “A girl must marry for love and keep on marrying until she finds it,” Gabor once said. “I have learned that not diamonds but divorce lawyers are a girl’s best friend.”
On the day of her death, many stars reacted with sadness on social media in response to Zsa Zsa’s passing. Larry King tweeted, “There will only be one Zsa Zsa Gabor. And I liked her a lot. Rest In Peace, my dear.” Other celebs mentioned how she was always “fun and delightful to be around.”
FUN FACT: Some biographies of Zsa Zsa mention a ninth marriage to Felipe de Alba in 1983. He was a lawyer who also appeared in some Mexican films in the 1940s and ’50s, but Gabor said it only lasted one day. The ceremony was performed by a ship’s captain in the middle of sea. But because the ship wasn’t in international waters and because she wasn’t technically divorced from her previous husband, the marriage was probably illegal. Nevertheless, the Gabor and de Alba later got an annulment to make sure.
And although Gabor stayed out of the tabloids in the last years of her life, her enchanting personality lives on in many of today’s stars who have become famous by simply being themselves. As Zsa Zsa once said, “What is really important for a woman, even more than being beautiful or intelligent, is to be entertaining.”
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