ORLANDO, Fla. -- At 60, James Apling is old enough to appreciate the genius of the last of the Gabor Sisters, Zsa Zsa, who died Sunday at age 99. The Orlando resident wrote on his Facebook page. "RIP daling."
Zsa Zsa and her sisters -- Magda and Eva -- addressed most people on camera or in entertainment stories as "Dahlink," their term for "darling" overly pronounced in their thick Hungarian accents.
Actress and socialite, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who made headlines around the world back in 1989, that brought her renewed fame when their starlight names had dimmed somewhat when she slapped a cop in a traffic stop. Zsa Zsa died Sunday of a heart attack at age 99, husband, Frederic Von Anhalt announced.
Zsa Zsa was the middle of the Gabor sisters -- along with Magda and Eva, both of whom preceded her in death. They were not Oscar-worthy actresses, but they were larger-than-life Hollywood socialites known for their multiple marriages, gaudy jewelry, bouffant-style blonde hair and thick Hungarian accents they brought with them when they left their homeland before World War II.
With their lavish lifestyles that took America by storm from the 1950s through the early 1990s, the Gabors were the original unofficial Housewives of Beverly Hills and perhaps akin to today's Kardashian Sisters -- Kim, Kourtney and Khloe.
The Gabor sisters were born in Hungary to Vilmos Gabor, a Hungarian soldier and his wife, Jolie, a jeweler and aspiring actress. The eldest of the Gabor sisters, Magda was born in 1915. Then Zsa Zsa in 1917, and Eva, in 1919.
Prior to Zsa Zsa's cop-slapping incident in 1989, Eva Gabor was perhaps the most well known of the three Gabors for her co-starring role as Eddie Albert's wife in the 1960s hit TV show, "Green Acres."
Zsa Zsa was a Hollywood starlet, too, from 1952 to 1996, appearing in movies such as "Moulin Rouge" and "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear." She also had guest appearances on TV shows like "Gilligan's Island," "Batman" and the "Love Boat."
And Zsa Zsa was a guest on game shows like "To Tell The Truth and The Johnny Carson Show. Magna starred in a few movies back in Hungary much earlier in life, but because of her two younger sisters' fame, she, too, was seen as a socialite.
Bad Behavior: 1989 defining year for Zsa Zsa
Zsa Zsa made headlines when she was kicked off a Delta plane in Atlanta for refusing to keep her two Shih Tzu dogs in traveling kennels.
Zsa Zsa made much bigger headlines around the world in June of 1989, after she was arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills cop, Paul Kramer, when he pulled over and cited her for driving without a license in an unregistered car and with an open container of alcohol. Convicted of all the charges, she was fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.
Here is a summary of what occurred as described in a Wikipedia article:
On June 14, 1989, Gabor was accused of slapping the face of Beverly Hills police officer Paul Kramer when he stopped her for a traffic violation at 8551 Olympic Blvd. On Sept. 29, 1989, it was announced that a jury convicted the actress of slapping a police officer, driving without a license and possessing an open container of alcohol—a flask of Jack Daniel's—in her $215,000 Rolls Royce, but also acquitted her on charges of disobeying officer Kramer when she drove away from a routine traffic stop.
On Oct. 25, 1989, it was announced that Beverly Hills Municipal Judge Charles G. Rubin had sentenced Gabor to serve three days in jail, to pay fines and restitution totaling $12,937, to perform 120 hours of community service—and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. On June 14, 1990, Gabor decided to drop her conviction appeal and agreed to serve her sentence.However, Gabor refused to take part in community service and served three days in jail between July 27-30, 1990.
And Zsa Zsa herself became a crime victim, losing $7 million to Bernie Madoff in his Ponzi scheme in 2007. She later claimed Madoff was the reason she still owed the IRS $118,000.
Gabor suffered a lot of health issues later in life. She was in a bad car wreck in 2002. Her right leg had to be amputated in 2011, stemming from a severe infection that might have otherwise killed her. The year before, she broke a hip.
Born Sari Gabor on Feb. 6, 1917 in Budapest, Zsa Zsa was a Hungarian beauty pageant winner in 1936. Married nine times, Zsa Zsa was pre-deceased by her only child, a daughter, Francesca Hilton (1947-2015), with second husband Conrad Hilton. Technically, she was married only eight since one of the marriages was annulled.
And get this: George Sanders, a British actor, was first married to Zsa Zsa, but after their divorce, he later married older sister, Magda, who was married six times. Despite 20 combined marriages between the Gabor sisters, only Zsa Zsa bore a child.
With their thick Hungarian accents, The Gabor sisters would refer to everyone as ‘Dahlink.’ Zsa Zsa, once said she addresses almost everyone as Dahlink (darling) "because I can’t remember their names.”
FAST FACTS: Zsa Zsa's marriages
Burhan Asaf Belge (1937–1941; divorced).
- Conrad Hilton (April 10, 1942 – 1947; divorced) -- "Conrad's decision to change my name from Zsa Zsa to Georgia symbolized everything my marriage to him would eventually become. My Hungarian roots were to be ripped out and my background ignored. ... I soon discovered that my marriage to Conrad meant the end of my freedom. My own needs were completely ignored: I belonged to Conrad."
- George Sanders (April 2, 1949 – April 2, 1954; divorced).
- Herbert Hutner (Nov. 5, 1962 – March 3, 1966; divorced) -- "Herbert took away my will to work. With his kindness and generosity, he almost annihilated my drive. I have always been the kind of woman who could never be satisfied by money -- only excitement and achievement."
- Joshua S. Cosden, Jr. (March 9, 1966 – October 18, 1967; divorced).
- Jack Ryan (Jan. 21, 1975 – August 24, 1976; divorced).
- Michael O'Hara (Aug. 27, 1976 – 1983; divorced).
- Felipe de Alba (April 13–14, 1983; annulled).
- Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (August 14, 1986 – Dec. 18, 2016; her death).