Skarlet writes about famous (and infamous) people, business development, medicine, physical education, beauty, fashion, and crafts.
Magda, the Least Known Gabor Sister
Jolie Gabor and Vilmos Gabor were the parents of three outstandingly beautiful young girls in Hungary in the early 20th century. The beautiful little girls would grow up to become the world-famous Gabor sisters. Magda was born June 11, 1915; Zsa Zsa February 6, 1917; and Eva was the baby, born February 11, 1919.
The girls were born in Budapest, Hungary, and while still young girls their mother, the formidable Jolie, had the spirit of an entrepreneur and trained her three beautiful daughters in the art of attracting wealthy gentlemen. After the Gabors reached international stardom it was discovered that Jolie ran a very successful brothel in Hungary and used her connections and income from the business to get her family to the United States. In 1946 their family moved to New York while WWII was in full swing. Magda had already established herself as an actress in Hungary playing small roles in Hungarian films. Jolie and her three daughters conspired to move to Hollywood and swim the big fish.
At the time of the sisters and Jolie making the move to the U.S., Magda was eager to put the past behind her as she had been married to a man by the name of Jan Bychowsky in 1937 until his death in 1944. She had originally intended to stay one year and then go to Portugal and marry a nobleman, but she met an American named William Rankin, a famous playwright who was a screenwriter for many Hollywood movies including The Harvey Girls. The marriage lasted only one year.
Magda was not a very successful actress but she kept busy by marrying men. She was divorced again in 1947 and then married in 1949 to an attorney in Long Island New York, Sidney Robert Warren. This marriage only lasted one year and Magda waited a few years to marry again. This time she married a very wealthy developer and owner of some of the finest real estate in New York, Arthur Gallucci. The marriage lasted only one year.
Magda's most famous marriage was to actor George Sanders, who had previously been married to her younger sister Zsa Zsa. This curious marriage lasted two months before it was annulled. Friends believed that George was still in love with Zsa Zsa and marrying her sister was a way of holding onto his relationship with the fickle young Zsa Zsa.
Her final marriage was to Tibor Heltai. This lasted approximately three years before it ended in divorce.
Magda had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and she died of renal failure two months after her mother passed away.
Magda married a total of six times.
Zsa Zsa, the Most Famous Gabor Sister
The middle sister, Zsa Zsa, is the most famous of the sisters due to her showy persona. She loved to give interviews about her life and her men. After arriving in America, Zsa Zsa wasted no time in finding a suitable husband. She had already been married and divorced from Burhan Asaf Belge, and now after receiving a new nose job she met and married Conrad Hilton. In 1946, Zsa Zsa gave birth to Constance Francesca Hilton. She was the only Gabor sister to have a child. After divorcing Hilton she moved into the Hollywood set and married George Sanders.
Zsa Zsa was a natural beauty but like Marilyn Monroe, she knew she could use a little help from a talented surgeon to give her face a more classic and dramatic appearance. She had several surgeons work their magic on her cheekbones, skin, and eyes during the late 1940s through the 1950s. Zsa Zsa was a shrewd woman who knew how to make the most of what she had. She wanted the gold and was prepared to go for it.
Tom Conway, Sanders' brother, commented shortly after meeting Zsa Zsa that she should be in movies or on television because she was so beautiful and funny. George thought that his wife was simply not intelligent enough to do anything in the entertainment industry and the issue was dropped, however, Zsa Zsa pressed Tom behind her husband's back and he got her a spot on The Buick-Berle Show as a guest star. Zsa Zsa was an instant success and was quickly given a role in the MGM musical Lovely to Look At, with Howard Keel and Ann Miller. Once she had the power of publicity, her husband George became another one of Zsa Zsa's discarded husbands.
Throughout the 1950s, Zsa Zsa appeared on television in Playhouse 90, The Ford Television Theater, and Sneak Preview to name a few. She also had major roles in movies such as The Most Wanted Man, and Beauty and the Bullfighter.
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Once her movie and television career had died down, she married Prince Frederic von Anhalt, giving her the title of "princess."
In 1989 Zsa Zsa had further renewed her stardom when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated and slapping a police officer. It was the classic image of a spoiled rich lady making her own rules and the cop making her toe the line. The cop pulled her over and saw a bottle of booze in her passenger seat. When he questioned her about it, she spouted something to the effect that she is a Hungarian woman, and Hungarian women never drink and drive and dismissed the officer while speeding away. The officer pulled her over again and this time arrested her on the spot.
Zsa Zsa was every bit the entrepreneur that her mother was. She made the most of her arrest and made multiple appearances on all the talk shows and talked about how handsome her officer was.
After her sisters and mother passed away, Zsa Zsa became a recluse. But in 2002 she was in a serious car accident in which her beautician was driving and Zsa Zsa was the passenger. The beautician drove into a pole and her Zsa Zsa suffered a severe concussion with several broken bones. She never did make a full recovery.
She fell a few years later breaking her hip and consequently had her lower leg amputated.
Eva Gabor and Green Acres
Eva married a doctor whom she had met in Hungary while he was on vacation. Through marriage, she was able to gain access to America and help her mother and sisters follow suit.
Of all the Gabor sisters, Eva was the most prominent as an actress. She appeared on the Broadway stage with legendary stars in the early 1950s before taking Zsa Zsa's lead and getting her bulbous nose fixed.
She quickly moved on to making B movies and had a very good role in The Last Time I Saw Paris. She was busy in movies but never the main character until she eventually got a role in a successful sitcom in 1965 called Green Acres. She played Lisa Douglas, a pampered beauty married to Oliver Douglas, played by Eddie Albert, a man who wants to live on a farm. The series lasted until 1971. Eva's character became so popular that she did a few guest roles on The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. After her run of success in the 1960s, Eva continued to do voiceovers for cartoons.
Eva became good friends with Merv Griffin in the 1970s and lived with him with no romantic involvement. It is now believed that Merv was gay and simply clicked with Eva but was not the type of person to make his sexuality his entire persona. If he had a male partner, he was someone Merv saw and related to privately. The Merv Griffin Show was one of the most popular shows of the 1970s and due to Eva's close relationship with Merv, all the Gabor sisters and their mother were frequent guests on his show, renewing interest in their lives.
She married a total of five times and retained her wealth independently by launching a clothing line in the 1970s, and generally stayed away from making movies but did a few voiceovers. She became more of a society lady than a movie star, appearing only on talk shows and giving interviews for magazines.
Eva passed away in 1995 from pneumonia related to respiratory illness at the age of 76.
Zsa Zsa, Magda, and Eva
The Famous Gabor Family
Shelley Moore on November 19, 2019:
Let's be honest....it was a family of tarts.
Their mom taught them to be good in bed...that's why they didn't stay married very long. Disease no doubt prevented reproduction.
Suchi on March 12, 2019:
Whats up with Zsa zsa kickin the devil horns
Glamo on February 26, 2018:
I would love to see this story in a movie or short film on lifetime
Nagy on November 22, 2017:
"n 1946 their family moved to New York while WWII was in full swing. "
WW2 ended in May of 1945.
Sharene on August 24, 2017:
I very much enjoyed this story. I enjoyed their work.
Jim Gallucci on March 07, 2017:
They were good at marrying men with "un sacco di soldi"
Joe from north miami FL on May 26, 2014:
This taught me so much about the Gabor sisters thank you
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 21, 2014:
The Gabor Sisters; Beauty, Wealth and Marriages is an interesting and informative. I enjoyed reading and getting to know more about such great talent.
Dianna Mendez on August 23, 2013:
I remember watching Eva on Green Acres. She was funny and charming and complemented the main character well. The Gabor sisters were all so beautiful. Great story on these talented actresses.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 19, 2013:
Cool story thank you