Yep, that’s Zsa Zsa Gabor. A pic like that may come as a surprise if you just think of today’s birthday girl as some kind of joke. In truth, Zsa Zsa started out in Hollywood as a seriously exotic beauty. The former Miss Hungary, 1936 also spent some time as a serious actress–most notably as the lead in director John Huston’s Moulin Rouge from 1952. She was 35 years old back then, and in the final years of the third of her ten marriages. In this case, she was married to the actor George Sanders, whose marriage to Zsa Zsa contributed to his own debauched reputation. Zsa Zsa was certainly no stranger to scandal, with it already being an open secret that she had slept with the son of her second husband. That husband being hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, whose own lineage has kept tabloids thriving. The son was Nicky Hilton, who’d go on to be one of Elizabeth Taylor’s many husbands. [photo via beauty.blogspot]
Zsa Zsa might be a legendary Hollywood figure if she had become a proper socialite later in life. Instead, she couldn’t resist fame, and went into the TV age as a caricature of herself. She also made the misstep of following up a beautiful turn in the Orson Welles’ classic A Touch of Evil with a campy role in 1958’s Queen of Outer Space. That was the first sign that Zsa Zsa would go on to grace talk shows and game shows as a self-caricature of a spoiled nymphomaniac divorcee. Zsa Zsa then enjoyed a revival as a scandalous woman when she was arrested in 1989 for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer who wouldn’t let her drive her Rolls Royce without a valid license.
Meanwhile, her sisters were carrying on in a more reasonable way. The lovely Magda (whose six husbands also included George Sanders) was a beloved figure in high society. Her sister Eva enjoyed sitcom success with Green Acres, and became the longtime companion of closeted game-show mogul Merv Griffin. Zsa Zsa was happy to exploit her wild reputation, with turns playing herself in Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 1996’s A Very Brady Sequel. The latter would mark her final screen role. Zsa Zsa is in ill health today, but she’s celebrating her 96th birthday as the last Gabor Sister alive.
At least we think she’s 96 years old. Zsa Zsa has taken some liberties with her life story over the years. We can still be sure that she’s celebrating today in style. And here she is having fun with David Letterman, and just being her glamorous self…