Zsa Zsa Gabor may have been known more for her marriages than her movie roles, but the late Hungarian socialite epitomized the glamorous life of a Hollywood star for more than six decades. Gabor, who was reportedly married nine times, died of heart failure on Dec. 18 at age 99, leaving behind a surprisingly large body of acting work and cameo appearances on her resume.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was famous for being famous decades before that became Paris Hilton’s or Kim Kardashian’s claim to fame. But Gabor wasn’t just a prototype for today’s celebutantes. While her serial marriages and quirky quotes were a big part of who she was, Zsa Zsa, a former Miss Hungary, also had a legitimate career in the entertainment world. IMDB lists 76 acting credits for Zsa Zsa Gabor, and many more cameos. In addition, Gabor was the ultimate game show and talk show guest, logging dozens of appearances on everything from The Tonight Show to Hollywood Squares, where she was once baffled by a question about the spray cheese product, Cheez Wiz.
Over her lengthy career, Zsa Zsa Gabor appeared in several high-profile films, including John Huston’s 1952 biopic Moulin Rouge and the 1958 Orson Welles classic, Touch of Evil. Gabor’s later movie roles included Naked Gun 2½ and her last acting credit A Very Brady Sequel in 1996.
A photo posted by Zsa Zsa Gábor (@zsazsagaborofficial) on
But Zsa Zsa also regularly turned up on the small screen. While she never landed a regular role on a TV series like her sister Eva Gabor (Green Acres), Zsa Zsa Gabor’s TV resume dates back to 1952 when she appeared on The Frank Sinatra Show. She would go on to land guest roles on shows like Bonanza, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the soap opera As the World Turns.
In 1968, Zsa Zsa Gabor played the villainess, Minerva, on the series finale of 'Batman' pic.twitter.com/bvqsfypqrN— RetroNewsNow (@RetroNewsNow) December 18, 2016
One of Zsa Zsa’s earliest TV roles was in 1962 on the comedy series Mister Ed. Gabor played herself in the episode, titled “Zsa Zsa.” The actress turned up in Wilbur Post’s (played by Alan Young) small town to shoot a western and instantly became smitten with his talking horse. While her character was initially afraid of horses, in real life Gabor was an avid horse lover.
In 1965, Zsa Zsa bumped into the Skipper (Alan Hale)—literally—on the CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island. Gabor played the beautiful and wealthy Erika Tiffany Smith, a duchess who was scouting deserted islands so she could build a resort hotel, in the episode “Erika Tiffany Smith to the Rescue.”
In 1968, Zsa Zsa Gabor played the villainess Minerva on the series finale of the campy TV series Batman. Gabor’s evil-doing character used hair dryers to steal information from men’s brains, and she was finally busted and taken into custody. Minerva said she was headed off to “Gotham Prison, the most glamorous spa in the world.”
In 1981, Zsa Zsa Gabor played yet another version of her socialite self when she turned up as the glamorous Countess Calvet on the “Bought and Sold” episode of the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life. Indeed, the glamorous Zsa Zsa even gave rich girl Blair Warner a run for her money.
According to Reuters, Zsa Zsa Gabor was so in demand during her TV and movie heyday, where she logged more than 30 film credits alone, that she began to reject smaller roles.
“I may be a character but I do not want to be a character actress,” Gabor reportedly said.
While Zsa Zsa Gabor had her hands on many TV and movie scripts over the years, she will forever be known for her signature line: “Dah-ling.”
Zsa Zsa Gabor would have turned 100 years old on February 6.
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