(LOS ANGELES) — Before Kim Kardashian, Zsa Zsa Gabor turned the concept of “famous for being famous” into an art. The former Miss Hungary-turned-starlet has died at the age of 99, ABC News has confirmed. Gabor had survived a stroke, a broken hip and a partial leg amputation in the last decade or so. According to Variety, she’d been on life support for the past five years.
In a statement, her former publicist, Edward Lozzi, told ABC News the star was “one tough cookie,” adding, “Her beautiful lips and mouth could also be her worst enemy, if and when she turned on the verbal machine gun. Most of her problems originated from that beautiful mouth.” But he also described her as an “American icon.”
The sister of Eva Gabor and Magda Gabor, Zsa Zsa hit Hollywood in 1952 with some small movie roles, and then moved to TV — everything from Batman to The Facts of Life — and Broadway. She was most famous, though, for being glamorous and calling everybody “dah-link” in her Hungarian accent. Most of her appearances involved her playing herself.
Married nine times, Zsa Zsa was famous for her cracks about marrying rich men, such as, “I want a man who’s kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?” She was also the great-great aunt of Paris Hilton, thanks to a four-year marriage to hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, which produced a daughter, Francesca, who died destitute in 2015. It’s not clear if Zsa Zsa was aware of her death, since her most recent husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, whom she married in 1986, was accused of keeping Francesca her away from her mother.
In 1989, Zsa Zsa was accused of slapping a police officer who’d stopped her for a traffic violation. She was convicted of the slapping, as well as for driving without a license and driving with an open container of alcohol. She served three days in jail, but refused to perform the required community service. The incident inspired the 1991 documentary The People vs. Zsa Zsa Gabor.
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