LOS ANGELES: Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Hungarian-born Hollywood siren perhaps better known for her prodigious love life than her movie credits, died Sunday, her husband said. She was 99.
An emotional Frederic von Anhalt told AFP that Gabor had passed away at home, after suffering a heart attack, surrounded by friends and family.
“Everybody was there. She didn’t die alone,” he told AFP by telephone, choking back sobs.
The pair married in 1986, making it by far the longest of her nine marriages.
Gabor, who in her heyday embodied the film industry’s platinum blonde ideal, was a voluptuous former beauty queen with a penchant for lame gowns that accentuated her hourglass curves.
Her resumé includes a long list of film roles in such hit movies as “Moulin Rouge,” “Lili” and “Arrivederci Baby!”
But the actress was at least as famous for her conquests between the sheets as her triumphs on the silver screen.
Like her famous great-granddaughter by marriage Paris Hilton, Gabor was among the first celebrities to be famous for her celebrity.
Her thick Hungarian accent was much parodied — especially her penchant for calling everyone she met
“darling” — or “dahlink” as she pronounced it.
It became her unique signature.
“I call everyone ‘dahlink’ because I can’t remember their names,” the socialite once said.
Born in Hungary on February 6, 1917, as Sari Gabor, Zsa Zsa was one of a trio of ravishing sisters known for their shapely curves and passion for well-heeled men.
Her sisters were Magda, and Hollywood star Eva Gabor, who achieved greater acting success in the United States than her sister for her role in the 1960s hit television series “Green Acres.”
Zsa Zsa also came to be known for her love of diamonds and frequently was photographed dripping in the sparkling gems.
During her many marriages and a prodigious number of affairs that made her a fixture in America’s gossip magazines, she had just one child — a daughter Francesca, fathered by hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.
Francesca died early last year from a heart attack. She had been feuding with Gabor’s husband for years, who kept her away from her famous mother.
Gabor’s romantic scorecard was a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood heartthrobs of her day, and her kiss-and-tell book detailed romances with screen legends Sean Connery and Frank Sinatra.
Gabor was known to be picky, however, spurning the advances of John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, John Huston and Henry Fonda, she wrote in her autobiography.
In June 1989, Gabor made headlines when she slapped the face of a Beverly Hills police officer for giving her a traffic ticket. She was sentenced to three days in jail and ordered to pay $13,000 in court costs.
She was briefly married to British-born actor George Sanders, who later wooed and briefly wed her sister Magda.
Gabor, who had been in and out of hospital since a hip replacement in 2010, had several close brushes with death in recent years. She was read her last rites at one point more than six year ago.
A 2002 car accident left the actress partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. She also had a stroke in 2005. One of her legs was partially amputated.