Los Angeles, Nov. 29 (Reuters): Hungarian-born actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, beloved by generations of Americans for her flamboyant lifestyle and ability to marry rich and often, was hospitalised with head injuries yesterday after a car crash, officials said.
A spokeswoman for Cedars-Sinai Hospital said Gabor, believed to be in her mid-80s, was in a serious condition. She was rushed to Cedars after the car in which she was riding struck a utility pole on Sunset Boulevard.
The Cedars spokeswoman declined to comment on a report from a spokesman for Gabor’s eighth and current husband, German Prince Frederic von Anhalt, that she was in a coma. The couple married in 1986.
The Los Angeles county sheriff’s department said Gabor was injured when a car driven by her hairdresser hit a utility pole. Gabor was not wearing a seat belt, a department spokesman said.
Her husband’s spokesman, Gerd Birkman, said in Berlin: “Prince Frederic von Anhalt was crying ‘Oh my dear wife, why does she have to suffer so' At home I was able to take such good care of her and now as soon as she went out this terrible accident happened’.” Birkman said von Anhalt was devastated and had canceled all his engagements for the rest of the year.
Gabor, who came to the US with her mother and sisters as World War II was about to begin, became famous in her adopted country for her glamour, wit, hot temper and ability to snare a succession of well-to-do husbands.
Acting played second-fiddle to her career as a celebrity fueled by a preposterous Hungarian accent in which all and sundry were called “Darling” — a term she said she used because “I don’t remember anyone’s name.”
Her movie career started well with such films as Lili and Moulin Rouge, both in 1953, but degenerated into camp favourites as Queen of Outer Space in 1958 and Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Save Hollywood in 1983. But she launched a second career as television talk show favourite dispensing advice on love: “A girl must marry for love and keep on marrying until she finds it.”
Once branded “the most expensive courtesan since Madame de Pompadour”, Gabor insisted she married only husband No. 2, hotel baron Conrad Hilton, for his money. “I’ve always said, don’t marry a man for his money. You can borrow it cheaper,” she once said.