Once upon a time there were three beautiful sisters with little discernible talent and one well-groomed, overly ambitious mother who at one time wanted to be an actress herself. The Mama made a promise to her daughters that they would be "rich, famous and marry kings."
No, we're not talking Kim, Kourtney or Khloe. We're talking Zsa Zsa, Eva and Magda Gabor. The original famous-for-being-famous celebrities of their day. And they played it to the hilt. Zsa Zsa's over the top life style, her trials and tribulations have been played out in the tabloids long before there was an E! channel.
With Liz Taylor dead and her jewels on the block, Zsa Zsa's latest health issues remind me there are so few iconic sex symbols who lived a grand life that are left for us to emulate and drool over. She is one of the last women who wasn't afraid to throw on their furs and big nasty jewels, wash and coif their hair and go out looking like an impeccable confection. While she's still with us let's remember why we love Zsa Zsa.
Mama Jolie raised her three Hungarian puff pastries with precision. She makes Kris Jenner look positively Mommy Dearest. Jolie taught her beauties that nothing was impossible. Well, everyone knows the Kardashians are wannabes. Zsa Zsa was a reality show before there was such a thing. Just watch her getting ready for the premier of Doctor Zhivago when she lets a film crew into her Beverly Hills mansion. Fantastic. She has her hair done by Elizabeth Arden's salon, she tries on varies mink coats, finally deciding on the full length white (naturally), she's adorned with jewels and sprays enough perfume for an entire brothel. Then the cameras follow her with her meek and mild 7th or 8th doormat (depending on whether you consider one of her prior husbands annulled or not) to the premiere where she blithely forgets he's there, living only for the cameras. The zaftig Zsa Zsa flaunted her big bottom long before the Kardashian sisters married for mere hours.
"I'd rather be hit by a gorgeous man than an ugly one." - Zsa Zsa
''My daughters know... enough to be a charming companion to a man,'' Jolie claimed. Zsa Zsa always said she chose the man, the man didn't choose her. I heartily agree. People believe that as a mistress, I'm for sale. I am not. I choose the Earl (aka John for you old-fashioned types) that can buy me. My choice. My price. She also apparently had good taste in all kinds of jewels, including the family ones. In the midst of a heated affair with well-hung (11 inches, yowza!) Porfirio Rubirosa, that kept the tabloids printing ink, Zsa Zsa kept her readers enthralled. She claimed abuse and showed up at a press conference with a patch over a supposed black eye given by the Dominican husband of millionairesses Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton. Zsa Zsa was outraged the dangerously playbo. Rubi wouldn't marry her, especially after all she had thrown over her millionaire beau South American Derek Goodman for Rubi's family jewels.
Zsa Zsa admired and sought men like her father "...unreasonable... jealous... violent..." Considering that type to be "a man." She was happily accused of being the "most expensive courtesan since Madame de Pompadour." There were the men, the scandals, the diamonds, Rolls-Royces, mansions, lawsuits. All three glamor goddesses parlayed their extraordinary bejeweled beauty into multi-marriages and multi-millions. Between Mama and the girls they had 23 husbands to boss around. Their fearless ringleader (though she was merely the middle child) was Zsa Zsa. Once quoted as saying "I believe in a 50/50 proposition in marriage. The man should be over 50, and have at least 50 million." Amen. I've been tooting the benefits of old men now for years. Girls, old men are so grateful. And she didn't believe in giving back the diamonds once the affair had ended. But she did return the children. Step-mummy extraordinaire, Zsa Zsa, again competing with Liz, slept with step-son Nicky Hilton whilst married to daddy Conrad.
With a penchant for addressing everyone as "dahlink," the Budapest Bombshell claimed she couldn't remember anyone's name, most likely she couldn't be bothered to remember, after all English wasn't her first language. Too lazy to write her own biography, the book jacket credits an author as being "written for me." Zsa Zsa was arguably the most famous of the trio (not counting Mama Jolie equally infamous in her own right. Where do you think the daughters got their high-cheeked coiffed look from? Having fled from the Nazis with jewels in hand she became a cookbook author, Palm Springs socialite and jeweler, she steered here daughters into the arms of wealthy men).
"I believe in large families: every woman should have at least three husbands." -- Zsa Zsa
Zsa Zsa is one of the last of her breed. The real deal, who we'll not see the likes of again. She had her own mug shot before every other starlet. Known to the younger generation for slapping a Beverly Hills cop (I mean, what one doesn't need it?) in 1989 when the nosy officer stopped her for a traffic violation and she happened to have an open bottle of alcohol on her. I mean really who doesn't need a nip of champagne navigating through the streets of Beverly Hills? She was a cougar long before Demi. Zsa Zsa's cad of a current husband, German-supposed-Prince Frederic von Anhalt claimed he was the lover of Anna Nicole Smith and father of her daughter Dannielynn.
Poor Zsa Zsa, just when you think you've landed your prince, you're lying in a near-coma in your mansion, estranged from your only ungrateful daughter, and your younger husband by 26 years is out feeding the press lies about spawning some bimbo's child. Anhalt's claim to fatherhood is as authentic as his title. When princey was nearly 40 he was adopted by a German princess who was selling the title in exchange for cash. His story only gets crazier, supposed held at gunpoint by three attractive women in Beverly Hills who robbed him. He wishes. What some princes will do for publicity.
Anhalt and Zsa Zsa -- whether she knows it or not -- have adopted several adult males in exchange for his title. Now I don't see anything wrong with those kind of children. Whatever pays the bills I say, and keeps Zsa Zsa in diamonds and handsome young things floating around her bed.
"I know nothing about sex, because I was always married." - Zsa Zsa
The Queen of the Quips has been married eight or nine times. She is a true romantic, having once proclaimed, "I never hated a man enough to give him diamonds back." She is an old-fashioned gal.
I want a man who's kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?
As my idol, I must give tribute to Zsa Zsa, a woman who made a century-long life off her surgically sculpted beauty, her wit and her single determination to amass jewels worthy of rival Liz. A believer in the good life -- so often pooh-poohed these days as being meaningless. What do all these damn PC-er's know? I mean go ahead and wear pleather, that's not living. Who wouldn't want to be draped in minks and diamonds and ensconced in a Bentley with a handsome Lothario drinking champagne, always laughing. She was never uptight, never seen ungroomed. Impossibly hot-tempered (she knew how to drop the F-bomb) and full-chested (where did she buy her bras? They are fantastic and so uplifting) With perfect plastic surgery. The secret? One of Eva's husbands was a plastic surgeon and facelifts were on the house for Mama Jolie and her dahlinks.
It's never as easy to keep your own spouse happy as it is to make someone else's spouse happy. Zsa Zsa was generous to a fault, that is why she's married so frequently (counting the one she married offshore -- but not far enough off, and only for a day -- she got one on you, Britney), including one she set up with her sister Magda and they married (George Sands, for you Googlers and it was for an entire six weeks of bliss before they split up and he turned to drinking heavily. But then wouldn't you? Two Gabor sisters on your notch? Too much. Not long after he killed himself. I'm just saying. . . ).
Like her sisters, the Diamond Diva carefully and cheerfully avoided answering the date of her birth "I wasn't born, I was ordered from room service."
Intelligence was essential to Zsa Zsa's game. Jolie taught her brains would keep a man, should she wish to keep him (she mostly did not).
She was controversial before such a thing was de rigueur. When she threw a party for Dominican dictator Trujillo's son, a lover to be sure, he reciprocated with a gift of a roadster and a chinchilla coat. Mama Gabor explained her daughter's good fortune ''What do you expect -- for him to send flowers to a girl like Zsa Zsa?''
She lived back in the day when men sent flowers and diamonds to their mistresses and not just pictures of their Weiners over Twitter. She knew her place and knew there was no one her equal. When she lost her cop-slapping court case, the outraged sexpot complained the jury were not her peers. "It was not my class of people, there was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor."
With no breakout acting roles, the diminutive (5'4") minx in mink switched careers, and shot to super fame on the talk show circuits, making blushing idiots and fans of Merv, Mike Douglas, David Frost, Donahue, Jack Parr and Bob Hope -- she graced them all with her unique brand of humor. Often she got into screaming matches with audience members that didn't agree with her brand of mistress talk. Merv (Eva's go-to man) defined his favorite frequent guest as "glamor personified."
Over the years Gabor kept busy racking up debts to attorneys, producing a workout video pre-Jane Fonda, with hunky spandexed boys. Most recently she's been in the news for her poor health, having lost part of a leg to gangrene. The good news is it wasn't her jewelry bearing arm. After all how many diamonds was she wearing around her ankle? None I would assume. Although her faux-prince-less of a husband is an ass for publishing photos of her sans makeup on her 90-something birthday, in bed, without a speck of lace on. Oh, she'd cringe.
And so I raise a flute of champagne to someone we will never see the likes of again no matter how much reality T.V. pretends to find us glamazons to emulate. The true pioneer of gold-digging, man-hunting, jewel-grabbing, the one, the only (not counting her two sisters) Zsa Zsa Gabor. When she goes may she rest in piece(s) -- of diamonds and rubies.