Detail from ‘Zsa Zsa Gabor: Hungarian Glamour From Hollywood’ (2006) by Stephen B Whatley; the full tribute can be seen on this site.
Today, February 6 2008 is the 91st birthday of the Hollywood former screen goddess; who started life as Sari Gabor In Budapest, Hungary in 1917. A beauty queen in her teens, once in Hollywood in the 1940s, she began her transformation into a glamorous bejewelled beauty concocted from candy floss hair styles,cosmetics,chiffon and furs, reaching the peak of sophisiticated glamour in the 1950s and 1960s.
In the 1970s, ever glamorous, she became a favourite celebrity guest on talk shows, revealing an acerbic wit and gifted adlibbing. Always seductive she was by 1981 married to her 7th husband; and in an interview that she gave that summer from her Bel Air home, on posing for photographs she warned the photographer "…but please, not too close…I must ask you- no pictures in the sunlight, darling. No woman, unless she is still in her teens,should ever allow herslf to be photographed in bright sunlight…you see my darling unlike most women I know, I have never had a facelift. No, it is quite true, Never…" In that 1981 interview she ended by saying, "Didn’t someone very famous say that life begins at 50?" (…she was in fact 64)
A decade later in 1991 and 5 years into her 8th marriage, she wrote tellingly about her beauty regimen, in her autobiography, One Lifetime is Not Enough: "…In the morning I cleanse my face with cold cream (no particular brand), then I tone with witch hazel. After that, I powder with Mennen body powder (I learned that at MGM), which is white and light. Then I put black eyeliner on top and underneath my eyes. Last of all I do my eyebrows and then put on false eye lashes.." She omitted the layer of lipstick, gloss and liner that accentuates her lips.
For all the superficial persona, the last of the Gabors is a complex woman who has fought manic depression at periods in her life; and since 2002 when she was involved in a horrific car crash,she has suffered depression and ill health in seclusion. It is to be hoped that her final husband of 22 years is taking care of her with mercy.
To see the complete cartoon tribute of Zsa Zsa Gabor, please click the link
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