Zsa Zsa Gabor's Best Roles

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Best Roles

The legendary actress has died at the age of 99

One of the most common and admittedly valid complaints lobbied against celebrities like Paris Hilton and every one of the ever-expanding Kardashian clan is that they're merely "famous for being famous." The general public's distaste at their overexposure in the media, their libertine lifestyles, and their flashy displays of wealth and nouveau-riche status is and has always been summed up by that one hackneyed old phrase, littered with negative connotations. To those who have only been exposed to socialites-cum-celebrities in the modern age, it's impossible to imagine genuinely charming celebrities who were "famous for being famous," yet the first and most conspicuous example (and a perfect counter to Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney) were the Gabor Sisters.

Note the candles on the birthday cake form a question mark.

Zsa Zsa (born Sarí), Eva, and Magda Gabor each emigrated from Hungary in the mid-20th century and collectively captivated America for nearly thirty years. They were renowned for their beauty - Zsa Zsa was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936, though she would later claim she was born in 1928 - for their jetset lifestyle, and for their multiple high-profile marriages numbering 20 in total (though actor George Sanders married both Zsa Zsa and Magda [the latter was annulled after two months]). Their enterprising mother, Jolie, turned the three women into a brand; the accents, the furs, the "dahlings," it was all a contrived marketing scheme which, because it was so obviously forced and phony, worked. It was a joke everyone was in one and everyone loved to watch, and yet the sisters and their success were no laughing matter.

Eva, Magda, and Zsa Zsa with parents Vilmos and Jolie Gabor

Of the three, Zsa Zsa and Eva were the two standouts, and though Eva Gabor has enjoyed the most lasting legacy of the three (you may not know the name but you've definitely seen her as Lisa Douglas, the comically glamorous "farmer's" wife on Green Acres), Zsa Zsa was the most notorious of the three. On December 18th, Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away at age 99, one of the last living links to the Golden Age of Hollywood and a woman who has been described as "glamour personified."

Though not primarily known for her acting (director John Huston merely deemed her "a credible actress," Zsa Zsa cleverly parlayed her beauty, wit, and accent into a career, including standout roles such as:

8. Erika Tiffany-Smith in Gilligan's Island (1965)

Zsa Zsa played well within her wheelhouse in a 1965 episode of Gilligan's Island, portraying a flighty socialite who visits the island, falls in love with the professor, tries to buy the island, falls out of love with the professor, leaves, and is unable to help the Coast Guard find the castaways due to her thick accent. The most challenging aspect of this role was her walking through sand in her high-heels, but it's a reminder that her image had become so synonymous with wealth by this point that she was typecast in the best possible way.

7. Jessica Shelley in Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

Picture Mommy Dead, a subpar horror movie from 1966, begins with the fiery death of an already dead Zsa Zsa Gabor. While her role is minimal, she is the impetus behind it, and much like Rebecca de Winter in the classic novel/film Rebecca, the mere implication of her presence casts a looming shadow over the movie. Her death, which is later revealed to involve divorce and diamonds, again found her portraying a caricature of her "brand."

6. Talleah in Queen of Outer Space (1958)

Zsa Zsa Gabor leads the charge against good taste in this quintessentially bad '50s sci-fi movie. She plays Talleah, a rebel who, with the help of some astronauts, plans to overthrow the evil, man-hating Queen Yllana so that they may bring men to the planet again. Her minimal dialogue and the many dresses slit nearly to her bellybutton make it obvious that Zsa Zsa is meant to be more of a clotheshorse than an actress, but she does the best she can do with a movie like this (she even underplays her iconic accent).

5. Minerva in Batman (1968)

In a television series marked by, among other things, a list of notoriously talented guest stars (Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Tallulah Bankhead, Julie Newmar, Otto Preminger, Ethel Merman, Eartha Kitt, Shelley Winters, etc. etc.) Zsa Zsa Gabor retains the minor distinction of being the series' very last villain, the spa owner Minerva. In a convoluted plot typical of the campy series, she uses some kind of eggplant scalp massage to hypnotize wealthy men into giving her their financial secrets and then robs them blind. She is, of course, foiled by Batman, and yet in usual Gabor fashion she misses no opportunities in flirting with Bruce Wayne/Batman prior to her arrest. The role is perfectly suited for her: a glamorous, money-hungry villain running amok amid mindless entertainment.

4. Cabaret Owner in Touch of Evil (1958)

This role is by no means a standout (it's simply a cameo) and yet it's a pleasant surprise to see an "actress" like Zsa Zsa like one of Orson Welles' greatest films, the mid century equivalent of Tarentino giving Kim Kardashian a minor role in any one of his films. She plays a strip club owner who simply offers the detective a lead, then goes on her way. The film is notable for its other guest stars (Mercedes McCambridge, Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Cotten), all of whom are regarded as far superior actors, but Zsa Zsa plays her role as seriously as she can, a break from her numerous other cameos.

3. Jane Avril in Moulin Rouge (1952)

Long before Baz Luhrmann's big-budget musical, Zsa Zsa starred in acclaimed director John Huston's biopic of the life of Toulouse-Lautrec. She plays an 1890s Parisian nightclub singer who acts as a muse for the young artist, the painter to have his art on display in the Louvre during his lifetime. She plays the role with the dazzling wit and sex appeal she was primarily known for, and though she was not even so much as nominated for her role, the film's nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture is a testament to her acting abilities, however minor and however contested.

2. Sonya Lamor in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1991)

If you're among my generation, somewhere in the recesses of your brain you remember the episode where the Banks' new neighbor, the glamorous Old Hollywood actress Sonya Lamor, appears to have stolen their silverware, leading Will and Carlton to break into her home and retrieve it. This role came on the heels of her publicity boon after slapping a Beverly Hills police officer across the face during a traffic stop in 1989 (which is alluded to and mocked in the episode), and all of her fictional film titles mentioned by Will include the word "Hussy," another play on her reputation as a maneater. This would be one of her final roles and, in my biased opinion, one of her best.

1. Herself

Because reality TV did not exist as a crutch for the dubiously famous, Zsa Zsa Gabor was a staple of game and talk shows for a four decades span. She was a notorious wit whose intellect often came as a surprise to the hosts and guests who assumed that because of her looks she was a vapid social-climber (which one could argue isn't too far off the mark). She held her own against the likes of Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, Howard Stern, Joan Rivers, and led Oprah Winfrey on a hilariously revealing tour of her home in 1989. She was a frequent guest of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In ("this show reminds me of my honeymoon, dahlings. Nobody knows what they are doing but everybody laughs!"), played herself on Mr. Ed, served as the spokeswoman for Lawry's seasoning salt (wherein she claimed she used it on caviar), and used her beauty, alacrity, and intelligence to perpetuate herself and her legacy. She was an icon long before E!, VH1, and Bravo handed every narcissist their own media platform, and she (and her sisters) left an indelible mark on American culture, for better or for worse.

Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917 1945 - 2016)

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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