Zsa Zsa Gabor's Best Roles

Zsa Zsa Gabor's Best Roles

The legendary actress has died at the age of 99
111
views

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)

Popular Right Now

What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
685523
views

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

1242
views

I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

Related Content

Facebook Comments