Eva Gabor

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Eva Gabor
Eva Gabor.jpg
Born(1919-02-11)February 11, 1919
DiedJuly 4, 1995(1995-07-04) (aged 76)
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Other namesGábor Éva
OccupationActress, businesswoman, socialite
Years active1941–1994
  • Eric Valdemar Drimmer
    (m. 1937;div. 1942)
  • Charles Isaacs
    (m. 1943;div. 1949)
  • John Elbert Williams
    (m. 1956;div. 1957)
  • Richard Brown
    (m. 1959;div. 1973)
  • Frank Gard Jameson, Sr.
    (m. 1973;div. 1983)
Parent(s)Vilmos Gábor
Jolie Gabor
Relatives Magda Gabor (sister)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (sister)
Constance Francesca Hilton (niece)
Anette Lantos (cousin)

Eva Gabor ( /ˌvəɡəˈbɔːr, - ˈɡɑːbɔːr/ AY-və gə-BOR, -GAH-bor; February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995) was a Hungarian-American actress, singer, and socialite. She was widely known for her role on the 1965–71 television sitcom Green Acres as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas. She voiced "Duchess" in the Disney film The Aristocats , and Miss Bianca in Disney's The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under . Gabor was successful as an actress in film, on Broadway and on television. She was also a successful businessperson, marketing wigs, clothing and beauty products. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.

A socialite is a person who plays a prominent role in high society. A socialite spends a significant amount of time attending various fashionable social gatherings.

A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.


Early life and career

Gabor was born in Budapest, Hungary, the youngest of three daughters of Vilmos Gábor (died 1962), a soldier, and his wife Jolie (born Janka Tilleman; 1896–1997), [1] a jeweler. Her parents were both from Hungarian Jewish families. [2] [3] [4] She was the first of the sisters to immigrate to the US, shortly after her first marriage, to a Swedish osteopath, Dr. Eric Drimmer, whom she married in 1939 when she was 20 years old. [5]

Budapest Capital city of Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city has an estimated population of 1,752,286 over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33% of the population of Hungary.

Jolie Gabor Hungarian-American socialite, entrepreneur, memoirist; mother of the Gabor sisters

Jolie Gabor, Countess de Szigethy was a Hungarian-born American socialite known as the mother of actresses and socialites Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva Gabor.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.

Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor in Green Acres, 1969 Eddie Albert Eva Gabor Green Acres 1969.JPG
Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor in Green Acres, 1969

Her first movie role was in the US in Forced Landing at Paramount Pictures. During the 1950s she appeared in several “A”-movies, including The Last Time I Saw Paris , starring Elizabeth Taylor; and Artists and Models, which featured Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. These roles were again bit parts. In 1953, she was given her own television talk show, The Eva Gabor Show , which ran for one season (1953–54). Through the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s she appeared on television and in movies. She appeared in one episode of the mystery series Justice and was on the game show What's My Line? as the "mystery challenger." Her film appearances during this era included a remake of My Man Godfrey , Gigi and It Started with a Kiss.

Forced Landing is a 1941 action film directed by Gordon Wiles and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film recounts the exploits of a pilot in Mosaque, an imaginary country in the midst of turmoil. Forced Landing stars Richard Arlen, Eva Gabor, J. Carrol Naish, Nils Asther and Evelyn Brent. It was Gabor's film debut.

Paramount Pictures Major film studio in America, specializing in film and television production, and distribution.

Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

<i>The Last Time I Saw Paris</i> 1954 film by Richard Brooks

For the 1942 book, see Elliot Paul.

Green Acres

In 1965, Gabor got the role for which she is best remembered: Lisa Douglas, whose attorney husband Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) decides to leave the "rat race" of city life. He buys a farm in a rural community, forcing Lisa to leave her beloved big-city urban life, in the Paul Henning sitcom Green Acres , which aired on CBS. Green Acres was set in Hooterville, the same backdrop for Petticoat Junction (1963–70), and would occasionally cross over with its sister sitcom. Despite proving to be a ratings hit, staying in the top 20 for its first four seasons, Green Acres, along with another sister show, The Beverly Hillbillies , was cancelled in 1971 in the CBS network's "rural purge"— a policy to get rid of the network's rural-based television shows.

<i>Lisa Douglas</i> leading female character in the 1960s CBS situation comedy Green Acres,

Lisa Douglas was the leading female character in the 1960s CBS situation comedy Green Acres, which ran for six years, from 1965 to 1971. The character was reprised in the 1990 film Return to Green Acres. CNN rated the character as being amongst "The most stylish TV housewives of all time".

Oliver Wendell Douglas

Oliver Wendell Douglas was the major character in the 1960s CBS situation comedy Green Acres. Portrayed by Hollywood veteran Eddie Albert, Oliver Wendell Douglas was a New York City attorney embraced a long harbored a dream of moving to the Midwest and operating a farm rather than practicing "big city" law. The character's name was inspired by famed Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and possibly also by then-Supreme Court justice William Orville Douglas.

Eddie Albert actor

Edward Albert Heimberger, known professionally as Eddie Albert, was an American actor and activist. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1954 for his performance in Roman Holiday, and in 1973 for The Heartbreak Kid.

Later years

Gabor later did voice-over work for Disney movies, providing the European-accented voices of Duchess in The Aristocats , and Miss Bianca in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under , as well as the Queen of Time in the Sanrio film Nutcracker Fantasy . She was a panelist on the Gene Rayburn-hosted Match Game . From 1983–84, she was on the Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour starring Gene Rayburn and Jon Bauman. [6]

The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

<i>The Aristocats</i> 1970 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions

The Aristocats is a 1970 American animated romantic adventure musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The 20th Disney animated feature film, the film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, and revolves around a family of aristocratic cats, and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress's fortune which was intended to go to them. The film features the voices of Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddeley, Phil Harris, Dean Clark, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers, and Roddy Maude-Roxby.

<i>The Rescuers</i> 1977 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions

The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. The 23rd Disney animated feature film, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York City and shadowing the United Nations, dedicated to helping abduction victims around the world at large. Two of these mice, jittery janitor Bernard and his co-agent, the elegant Miss Bianca, set out to rescue Penny, an orphan girl being held prisoner in the Devil's Bayou by treasure huntress Madame Medusa. The film is based on a series of books by Margery Sharp, most notably The Rescuers and Miss Bianca.

In 1983 she reunited with Eddie Albert on Broadway as the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina in You Can't Take It with You . In 1990, she attempted a TV series comeback in the CBS sitcom pilot Close Encounters; the pilot aired as a special that summer, but did not make it to series status. She toured post-communist Hungary after a 40-year absence on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous .

You Can't Take It with You is a comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The original production of the play premiered on Broadway in 1936, and played for 838 performances.

<i>Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous</i> television series

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is an American television series that aired in syndication from 1984 to 1995. The show featured the extravagant lifestyles of wealthy entertainers, athletes and business moguls.


In 1972 she launched her eponymous fashion collection, with Luis Estevez, a Cuban-born, Coty-award-winning fashion designer. [7] [8] [9]

Marriages and relationships

Eva Gabor was married five times. She had no children:

After her final marriage, Gabor was involved in a public relationship with TV producer Merv Griffin until her death. It was rumored [18] that this was a platonic relationship to hide Griffin's suspected homosexuality.


Gabor died in Los Angeles on July 4, 1995, from respiratory failure and pneumonia, following a fall in a bathtub in Mexico, where she had been on vacation. [19] Her funeral was held on July 11, 1995, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. [20]

The youngest sister, Eva predeceased her elder sisters and her mother. Eldest sister Magda and mother Jolie Gabor both died two years later, in 1997. Elder sister Zsa Zsa died from cardiac arrest on December 18, 2016.


Gabor's grave Eva Gabor grave at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Brentwood, California.JPG
Gabor's grave

Gabor is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery and is buried just yards from both her niece, Francesca Hilton, and her friend and former co-star Eddie Albert.[ citation needed ]

Theatre roles

Opening dateClosing dateTitleRoleTheatre
January 24, 1950July 14, 1951 The Happy Time Mignonette Plymouth
March 26, 1956March 31, 1956Little Glass ClockGabrielle John Golden
January 31, 1958February 8, 1958 Present Laughter Joanna Lyppiatt Belasco
March 18, 1963November 9, 1963 Tovarich Tatiana
(succeeded Vivien Leigh October 21)
Winter Garden
April 4, 1983January 1, 1984 You Can't Take It with You The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina
(succeeded Colleen Dewhurst)



1941 Forced Landing Johanna Van Deuren
New York Town Minor RoleUncredited
Pacific Blackout Marie Duval
1942 Star Spangled Rhythm Eva GaborUncredited
1945 A Royal Scandal Countess Demidow
1946 The Wife of Monte Cristo Mme. Lucille Maillard
1949 Song of Surrender Countess Marina
1952 Love Island Sarna
1953 Paris Model Gogo Montaine
1954 The Mad Magician Claire Ormond
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl Judith Duvall
The Last Time I Saw Paris Lorraine Quarl
1955 Artists and Models Sonia / Mrs. Curtis
1957 The Truth About Women Louise Tiere
My Man Godfrey Francesca Gray
Don't Go Near the Water Deborah Aldrich
1958 Touch of Evil Stripper sitting at barUncredited
Gigi Liane d'Exelmans
1959 It Started with a Kiss Marquesa Marion de la Rey
1963 A New Kind of Love Felicienne Courbeau
1964 Youngblood Hawke Fannie Prince
1970 The Aristocats DuchessVoice
1977 The Rescuers Miss Bianca
1979 Nutcracker Fantasy Queen of Time
1987 The Princess Academy Countess Von Pupsin
1990 The Rescuers Down Under Miss BiancaVoice


1951 Tales of Tomorrow LauraEpisode: "The Invader", an American anthology SciFi series performed & broadcast live
1953 The Eva Gabor Show HerselfHost
1954-1955 Justice 2 episodes: "The Blackmailer", and "The Intruder"
1957 What's My Line? Mystery GuestSeason No. 9, Episode No. 12, overall episode #389 [21]
1959 Five Fingers Maria VodnayEpisode: "Station Break"
1960-1961 Harrigan and Son Lillian LovelyTwo appearances
1965-1971 Green Acres Lisa Douglas
1968 Here's Lucy Eva Von Gronyitz1st season, episode No. 7
1969 Wake Me When the War Is Over Baroness Marlene
1973-1982 Match Game Recurring panelist
1975 Tattletales With husband Frank Jameson
Ellery Queen Magda SzomonyEpisode: "The Adventure of the Blunt Instrument"
1981 Fantasy Island Episode: "My Late Lover/Sanctuary"
1982 Hart to Hart ReneeEpisode: "With This Hart I Thee Wed"
1983 The Edge of Night Cast member
1990 Return to Green Acres Lisa Douglas
Close EncountersEva Hill
1993 The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies Herself


See also


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  4. Bennetts, Leslie. "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World". Vanity Fair . Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  5. Johnson, Irving (February 29, 1948). "Those Gabor Girls". San Antonio Light. p. 62. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  6. Pixie, Pranking (July 4, 2012). "Pixie Pranks and Disney Fun: Every Disney Hero Has a Voice ~ Eva Gabor Duchess & Bianca". Pixie Pranks and Disney Fun. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  7. Marian Christy, "Mama Gabor: Ageless Mother of 3", Newport Daily News, February 17, 1975.
  8. Launch date cited in McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion by Colin McDowell (F. Muller, 1984)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Eva Gabor Obtains Divorce", The New York Times, February 25, 1945
  11. "Eva Gabor in Hospital", The New York Times, December 2, 1946
  12. "Eva Gabor Wed to Surgeon", The New York Times, April 9, 1956
  13. 1 2 Eva Gabor Wed in Las Vegas", The New York Times, October 5, 1959
  14. Brown's later career was described in "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  15. "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  16. 1 2 May 18, 1993 (May 18, 1993). "Aeronautics Executive Jameson Dies". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  17. "Notes on People", The New York Times, September 22, 1973
  18. Richmond, Ray. "Merv Griffin died a closeted homosexual". U.K. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  19. "Eva Gabor, 74, the Actress; Youngest of Celebrated Sisters". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 5, 1995.
  20. Gary Wayne (May 20, 1998). "Church of the Good Shepherd". Seeing-stars.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  21. "What's My Line?: EPISODE #389". TV.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016.