Zsa Zsa Gabor, An Icon Of Camp, Glitz And Glam, Dies At 99

Zsa Zsa Gabor — the lady who most likely inspired the term “well-known for being famous” — died on Sunday, according to multiple media outlets. She was 99 years old, just two months shy of her 100th birthday.

NPR has not independently confirmed the reports.

Buxom and blond, vampy and campy, the Hungarian-born screen siren primarily contributed to cultural touchstones such as The Adore Boat, The Naked Gun 2 1/two and Hollywood Squares — where she answered (or, far more accurately, could not answer) inquiries about Cheez Whiz.

Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1954. Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

But it would be a grave mistake to trivialize Gabor’s achievements.

“She is one particular of the most essential figures of the late 20th century in terms of pondering about celebrity, pondering about girls,” says Kirsten Pullen, a professor at Texas A&ampM University.

Pullen is not joking. As far back as the 1950s, when women have been anticipated to be decorous, Gabor sought and got continual press for her juicy hookups, her fabulous bling and her public antics. She could dominate a newsreel about a movie premiere — for a movie she wasn’t even in — just by showing up in a diaphanous gown. She was arguably the prototype for today’s Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons.

(In fact, Gabor and Hilton had household ties: Gabor was when married to Conrad Hilton, who is Paris Hilton’s excellent-grandfather.)

“You cannot make this stuff up,” Pullen says wryly. “Whether or not we believe it’s excellent to be well-known for becoming popular, she is the a single who truly set the template for that.”

Gabor followed her sister Eva from Hungary to Hollywood in the 1940s. Zsa Zsa scored some little movie parts from large movie directors — Orson Welles and John Huston among them — and was also featured in some movies probably greatest forgotten, such as Queen of Outer Space.

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But if she wasn’t recognized for her skilled acting, dancing or singing, Gabor was an irrepressible performer — and she excelled at playing herself, when endless rounds of Hollywood gossip and publicity created her personal persona larger than any character.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor strikes a glamorous pose for the duration of a rehearsal for CBS’s As The World Turns in 1981. Mary Lederhandler/AP hide caption

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Mary Lederhandler/AP

She had charm, which created her jokes about marrying for income rather than romance a lot more palatable proper when women had been starting to demand more monetary manage. Her oft-stated fondness for sex dented classic expectations of passive femininity, Pullen says: “She paved the way for the sexual revolution.”

And when Gabor slapped a policeman who pulled her more than in 1989, she parlayed the incident into a complete-blown comeback, with out any apparent aid from mangers or publicists. The incident place her back on the speak show circuit, exactly where she chattered merrily about the challenges of keeping a beauty regimen in the slammer.

Even as an older woman, Gabor tended her image as the glamorous starlet who married some thing like 10 occasions. She threw out lines like, “I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I preserve his residence.”

But she also, ironically enough, had this to say about Paris Hilton: “I consider she’s rather silly. She does also several items for publicity.”

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