The ashes of Hungarian-born actor Zsa Zsa Gabor, renowned for her diamond-studded glamour, witty quips and nine marriages, have been buried in Budapest almost five years after her death.
Gabor’s ashes were laid to rest in a prominent cemetery in the capital city alongside other famous Hungarian actors, writers and poets, in a ceremony where a gypsy band played and her favourite yellow and pink roses were on display.
Born Sari Gabor into a wealthy Hungarian family, she was named Miss Hungary in the 1930s.
As World War II approached, she and her sisters headed for the United States, leaving behind her first husband, Burhan Belge, a Turkish diplomat.
Zsa Zsa Gabor and Buster Keaton at the Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1959 pic.twitter.com/oKIyZD7KBm
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Her last husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, to whom she was married from 1986 until her death aged 99 in 2016, said that in her will she expressed a wish to end up in Hungary.
Von Anhalt said he carried an urn with three-quarters of Gabor’s ashes to London, then to Germany and from there to Budapest, using a window of opportunity as border closures due to the coronavirus pandemic eased.
He said the rest of her remains would stay in Los Angeles.
“She was first class, she had her own seat and she had her passport, everything there. It was her last trip, she always used to go first class, she had her champagne, caviar …”
“And then we arrived in Budapest … That’s what she wanted and that’s what she had in her last will. She definitely wanted to be in Budapest because her father is buried here too,” he told Reuters.
Von Anhalt said Gabor wanted “a celebration of life, not a funeral.”
James Mason and Zsa Zsa Gabor, 1964 pic.twitter.com/SLjCQ6eewx
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Gabor’s Hungarian cousin, Jozsef Gabor, who was close to her, said he had not been invited to Tuesday’s ceremony.
For him, Zsa Zsa was a “Hungarian girl” in the United States.
“She did a lot for Hungarians, be it for those who fled after the 1956 uprising, or during the polio epidemic, and she did not do those things because she wanted to get into the news,” he added.
Gabor, one of the last stars of Hollywood’s golden age, would address people as “dah-link” in her thick Hungarian accent.
Along with her two sisters, Eva and Magda, she became a fixture on Hollywood’s social circuit in her prime.
Zsa Zsa Gabor appeared in more than 30 movies, including Moulin Rouge in 1952 and Lili in 1953.
By the 1970s she began to reject smaller roles, saying: “I may be a character but I do not want to be a character actress.”