Eva Gabor (February 11, 1919 - July 4, 1995) was a Hungarian-born American socialite and actress. She was widely known for her role on the 1965 to 1971 television sitcom Green Acres as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas. She voiced "Duchess" in the 1970 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 businesswoman, marketing wigs, clothing, and beauty products. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.
Early life and career:
Born in Budapest to a Hungarian Jewish mother and a Hungarian father, Eva Gabor was the youngest of three daughters of Vilmos Gábor (1884-1962), a soldier, and his wife Jolie (1896-1997), a jeweler. She was the first of the sisters to emigrate to the United States, with her first husband, a Swedish osteopath, Dr. Eric V. Drimmer, in 1939, shortly after they married in London. Her first movie role was in the United States in Forced Landing at Paramount Pictures. She acted in movies and onstage throughout the 1950s.
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.
In a 2007 article in Vanity Fair, Gabor was called, "A game performer with a wholesome, even cheerful sensuality that can undercut the Continental sophistication that was supposedly her calling card--she can come across like Sally Field doing a party impression of Marlene Dietrich. You can see the effort. She was probably at her best on television in Green Acres, playing a cross between Gracie Allen and herself."
In 1965, Gabor began the role for which she is best-remembered, Lisa Douglas, whose attorney husband (Oliver Wendell Douglas, played by Eddie Albert) decides to leave the city. They buy and run a farm in a rural community, forcing Lisa to leave her beloved New York City, in the Paul Henning sitcom Green Acres, which aired on CBS. Green Acres was set in Hooterville, the same backdrop for Petticoat Junction (1963-1970) and would occasionally crossover with its sister sitcom. Despite proving to be a ratings hit, staying in the top twenty for its first four seasons, Green Acres, along with another sister show, The Beverly Hillbillies, were cancelled in 1971 in the CBS network's infamous "rural purge" -- an attempt to attract a younger viewer demographic, as most viewers of the series were at least 40 years old.
Gabor later did voice-over work for Disney movies, providing the European-accented voices of Duchess in The Aristocats, Miss Bianca in The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under, and the Queen of Time in the Sanrio film Nutcracker Fantasy. She was a panelist on the Gene Rayburn-hosted Match Game. From 1983-84, and on Hollywood Squares. She reunited with Albert on Broadway as Olga in You Can't Take It with You. She toured post-communist Hungary on an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous after a forty-year absence.
In 1972, Gabor launched her eponymous fashion collection, with Luis Estevez, a Cuban-born, Coty-award-winning fashion designer.
Eva Gabor was married five times:
Eric Valdemar Drimmer, a Swedish-born masseur turned osteopath and psychologist. They wed in London in June 1939, and divorced in Los Angeles, California, on February 25, 1942 (the divorce was finalized on March 6); Gabor claimed cruelty, saying, "I wanted to have babies and lead a simple family life but my husband objected to my having children". The marriage was childless.,
Charles Isaacs, an American investment broker. They married on September 27, 1943 and were divorced on April 2, 1949. The marriage was childless.,
John Elbert Williams, M.D., a plastic surgeon. They married on April 8, 1956 and were divorced on March 20, 1957. The marriage was childless.,
Richard Brown, a textile manufacturer, who later became a writer and director. They married at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 4, 1959, and divorced in Santa Monica, California, in June 1973. The marriage was childless.,
Frank Gard Jameson, Sr., an aerospace executive and former vice president of Rockwell International. They married in the Vivien Webb Chapel of The Webb School, Claremont, California on September 21, 1973. The couple divorced in 1983. The marriage was childless but Gabor became a stepmother to Jameson's four children.,
Eva Gabor died in Los Angeles on July 4, 1995 from respiratory failure and pneumonia, following a fall in the bathtub in Mexico, where she had been on vacation.
The youngest sister, she predeceased her elder sisters and her mother, Jolie. Magda and Jolie Gabor both died two years later, in 1997. As of 2014, Zsa Zsa is still alive.
Gábor is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. She is buried near Eddie Albert, who died on May 26, 2005.
January 24, 1950
July 14, 1951
The Happy Time
March 26, 1956
March 31, 1956
Little Glass Clock
January 31, 1958
February 8, 1958
March 18, 1963
November 9, 1963
Broadway, Majestic, Winter Garden
April 4, 1983
January 1, 1984
You Can't Take It with You
Forced Landing (1941),
New York Town (1941),
Pacific Blackout (1941),
Star Spangled Rhythm (1942),
A Royal Scandal (1945),
The Mad Magician (1954),
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954),
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954),
Artists and Models (1955),
My Man Godfrey (1957),
The Truth About Women (1957),
Don't Go Near the Water (1957),
It Started with a Kiss (1959),
A New Kind of Love (1963),
Youngblood Hawke (1964),
The Aristocats (1970) (voice),
The Rescuers (1977) (voice),
Nutcracker Fantasy (1979) (voice),
The Princess Academy (1987),
The Rescuers Down Under (1990) (voice),
Charlie Strap and Froggy Ball Flying High (1991) voice,
The Eva Gabor Show (1953-54),
Justice (1954-55; 2 episodes: "The Blackmailer", "The Intruder"),
What's My Line? (November 17, 1957) Season No. 9, Episode No. 12 (overall episode #389) as Mystery Guest,
Five Fingers (1959; episode: "Station Break"),
Harrigan and Son (1960-61), two appearances as "Lillian Lovely",
Green Acres (1965-71) as Lisa Douglas,
Here's Lucy (1968; 1st season, episode No. 7, as "Eva Von Gronyitz"),
Wake Me When the War Is Over (1969),
Match Game (1973-82; recurring panelist),
Tattletales (1975, with husband Frank Jameson),
Ellery Queen (1976 episode: "The Adventure of the Blunt Instrument"),
The Edge of Night (cast member, 1983),
Return to Green Acres as Lisa Douglas (1990),
Close Encounters as Eva Hill (1990),
The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies (1993; as herself),
Orchids & Salami, by Eva Gabor, Doubleday, 1954,
Gaborabilia, by Anthony Turtu and Donald F. Reuter, Three Rivers Press, 2001; ISBN 0-609-80759-5