Eva Gabor

The native form of this personal name is Gábor Éva. This article uses the Western name order.
Eva Gabor
Born (1919-02-11)February 11, 1919
Budapest, Hungary
Died July 4, 1995(1995-07-04) (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Respiratory failure, pneumonia
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Other names Gábor Éva
Occupation Actress, businesswoman, socialite
Years active 1941–1994
Political party Republican
  • 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) Jolie Gábor (mother)
Vilmos Gábor (father)
Relatives Zsa Zsa Gabor (sister)
Magda Gabor (sister)
Constance Francesca Hilton (niece)

Eva Gabor /ˈvə ɡəˈbɔːr/ (February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995) was a Hungarian-born American socialite, actress, comedian, and singer. 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 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 businessperson, marketing wigs, clothing and beauty products. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.

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 Jewish families.[2][3][4] She was the first of the sisters to emigrate 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]

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.[6]

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. 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 (1963–70), 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 infamous "rural purge"—an attempt to attract a younger viewer demographic, as most viewers of the series were at least 40 years old.

Later years

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, she was on the Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour starring Gene Rayburn and Jon Bauman.

She reunited with Eddie Albert on Broadway as Olga in You Can't Take It with You.[7] 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.[6]

Politically, she was a staunch Republican.[8]


In 1972 she launched her eponymous fashion collection, with Luis Estevez, a Cuban-born, Coty-award-winning fashion designer.[9][10][11]


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


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.[20] Her funeral was held on July 11, 1995 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills.[21][22][23]

The youngest sister, Eva predeceased her elder sisters and her mother. Sister Magda and mother Jolie Gabor both died two years later, in 1997. As of 2016, Zsa Zsa is still living.


Eva 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.

Stage work

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

Select filmography

Television work


See also



  1. "The Hungarian-Jewish Family Tree of Zsa Zsa Gabor - Nick Gombash's Genealogy Blog". Nickmgombash.blogspot.ro. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  2. "Reflecting on the life of Zsa Zsa Gabor". New York Social Diary. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  3. "Jews in the News: Bonni Tischler, Steven Spielberg and Vilmos Gabor | Tampa Jewish Federation". Jewishtampa.com. 2016-07-11. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  4. Bennetts, Leslie. "It's a Mad, Mad, Zsa Zsa World". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  5. Johnson, Irving (February 29, 1948). "Those Gabor Girls". San Antonio Light. p. 62. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  6. 1 2 Eva Gabor at the Internet Movie Database
  7. Eva Gabor at the Internet Broadway Database
  8. Sosa Belanger, Camyl. Eva Gabor an Amazing Woman: 'Unscrupulous'. iUniverse. ISBN 1469777509.
  9. Marian Christy, "Mama Gabor: Ageless Mother of 3", Newport Daily News, February 17, 1975.
  10. Launch date cited in McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion by Colin McDowell (F. Muller, 1984)
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  12. "Eva Gabor Obtains Divorce", The New York Times, February 25, 1945
  13. "Eva Gabor in Hospital", The New York Times, December 2, 1946
  14. "Eva Gabor Wed to Surgeon", The New York Times, April 9, 1956
  15. 1 2 Eva Gabor Wed in Las Vegas", The New York Times, October 5, 1959
  16. Brown's later career was described in "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  17. "Notes on People", The New York Times, June 26, 1973
  18. 1 2 May 18, 1993 (1993-05-18). "Aeronautics Executive Jameson Dies". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  19. "Notes on People", The New York Times, September 22, 1973
  20. "Eva Gabor, 74, the Actress; Youngest of Celebrated Sisters". Associated Press. July 5, 1995 via The New York Times.
  21. Gary Wayne (1998-05-20). "Church of the Good Shepherd". Seeing-stars.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  22. "The Death of Eva Gabor". Findadeath.com.
  23. Celebrities grieve outside EVA GABOR funeral (Video). PaparazziParadise. February 16, 2013.
  24. "What's My Line?: EPISODE #389". TV.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  25. "Close Encounters (1990)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
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