Zsa Zsa Gabor’s only child, Francesca Gabor Hilton, was an heiress, but she lived a tragic life. Here’s everything you need to know about the unfortunate tale.
Zsa Zsa Gabor lived a long life as a well-known socialite, marrying nine different men in her lifetime. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1917, she lived a life of parties and luxury with her siblings, Magda and Eva Gabor.
She studied at a Swiss boarding school before leaving Hungary for Los Angeles, joining her sister Eva in Hollywood. She made her debut on the 1952 film “Lovely to Look At” before starring in “We’re Not Married!” and “Moulin Rouge.”
Portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor circa 1953 (left), Zsa Zsa Gabor and Francesca Hilton at LaGuardia Airport circa 1952 | Source: Getty Images
A hopeless romantic, she wed nine times, even writing a book on serial romance. After five marriages, she wrote, “How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, and How to Get Rid of a Man.”
Aside from her nine marriages, she also broke off many engagements and had a marriage declared invalid due to a pending divorce.
The Hollywood star and film actress and most famous of the Gabor sisters, Zsa Zsa Gabor poses holding a telephone in the 1950s | Photo: Getty Images
MARRYING CONRAD N. HILTON
On April 11, 1942, Gabor married Conrad N. Hilton in New Mexico. At the time, he was 55, and she was in her 20s. They shared a daughter, Francesca, who ended up being her only daughter throughout all her marriages.
By September 17, 1946, she was granted a divorce from Hilton. Three years after that, she announced her plans to marry British actor George Sanders, and they tied the knot the day after the announcement.
Portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor with her husband Turkish diplomat Burhan Belge in 1940 in Ankara, Turkey | Photo: Getty Images
In her autobiography, Gabor disclosed that Francesca was conceived after her husband sexually abused her. After the incident, the couple divorced before Francesca was even born.
Francesca would spend occasional lunches with her father despite everything that happened, even joining him for Christmas. However, she admitted that they were never really close.
Zsa Zsa Gabor poses alongside Conrad Hilton and American actress Natalie Wood at Mike Romanoff’s restaurant on June 13, 1957 | Photo: Getty Images
When Hilton died in 1979, he only left $100,000 to his daughter. A chunk of his estate, which was worth approximately $200 million at the time, was given to charity.
At the time, Francesca tried to sue to challenge the will, but one of her half-brothers, Barron Hilton, challenged the estate. In the end, he walked away with voting interest and income rights over the majority of the Hilton Hotel corporate stock.
Zsa Zsa Gabor smiles sitting at a table with her husband, British actor George Sanders in the 1950s | Photo: Getty Images
HER RELATION TO PARIS HILTON
While Conrad was responsible for starting one of the world’s top hotel chains, Barron grew their empire. Their company is now worth billions, and just like his father, he announced he’d donate a majority of his holdings to charity when he dies.
Barron’s lineage directly includes the famous Hilton sisters, Nicky and Paris. They are the daughters of Barron’s son Richard.
Socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor dressed up in an evening dress with lover Porfirio Rubirosa, in 1955 | Photo: Getty Images
FRANCESCA’S DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Before inheriting the amount from her father, Francesca had already stopped living off of her parent’s wealth. She worked various jobs, from acting and stand-up comedy to working for her father’s foundation.
After her parents split, Francesca saw her mom get married six more times, the last being Frederic Prinz von Anhalt in 1986. The couple’s age difference was at least 25 years.
Zsa Zsa Gábor and her husband Herbert Hunter at the premiere of “The Victors” in 1963 in the United States | Photo: Getty Images
Although people believed that the marriage was for convenience rather than love, it was the longest of Gabor’s nine marriages. They were married for 29 years, and it outlasted all of her previous marriages combined.
At that time, Gabor was in a 2002 car accident that left her wheelchair-bound. It was followed by multiple strokes, surgeries, and other health problems.
Zsa Zsa Gabor and her husband, Joshua S Cosden Jr at the SHARE Boomtown charity party on May 14, 1966 | Photo: Getty Images
ZSA ZSA’S HEALTH PROBLEMS
During her last few years, Gabor had to have her leg amputated due to an infection, and she also lost her ability to speak following her strokes. Throughout that time, von Anhalt remained her husband and was her primary caregiver.
This all happened despite his bizarre claims, such as having an affair with Anna Nicole Smith and even claiming to make Gabor become a 94-year-old mother through a surrogate and egg donor.
Studio portrait of the Hollywood starlet Zsa Zsa Gabor between 1950 and 1955 | Photo: Getty Images
FRANCESCA’S FIGHT FOR HER MOTHER
Realizing the things von Anhalt had done, Francesca filed legal challenges to become the primary decision-maker for her mom. She sought a court-appointed conservatorship, claiming her stepfather had mismanaged Gabor’s funds and even ruined her medical care.
In the end, Francesca and von Anhalt settled their issues outside of court. Francesca was given monthly reports about her mother and was given weekly one-hour visits to her mother.
Zsa Zsa Gabor with her sixth husband, former actor Jack Ryan, after their wedding at Caesar’s Palace on January 21, 1975 in Las Vegas | Photo: Getty Images
In 2005, von Anhalt filed a lawsuit against Francesca for fraud and forgery. This was because she allegedly had written permission from her mother to refinance her Bel Air mansion.
Francesca insists she did this with her mother’s approval and permission to refinance the home to save it from foreclosure. The lawsuit was dropped after Gabor did not appear in court or sign an affidavit saying she wanted to take part in the lawsuit.
Zsa Zsa Gabor at the Hilton Hotel on May 29, 1964 in London | Getty Images
On January 6, 2015, Francesca died at the age of 67. Before her death, she was out of money, alternating between living in her car and a low-end apartment building.
When she passed away, nobody came to claim her body. This was because, at the time, Gabor was her only family member, aside from the Hiltons.
Zsa Zsa Gabor with her ninth husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt photographed at home on June 6, 1990 in Bel Air, California | Photo: Getty Images
In the end, von Anhalt planned to arrange her funeral. She also asked them to investigate her death, claiming she left troubling voice mail messages to him, hinting at suicide.
However, after realizing the animosity between Francesca and her stepfather, authorities did not allow him to claim her body. Instead, one of her nephews, Steven, claimed the body, and her friends laid her to rest accordingly.