Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, a fixture on Hollywood’s social scene for decades, will have most of her right leg amputated on Friday to fight a gangrene infection, her spokesman said. Gabor, 93, has been gravely ill since last summer when she fell and broke her hip. She has been in and out of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles since July. In November she was hospitalized when doctors feared a blood clot in her leg might move to her heart. On January 2, she returned to the medical center when an infected lesion developed into gangrene.
Her spokesman John Blanchette said doctors only recently told Gabor of a possible amputation, and that this week they told her husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, that her chance of survival was “50-50.” Blanchette said doctors on Wednesday discovered the gangrene had penetrated her bone and they would have to amputate three-quarters of her leg to a point above her knee. “They (doctors) said it was very dangerous, but they had no other option. It would kill her otherwise,” Blanchette said of the operation.
The Hungarian-born Gabor is well known for her roles in 1950s movies “Moulin Rouge” and “Lili,” but perhaps even more famous for her lavish lifestyle and a string of wealthy husbands over the years. Along with her sisters Eva and Magda, she was a constant presence on Hollywood’s social circuit and on TV talks shows where she called everyone “dah-ling” in her thick accent. She has been married nine times and earned a degree of infamy in 1989 when she served a three-day jail term for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman who had pulled her over while she was driving.