Zsa Zsa Gabor, the jet-setting Hungarian actress and socialite who helped invent a new kind of fame out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth, and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life, has died. She was 99. The middle and most famous of the Gabor sisters died Sunday of a heart attack at her Bel-Air home, said her husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt. Gabor had been hospitalized repeatedly since she broke her right hip in July 2010 after a fall at her home. She already had to use a wheelchair after being partly paralyzed in a 2002 car accident and suffering a stroke in 2005. Most of her right leg was amputated in January 2011 because of gangrene and the left leg was also threatened. Her misfortunes were duly reported to the media by von Anhalt.
The great aunt of Paris Hilton and a spiritual matriarch to the Kardashians, Simpsons, and other tabloid favorites, she was the original hall-of-mirrors celebrity, famous for being famous for being famous. Starting in the 1940s, Gabor rose from beauty queen to millionaire's wife to minor television personality to minor film actress to major public character. With no special talent, no hit TV series such as her sister Eva's Green Acres, Zsa Zsa nevertheless was a long-running hit just being Zsa Zsa—her accent drenched in diamonds, her name synonymous with frivolity and camp as she winked and carried on about men, dahling, and the droll burdens of the idle rich. Her secret, in part, was being in on the joke, once saying about a 1956 TV role, "I play a fabulously rich woman who has just bought her fifth husband; she is very unhappy. I won't tell you who it's supposed to be." (Read more Zsa Zsa Gabor stories.)