Finding Zsa Zsa by Sam Staggs audiobook

Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors behind the Legend

By Sam Staggs
Read by Paul Boehmer

Blackstone Publishing 9781496719591
14.58 Hours Unabridged
Format: CD (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781982679392

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For decades, the Gabor dynasty was the epitome of glamour and fairy tale success. But as biographer, film historian, and Gabor family friend Sam Staggs reveals, behind the headlines is a true story more dramatic, fabulous, and surprising than their self-styled legend would have you believe… In 1945, after barely escaping Hitler’s invasion of Hungary followed by “liberation” of the country by the Red Army, three members of the Gabor family—Jolie, her ex-husband Vilmos, and their daughter Magda—arrived in New York City. In Hollywood, their other daughters, Zsa Zsa and Eva, had worked feverishly throughout the war years to secure their rescue from the Nazis’ plan to exterminate the Jews. Stepping off the boat, Jolie, the iron-willed matriarch, already had a golden future mapped out for her sharp-witted, cosmopolitan beauties. Over the next six decades, with twenty-three husbands between them (suave All About Eve star George Sanders would wed both Zsa Zsa and Magda), scores of lovers, and roller-coaster rides in film, television, theater, and business, the elegant yet gloriously bawdy, addictively watchable Gabors carved a niche in the entertainment industry that made them world-famous pop-culture icons. But beneath the artifice of Dior and diamonds was another side to the story they never revealed: the whole truth. This first verifiable history of the Gabors casts a startling new light on these extraordinary women. Finding Zsa Zsa reveals the tumultuous and often unforgiven battles between mother and daughter, sister and sister, wife and husband; Eva’s “bearded” romance with Merv Griffin that allowed them both to seek same-sex lovers; Zsa Zsa’s involuntary confinement in a mental hospital; her life-long struggle with bipolar disorder; and her last—unconsummated—marriage to the manipulating faux prince Frederic von Anhalt. Here too is the untold story of Zsa Zsa’s daughter, Francesca Hilton, a gifted photographer who eschewed the Gabor lifestyle and paid a sad price for her independence. The story of family patriarch Vilmos Gabor, who returned to Hungary only to be trapped behind the Iron Curtain, reads like a Cold War spy thriller. Culled from new interviews with family, colleagues, and confidantes, and the unpublished memoirs of the author’s friend Francesca Hilton, Finding Zsa Zsa finally introduces fans to the Gabor family they never knew, including many never-before-seen photos. It’s a riveting, outrageously funny, bittersweet, and affectionately honest read of four women who were vulnerable, tough, charitable, endlessly fascinating, and always glamorous to a fault.

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Summary

Summary

For decades, the Gabor dynasty was the epitome of glamour and fairy tale success. But as biographer, film historian, and Gabor family friend Sam Staggs reveals, behind the headlines is a true story more dramatic, fabulous, and surprising than their self-styled legend would have you believe…

In 1945, after barely escaping Hitler’s invasion of Hungary followed by “liberation” of the country by the Red Army, three members of the Gabor family—Jolie, her ex-husband Vilmos, and their daughter Magda—arrived in New York City. In Hollywood, their other daughters,
Zsa Zsa and Eva, had worked feverishly throughout the war years to secure their rescue from the Nazis’ plan to exterminate the Jews. Stepping off the boat, Jolie, the iron-willed matriarch, already had a golden future mapped out for her sharp-witted, cosmopolitan beauties.

Over the next six decades, with twenty-three husbands between them (suave All About Eve star George Sanders would wed both Zsa Zsa and Magda), scores of lovers, and roller-coaster rides in film, television, theater, and business, the elegant yet gloriously bawdy, addictively watchable Gabors carved a niche in the entertainment industry that made them world-famous pop-culture icons. But beneath the artifice of Dior and diamonds was another side to the story they never revealed: the whole truth.

This first verifiable history of the Gabors casts a startling new light on these extraordinary women. Finding Zsa Zsa reveals the tumultuous and often unforgiven battles between mother and daughter, sister and sister, wife and husband; Eva’s “bearded” romance with Merv Griffin that allowed them both to seek same-sex lovers; Zsa Zsa’s involuntary confinement in a mental hospital; her life-long struggle with bipolar disorder; and her last—unconsummated—marriage to the manipulating faux prince Frederic von Anhalt. Here too is the untold story of Zsa Zsa’s daughter, Francesca Hilton, a gifted photographer who eschewed the Gabor lifestyle and paid a sad price for her independence. The story of family patriarch Vilmos Gabor, who returned to Hungary only to be trapped behind the Iron Curtain, reads like a Cold War spy thriller.

Culled from new interviews with family, colleagues, and confidantes, and the unpublished memoirs of the author’s friend Francesca Hilton, Finding Zsa Zsa finally introduces fans to the Gabor family they never knew, including many never-before-seen photos. It’s a riveting, outrageously funny, bittersweet, and affectionately honest read of four women who were vulnerable, tough, charitable, endlessly fascinating, and always glamorous to a fault.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In his rollicking and gossip-filled biography of the Gabors…Staggs creates an engaging and fascinating family saga filled with fresh insights from newly conducted interviews…This is a big, irresistible beach read, perfect for fans of The Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians…[Staggs] gives the Gabor sisters respect while also enjoying their outrageous tabloid antics and love affairs.” Shelf Awareness
“A colorful history of the glamorous pop-culture icons.” Kirkus Reviews
“An entertaining biography…His take on the Gabors—oft-derided in their day as exemplars of style over substance—as hardworking show business survivors is clear and refreshingly admiring. Pop culture buffs will just adore this penthouse view of the Gabors.” Publishers Weekly
“Staggs has revealed a group of women who were witty, resourceful, and, most of all, intelligent.” William J. Mann, author of The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando
Finding Zsa Zsa is a meticulously researched and always surprising history…Staggs gives his story a witty, breezy style that is delightful and entertaining but tough minded and impossible to resist.” Charles Busch, actor and playwright

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Sam Staggs

Author Bio: Sam Staggs

Sam Staggs is the author of six books, including four biographies of movies: All About “All About Eve”; Close-up on “Sunset Boulevard”; When Blanche Met Brando: The Scandalous Story of “A Streetcar Named Desire”; and Born to Be Hurt: The Untold Story of “Imitation of Life.” He has written for publications including Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, and Opera News. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 14.58
Audience: Adult
Language: English