Funeral Services Held for Actress, Socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor - NBC Southern California
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Funeral Services Held for Actress, Socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor

Around 100 mourners gathered at a picturesque Beverly Hills church to pay respects to Gabor

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    A funeral service was held for actress Zsa Zsa Gabor on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, California. Gabor died at 99 of a heart attack. (Published Friday, Dec. 30, 2016)

    Funeral services were held Friday for Hungarian-American actress, former beauty queen and Hollywood socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor.

    Gabor died Dec. 18 at age 99 of a heart attack, ending a years-long struggle with a variety of health issues that kept her largely out of the public eye. According to the coroner's office, Gabor died of cardiopulmonary arrest, with coronary artery disease and cerebral vascular disease as contributing factors.

    Around 100 mourners gathered at a picturesque Beverly Hills church to pay respects to Gabor Friday morning.

    At a mid-morning service at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Gabor's husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, gave a lengthy eulogy and told stories about how they met -- with him paying $5,000 to have his picture taken with her -- and described her final moments.

    "When it happened, you know, her blood pressure went down ... slowly, very slow, very slow," he said. "No screaming, no pain, nothing. It was just, it just slipped in, you know? ... She slipped out, she was gone. She left us. She left peacefully. I wish I would go like that. It was just perfect."

    Several elaborate floral arrangements were on the altar, which included a photo of Gabor wearing a red dress with the words, "Farewell My Love" printed on it.

    The mass ended with von Anhalt putting a gold box housing Gabor's ashes into a Louis Vuitton dog bag he said his wife used during her lifetime.

    The service was followed by interment at Westwood Village Memorial Park, 1218 Glendon Ave.

    Gabor, who would have turned 100 on Feb. 6, was born in Budapest, won the Miss Hungary crown in 1936, and immigrated to the United States, where she embarked on movie career that mostly saw her in B-movies. Married nine times, she also gained fame when she slapped a Beverly Hills police officer in the face during a traffic stop in 1989.

    She had been in declining health, and the subject of a court battle between her ninth husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, and her daughter, Francesca Hilton, who died last year at age 67 from a stroke.

    Associated Press/Kelly Peak – Peak Photography

    Gabor was born Sari Gabor in Budapest on Feb. 17, 1917, the middle of three Gabor sisters -- between Magda and young Eva. She was discovered by an opera singer in 1934, and she was crowned Miss Hungary two years later.

    Gabor reached the apex of her career when she was directed by John Huston in the 1952 musical "Moulin Rouge." Her other film credits included "Lovely to Look At," "Lili" and Orson Welles' film noir "Touch of Evil."

    Her glamour and celebrity later made her a staple on game shows, talk shows and guest TV spots in the 1950s through the '70s. She was -- some said -- a forerunner of the Kardashians, famous for being famous.

    Zsa Zsa Gabor was married nine times, with seven divorces and one annulment, to Burhan Asaf Belge, Conrad Hilton, George Sanders, Herbert Hunter, Joshua S. Cosden Jr., Jack Ryan, Michael O'Hara, Felkipe de Alba (the one annulment) and then Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, in 1986.

    Von Anhalt was famous for throwing massive birthday parties for his wife at their Bel Air estate, which was built by Howard Hughes and previously owned by Elvis Presley. The parties continued until recent years, even though Gabor was bedridden and could not attend.

    In 1989, Beverly Hills police officer Paul Kramer stopped Gabor for a traffic violation on Olympic Boulevard, and discovered an open flask of whiskey in the front seat. She slapped him during the traffic stop, and eventually spent three days in jail.

    Gabor's serious health issues can be traced to 2002, when she was seriously injured in a traffic crash that left her partially paralyzed and reliant on a wheelchair. She suffered a pair of strokes in subsequent years and was hospitalized multiple times in 2011, at one point having part of her right leg amputated.

    Gabor was preceded in death by her two glamorous sisters. Magda, the eldest, died in 1997 at age 82. Eva, who starred in the 1960s sitcom "Green Acres," died in 1995 at age 76.

    Over the course of the year, the world has lost many other influential people including singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, actor Gene Wilder and actress Debbie Reynolds just this Wednesday, a day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, passed away.

    City News Service and the Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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