Zsa Zsa Gabor to have part of leg amputated

Portrait of Hungarian-born American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor taken in 1978. (AP Photo)

January 3, 2011 6:18:50 AM PST
Zsa Zsa Gabor was hospitalized Sunday to undergo surgery to have part of her right leg amputated because gangrene was setting in, a representative said. Doctors examined a lesion on Gabor's leg that had gone from just over an inch to about a foot and was growing gangrenous, publicist John Blanchette said.

"They're going to have to amputate part of her leg," Blanchette said. "They said if they didn't, she could lose her life." He said the amputation would likely be below the knee,

She was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and had been prepared for surgery Sunday night, Blanchette said. Her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt was with her.

The 93-year-old former actress broke her hip and had replacement surgery in July, and has been hospitalized several times since for swelling in her legs and blood clots throughout her body. She was in critical condition and asked for a priest to read her last rites during a hospital visit in August, but recovered and returned home.

Gabor has used a wheelchair since she was partially paralyzed in a 2002 car accident, and had a stroke in 2005.

Gabor retreated from the spotlight after the accident and a stroke. She liked staying home and watching soap operas, game shows and old movies, von Anhalt told reporters in July 2010. She detested having her picture taken by the papparazi while she was in her wheelchair.

"She wants people to remember her as she was years ago," he said.

A Hungarian-born sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, Gabor had a brief and unremarkable film career, appearing in films ranging from "Moulin Rouge" in 1952 to "Queen of Outer Space" in 1958, and had no regular television role like her sister Eva had on "Green Acres."

Her primary role was herself -- appearing on TV specials and game shows, as a guest on several television series, and in real-life dramas like her slapping of a Beverly Hills policeman in 1989 that led to a brief jail term.

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