Zsa Zsa Gabor sold her Bel Air mansion in 2014 but the buyer delayed the closing so that she could continue to live in the home until her death. Zsa Zsa’s home is featured this week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.
“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house” was one of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s famous quotes. She was married nine times.
Zsa Zsa was born in Budapest in 1917 during World War I, became an actress in Vienna at age 15 and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She eventually moved to the United States along with her two sisters (sister Eva starred in the longtime TV hit “Green Acres” and sister Magna married Zsa Zsa’s third husband George Sanders). Her beauty was legendary, her personality bubbly and her accent forever famous. Her nine husbands included Paris Hilton’s great uncle Conrad Hilton and Jack Ryan, the inventor of the Barbie Doll. Zsa Zsa was one of the last of the Hollywood Golden Age movie stars when she died on December 18th.
Zsa Zsa purchased her final home in 1973 in Bel Air, California for $250,000. It spanned 9,000 square feet with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and large pool terrace with stunning views. There are several versions of the home’s history, including that it was built by John Zurlo, who was a Los Angeles milkman who would get up at 3 in the morning and drive out of Bel Air in his milk truck. It seems that Mr. Zurlo eventually rented the home to Howard Hughes for most of the 1960s. According to Zsa Zsa, the house was also owned by Elvis Presley. House guests included John Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and both George H. and George W. Bush. The home has its own movie history having been the film site in a number of movies including “Argo” and “Behind the Candelabra.” But despite the all-star credibility, Zsa Zsa couldn’t seem to sell it. She put the home on the market in June, 2011, and it became an ongoing saga.
Zsa Zsa originally wanted $28 million for her home but in a bad real estate market, her agent convinced her to start out at $12.9 million for the 8,878-square-foot estate. But she had no takers so she upped the price to $14.9 million. With mounting money problems due to her poor health and a $10 million Bernie Madoff theft, the home was on the brink of foreclosure, only to be saved through a social media plea from ninth husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt. The prince temporarily rescued the home for Zsa Zsa but he made selling the home much more difficult in the process by making demands that after selling the home, he and Zsa Zsa could continue to live in the home for three years plus a $325,000 a year stipend. Surprisingly the property sold under those conditions, but the sale fell through. Afterwards, broker Roger Perry helped arrange a deal between Gabor and a buyer that delayed the closing so that she could continue to live in the home until her death.
Now after her death, the developers are mulling two options. They will either resell the property with the construction permits in place, or tear it down and redevelop the property. In either case, Prince Frederic von Anhalt will have to find a new place to live.
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