Gabor said improving after L.A. car crash

By HIL ANDERSON  |  Nov. 29, 2002 at 8:19 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Zsa Zsa Gabor appeared to be on the mend Friday as she continued her recovery from injuries she suffered when the car she was riding in struck a light pole on Sunset Boulevard earlier in the week.

The 84-year-old Hungarian-born actress and socialite remained in serious condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Los Angeles, where she was taken after the Wednesday afternoon mishap in nearby West Hollywood. However, hospital officials said her condition has improved.

Few details of Gabor's injuries have been released, although her eighth husband, Frederic von Anhalt, told reporters Friday that she was on the mend, although still unable to speak above a whisper.

"She doesn't feel very well," a worried von Anhalt told Los Angeles television station KCAL. "She was unconscious for a while and just got out of it. She talks now, but she whispers and we can't hear what she says."

"She's getting better every day and, we hope, will soon be getting out of the hospital," he added optimistically.

Gabor had been on her way home from a hair appointment when the vehicle driven by her hairdresser went out of control for some reason, jumped a curb and crashed head-on into a light pole. Although the damage to the vehicle was not serious, Gabor apparently was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"She called me from the hairdresser and said, 'Oh, he did a good job. I look beautiful and I will be home in a half an hour,'" von Anhalt said. "And she never came home."

The driver of the car, who was belted in, suffered minor injuries.

Media reports after the accidents described Gabor as being in a coma, however von Anhalt said Friday that while his wife was unconscious for a time, her condition was the result of the medication she received in the hospital.

A coma is defined medically as a state of prolonged unconsciousness following traumatic brain injury. In this condition, the patient does not speak and eyelids are closed and there is so response to external stimuli.

Gabor's daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton, told KABC-TV Thursday night that her mother was not badly injured and had not been comatose.

"She's fine. She is going to be fine. There was no coma," Hilton insisted.

Gabor, one of Hollywood's glamorous Gabor sisters, appeared in more than films in the 1950s and 1960s, but made her lasting imprint as a bejeweled and vivacious celebrity with a penchant for high style and wealthy husbands. Her sister, "Green Acres" star Eva Gabor, died in 1995.

Known to millions as simply "Zsa Zsa," Gabor found herself in the media spotlight in 1989 when she was sentenced to three days in jail for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer who had pulled her Rolls Royce over for having expired license tags.

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