Surrounded by her close family and friends, Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor was remembered at an intimate funeral service in Beverly Hills on Friday.
The Budapest-born socialite and great-aunt of Paris Hilton died on Dec. 18 at age 99. Plagued by health problems in her later years, including a lung infection, the amputation of her right leg and eventually chronic dementia, Gabor succumbed to a heart attack after spending the last five years on life support.
The funeral service was held at the Church of the Good Shepard in Beverly Hills. Her ashes, placed in a gold rectangular box, were set center stage beside pink long-stemmed roses.
A photograph of Gabor wearing a red dress was also on display with the words “Farewell My Love” printed on it.
Gabor’s husband, Prinz von Anhalt, was first to speak. “The church is not full today because the timing was bad,” he began, noting that many friends are currently out of town for the winter holidays.
“Most of her friends are not here anyhow,” he said, adding that his wife had outlived most of her peers.
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Von Anhalt went on to tell the story of how he met his wife, explaining that when he first came to L.A. from Germany, his publicity team encouraged him to get a photograph with a Hollywood celebrity. Von Anhalt said that he paid $5,000 for a photographer to find a beautiful actress for him to pose with, and Gabor was the first star they found. The resulting photo made a magazine cover in Germany, and von Anhalt had a copy of a magazine on hand to show at the service.
He also brought Gabor’s dog carrying case, explaining that her dogs were like people to her and the case went with them all over the world. Von Anhalt went on to show Gabor’s favorite pink pillow, which he said she bought in Munich.
Gabor will be laid to rest in the famed Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Her late daughter and little sister, Eva Gabor, are also buried at the cemetery.
The cemetery is the final resting place of other stars like Marilyn Monroe, Gene Kelly, Farrah Fawcett, Gene Kelly and Dean Martin.