Her impact on-screen led to a major role in Moulin Rouge.

Her singing voice was dubbed — atrociously — and the director, John Huston, told his cameraman: ‘Move in close. If they can see how beautiful she is, they won’t notice that she can’t act.’ But the film was a hit — and so was she. Gabor had a scandalous and hugely publicised affair with the Dominican playboy and polo player, Porfirio Rubirosa.

The marriage remained unconsummated, partly through her habit of taking her Scottie dog, Mishka, to bed with her.

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Her face taut with fury, she slammed the door shut with a crash that reverberated throughout the studio. More than 30 years later, she told me: ‘That beautiful man, Tony Quayle, was the real love of my life.

I would have married him in a moment if I had been allowed.’In Gabor’s long and tempestuous sexual odyssey, comprising nine marriages, seven divorces, one annulment and literally hundreds of lovers — they included U. president Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton and the screen’s original James Bond, Sean Connery — Quayle was the man who got away. When she died this week at the age of 99, she was calling herself Princess Frédéric von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony, a style and rank to which she had no valid claim whatever, any more then her ninth husband, Hans Lichtenberg, the soi-disant ‘Prince’, a former masseur and the son of a humble Berlin policeman.

They were, as society arbiter Elsa Maxwell memorably pronounced in 1952, ‘famous for being famous’.

As Belge was always addressed as His Excellency, she insisted that she should be addressed as Her Excellency.

Pressed for an explanation, she admitted that she had been kissing the coalman, who was 14 years her senior.

Her elder and younger sisters, Magda and Eva, were also to become actresses, socialites and international sex symbols.

Her daughter, Francesca Hilton — the only child to be born from any of the 20 marriages clocked up by the three Gabor sisters — was the result.

Husband number three was the suave and sardonic British actor, George Sanders, who represented everything Zsa Zsa considered to be ‘class’.

The sight that confronted her was not one she expected. The film’s third star, the blonde Hungarian sex symbol Zsa Zsa Gabor, also naked, sat astride him, her voluptuous breasts bouncing like balloons.