July 19, 2010 / 6:34 PM / 9 years ago

Zsa Zsa Gabor has hip replaced, family upbeat

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor had successful hip replacement surgery on Monday and her family said they had high hopes she would make a quick recovery.

Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor reads a statement at her home in Beverly Hills, concerning a federal court judgement of $3 million against her in this November 13, 1992 file photograph. Gabor, now in her 90s, has broken her hip and will need surgery to replace it, her agent said on July 18, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files

The Hollywood legend, who is in her 90s and uses a wheelchair to get around her Bel-Air home after being partially paralyzed in a 2002 car accident, fell out of bed on Saturday while watching television and reaching to answer the phone.

“The operation went very well,” Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, told reporters.

“When my wife smiles it means she is doing ok. She would give me that sign. The doctor was very happy to see her like that and she did not complain, she did not do anything, she just smiled. Everyone is happy and I am sure she is going to feel good. She’s a big fighter, she is an Hungarian fighter,” he added.

Gabor’s publicist John Blanchette said the operation at a Los Angeles hospital lasted three and a half hours. The Hungarian-born actress is expected to remain in the hospital for four or five days while she recuperates.

Gabor’s daughter, Constance Hilton, described her mother as “conscious and groggy and (she) knows that the surgery is over.”

“She is strong and hopefully will recover and heal. My biggest concern is hospital infections. Thank you for all of your calls and concerns,” Hilton said in a statement.

Gabor starred in such films as “Moulin Rouge,” “Lili” and “Touch of Evil,” and was one of three glamorous sisters who stole the Hollywood limelight in the 1950s and 1960s.

She has never given an exact birthdate but is thought by Hollywood journalists to have been born between 1917 and 1919.

Dr. Victor Khabie, co-chief of orthopedics at Northern Westchester Hospital, said surgery was the right choice for a patient like Gabor, despite her age.

“We can get her through the operation safely these days, and not doing the surgery would leave her in a great deal of pain. She would be bedridden, develop bed sores, infections, et cetera. So surgery is the best way to go,” Khabie said.

Reporting by Zorianna Kit; Editing by Jill Serjeant

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