Eva Gabor became an immortalized star after playing Lisa in Green Acres, but she once said the role wasn’t necessarily worth the cost of a more dramatic career.
Eva and her sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were the “it” women of Hollywood during the 1940s through the 1960s. Their lives were the subject of early tabloids, and they rarely struggled to find work.
Before Green Acres, Eva was already a household name after starring in dozens of movies and series. But her most well-known role would become the glamourous Lisa, who trades in her Park Avenue Penthouse for “farm livin’” after her husband, Oliver, decides he’s done with city life.
While speaking to the Associated Press in 1990, Evan explained that starring in the now-classic TV series ruined her chances of becoming a “serious actress,” which was her goal.
“Hollywood typecasts you always,” she told the publication via MeTV. “It’s very difficult to get out of that. I was never given a chance to do a performance where the audience can see that I’m a serious actress. I know I’m a good actress.”
“Once you do a character like Lisa Douglas,” she added, “no one thinks of you as a dramatic actress.”
The ‘Green Acres’ Star Felt Overshadowed By Her Sister
Eva Gabor also noted that her famous older sibling Zsa Zsa overshadowed her. The starlet made a career for herself on the Silver Screen instead of the small screen. During that time, she earned a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Golden Globe Award. She also bore an uncanny resemblance to Eva.
“It does not help to be from a family where there is so much chaos,” Eva continued. “I walk down the street, and people yell, ‘Hey, Zsa Zsa,’ and I say, ‘Not Zsa Zsa—Eva!”
Eva Gabor ended up reprising her Green Acres role several times. Along with the series, she made cameos in Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Hi, Honey, I’m Home, and the made-for-TV movie, Return to Green Acres.
The actress passed away in 1994 following complications with respiratory infections. During her career, she played in over 80 projects, most of which had similar personas to Lisa Douglas. Despite wishing she’d made a name for herself in the drama genre, she was quick to give herself the credit she deserved as a comedic star.
“People think comedy is easy to do,” she shared. “It’s not, it’s actually harder.”
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