Mario Lanza


Note: There are so many inaccuracies in this minute entry in Miss Gabor's book, one wonders why she even bothered to mention Mario at all. It is posted here only as an historical footnote.
One Lifetime Is Not Enough
By Zsa Zsa Gabor
During my time with Rubi, I also made a picture called For the First Time, with Mario Lanza. We'd never met, but I had already had an unfortunate experience that didn't endear Mario much to me. In the middle of the night, he had once called me and, in explicit terms that left nothing to the imagination, informed me that he wanted to make love to me. But, as I traveleed to Rome to start filming, I made up my mind to forget the incident and start afresh. Soon after my arrival, several reporters interviewed me at the Rome Opera House. Out of the blue, one of them asked, "It is rumored that Mr. Lanza uses dirty language. Is that true?"
"I've never heard him," I lied.
Suddenly Mario burst into the auditorium, yelling at his agent, "I won't do it, you son of a bitch!"
"What timing, Miss Gabor," the reporter observed, "Now we can say you confirmed the rumor."
Mario had rented Mussolini's house in Rome and I went there for dinner. He and his wife had four children and they and Francesca spent most of the evening bicycling around the house, skillfully avoiding Il Duce's marble furniture.
Before I left for America, Mario told me he was going to a fat farm to lose some weight - I've never liked skinny men - but I didn't say anything. When I got back to LA, Kathryn Grayson told me that Mario was dead. The rumor was that a gang of Philadelphia gangsters had ordered him to sing at one of their gala evenings, that Mario had refused and that, in revenge, they had hired a nurse at the fat farm to inject air into Mario's veins one night while he was sleeping and killed him.