Eva Gabor swore off jewelry just before joining Green Acres

The starlet was robbed in 1964 and vowed to never wear jewelry again.

Pearls dangled from Eva Gabor’s ears as TV viewers watched her sing the Green Acres theme song for the very first time when the show premiered in 1965.

For fans who kept up with Gabor and her socialite family, the sight was a little unexpected, despite her longtime reputation as a glamor girl both onscreen and on the streets of New York.

Just months prior to the premiere, newspapers circulated a story of a vicious attack on Gabor that ended with her swearing off jewelry entirely.

The story goes that Gabor and her husband were returning to their New York apartment when two bandits attacked and demanded Gabor’s jewelry.

“We both thought it was a joke at first,” Gabor told the Star-Tribune in 1964.

But then she saw her husband’s face go white.

Gabor’s response was to defend herself, and this led to a confrontation where she suffered injuries, including a mild concussion from “a knot on my head, darling, as big as an egg,” as well as cuts on her ear after one of the thieves forcibly removed a pearl earring.

“I was a little hysterical, but not frightened,” Gabor said.

During her recovery, Gabor considered what happened and what she could do to prevent future attacks. She told newspapers that she felt it might be safer if she just quit wearing jewelry altogether.

“I’ll never wear jewelry again, darling,” she told United Press International.

In total, the thieves stole an estimated $35,000 worth of jewelry from Gabor, including her 15-carat diamond engagement ring and her wedding band.

To move past the horrible experience, Gabor’s husband joked about all the money his wife’s decision to quit wearing jewelry would save him, and Gabor joked back, “When my concussion gets better, and I am thinking more clearly, maybe I will change my mind.”

It wouldn’t be long before Green Acres premiered, showing the starlet wearing pearls and other glitzy jewelry, hopefully indicating a full recovery from the robbery.

For Gabor, the start of Green Acres gave her the most prominent onscreen role of what was already a long career.

Prior to the casting, she had appeared in movies and TV shows for two decades, first contracted by Paramount Studios when she was only 15.

Acclaimed by critics for her sincerity and depth as an actor, Gabor turned Lisa Douglas into one of the most iconic — and definitely most glamorous — female characters of the Sixties.

Now you know how much courage it took for her to get so dolled up for those early shows.

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RachelR 20 months ago
Starlet? Isn't a starlet a yong girl?
WayneKeith 23 months ago
Very beautiful woman, who seemed to get better with age. The Green Acres years were the peak of her "hots-ness"! She was a tiny thing too, 5'2"? and when I caught her on the Match Game, her intelligence and quirky sense of humor were apparent. Lisa may have been a ditz, but Eva was far from one.
MichaelSkaggs 24 months ago
"Starlet"? She was a bigger star than her sister.
Sooner 24 months ago
I always thought that she was a beautiful woman, and her looks along with her acting made her a very sexy woman as well.
F5Twitster 24 months ago
“It wouldn’t be long before Green Acres premiered, showing the starlet wearing pearls and other glitzy jewelry, hopefully indicating a full recovery from the robbery.”

Eva Gabor may not have been the most famous actress of her day, but she was a STAR, NOT a “starlet,” which means a young, up-and-coming actress more recognized by audiences than known to them.

PLEASE STOP misusing the term “starlet”!
JosephScarbrough 24 months ago
Reminds of the time the Douglases were held hostage by a pair of bank robbers, one of whom decided to take the ring Lisa was wearing; the other couldn't believe it would be real, and Oliver tried to play up his doubt by saying Lisa wasjust wearing cheap costume jewelry, until Lisa blew it all by chiming in, "Then why was it insured for $42,000?"
ELEANOR 24 months ago
Wearing a string of pearls is still a standard form of wearing jewelry. It was started by the Jersey Lily, a very early model and actress. She, for some reason, was without her jewelry and so she, as a final resort, put on a string of pearls. She was a fashion setter back then and so everyone copied her. She also was known for starting, yes starting, the wearing of the little black dress. She had to go to a party and she had nothing to wear that was suitable except for her black dress. She wore that to the party and suddenly she was popular and the little black dress was firmly the thing to wear.
Runeshaper 24 months ago
Good story, MeTV! Sad to hear about the crime, but glad Eva and her husband were able to recover.
Pacificsun 24 months ago
Am sorry to be so redundant lately, but this is another 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩 story!

Love the interviews given to these local papers, which have fallen into obscurity. And thank you for surfacing a story which says so much about one of our favorite classic TV Stars! My impression is, she was a beautiful person inside and out!
15inchBlackandWhite 24 months ago
She was not a large woman. Her decision to fight back was unwise. She could have been killed.
JHP 24 months ago
ok she swore of jewelry - maybe I can give up porterhouse steaks:)
Pacificsun JHP 24 months ago
And still, you wouldn't have to fight to the death for one!!!
RichLorn Pacificsun 24 months ago
At current prices for steak, don't be too sure. ;)
Sorella 24 months ago
Sunday Block Party with Green Acres??! It's already on 5 nights every week. Why couldn't we have had something we've been missing for a while like "The Wild Wild West" or "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" or "The Bob Newhart Show"?
Saturdays used to have really good sci-fi shows and super heroes. And, please! No more muppet fish!
Pacificsun Sorella 24 months ago
With polite respect for your point of view. Here’s another thought, meant only with good intention! If and when a person has a neighborhood party, it’s usually for locals, meaning those who are most familiar. MeTV is giving fans a chance to catch up with favorite shows, of the day. A lot of those fans complain the timeslot is too late, pre-empted by local programing, or other reasons. So it’s a treat to run a block of them. Not all are currently running in MeTV’s Prime Time lineup. Summer is supposed to be a vacation from the norms.

But IMO, fans should keep mentioning what should return, or be added, to the schedule. My hunch (from experience) is they are testing the water to see which of these runs is turning out to be most popular, from the number of comments (enthusiasm created).

If you're new to the site, 𝔀𝓮𝓵𝓬𝓸𝓶𝓮! 😉
Andybandit 24 months ago
She could wear her jewels just hanging out on the farm on GA. Making her yummy flap cakes
JHP Andybandit 24 months ago
could be wrong - I thought they were called "hotts-cakes" :)
MrsPhilHarris 24 months ago
When I was a kid I thought her jewels were real. Maybe some were. 🤷‍♀️
justjeff 24 months ago
You can't compare the on-set costume (or possibly real) jewelry worn by "Lisa Douglas" to that which was taken. It's like expecting Fred Astaire to wear top hat and tails on his daily outings around Southern California... One thing has nothing to do with another.

The unfortunate robbery caused Eva to make a choice regarding her own personal attire. The character she played was not affected by that real-life incident...
Pacificsun justjeff 24 months ago
Relatively speaking, she was dang lucky that was New York in the Sixties. And not today.
justjeff Pacificsun 24 months ago
"Youse got day right, bruddah!"
AgingDisgracefully 24 months ago
Eva's right. There are other forms of pretense and affectation.
In fact, more everyday.
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