Passage: Three originals

“Sunday Morning” pays tribute to three inspiring individuals whose passing was noted this week: actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor; fashion model China Machado; and “Jeopardy!’ contestant Cindy Stowell.

Getty Images/Harper's Bazaar; "Jeopardy!"

It happened this past week ... news of the passing of three originals.

Zsa Zsa Gabor
was famous for being famous long before we knew what that meant.

She began her career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. Soon afterward, she emigrated to the United States and became a sought-after actress.

But while she may have been famous for her movies, Gabor was infamous for her marriages ... nine, in all. Her exes included hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, and actor George Sanders.

Gabor once said “I’m a excellent housekeeper. Every time I get divorced, I keep the house.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor was 99.

China Machado was also one of a kind.

Of Chinese and Portuguese descent, Machado became a hostess for Pan American Airways.  Not long afterward, she met Luis Miguel Dominguin, a celebrity bullfighter. Their relationship came to an abrupt end when he met actress Ava Gardner at a party in Madrid. But Machado moved on to the world of high fashion. 

And even though once she said of herself, “I never thought I was good looking in any way, shape or form,” photographers, like the great Richard Avedon disagreed.

Machado would become one of the very first non-white models to appear in Harper’s Bazaar.

Later on, she produced fashion TV shows, and designed costumes for films ... and continued to model well into her 80s.

Not long ago, she offered her advice for living: “I think it’s crucial to be happy.”

China Machado was 86.

Cindy Stowell was a contestant like no other on “Jeopardy!”

A native of Austin, it was always her dream to appear on the quiz show.  But after finally making the grade, Stowell had to reach out to show producers to ask if her appearance could be moved up -- because she didn’t have long to live.

Her shows taped in late summer, and not only did Stowell compete, she WON six consecutive bouts.

But when her last appearance aired Wednesday night, Cindy Stowell wasn’t watching. She’d succumbed to her cancer earlier this month.

On Wednesday host Alex Trebek paid tribute to her. 

At 41, Cindy Stowell had not only gotten her dying wish, but her more than $100,000 in winnings have been pledged to cancer research.

Talk about a real champion!

Cindy Stowell In Her Own Words by Jeopardy! on YouTube