Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was admitted to hospital in Los Angeles on Sunday to undergo a partial amputation of her right leg, her husband told Reuters.
Gabor, believed to be 93 and in ill health since July when she broke her hip, has been infected by a lesion that turned gangrenous, her husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt said.
After doctors warned she would die unless her leg was amputated above the knee, Gabor was "screaming and yelling" about wanting to spend New Year's Eve at home for her traditional celebration of champagne and caviar, he said.
She was finally admitted to UCLA Medical Center and was being prepared on Sunday evening for surgery, he said.
Gabor faces obvious complications because of her age but a successful operation could add a few years to her life, said her spokesman John Blanchette.
As an actress, the Hungarian-born Gabor is best known for her roles in the 1950s movies "Moulin Rouge" and "Lili."
Along with her sisters Eva and Magda, she was a fixture on Hollywood's social circuit where she called everyone "dah-ling" in her thick accent.
She has been married nine times and earned a degree of infamy in 1989 when she served a three-day jail term for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman who had pulled her over. Unbowed, she emerged from jail complaining about the food.