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Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

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Grand Hotel DVD "People come. People go. Nothing ever happens," one world-weary patron (Lewis... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Ninotchka DVD "Ninotchka" (1939) stars Greta Garbo as a harsh Communist official, who is... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

TCM Archives: The Garbo Silents Collection... There was no screen siren more beautiful or more elusive than Greta Garbo, and... more info $39.98was $39.98 Buy Now

The Saga Of Gosta Berling... Previously available in the U.S. only in a severely truncated version, Mauritz... more info $29.95was $29.95 Buy Now

Billy Wilder Speaks DVD Illustrated with film clips, rare photographs and artwork, Billy Wilder Speaks... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

The Kiss DVD Irene Guarry gives an infatuated young man an innocent kiss, a gesture that... more info $17.99was $17.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Greta Lovisa Gustafsson Died: April 15, 1990
Born: September 18, 1905 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Sweden Profession: actor, model, salesgirl, barbershop lather girl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Greta Garbo was arguably the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood's Golden Age, a beautiful, glamorous, and above all, mysterious image, carefully cultivated by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the sole studio she would work for during her American film career. Touted as the "Swedish Sphinx" by MGM upon her arrival in Hollywood, Garbo immediately became one of silent film's most popular actresses in such features as "The Torrent" (1926), "Flesh and the Devil" (1927) and "Love" (1927). Paired with the most talented directors and popular leading men, she entranced audiences with her mesmerizing portrayals of "fallen women" and fatalistic lovers. Even the arrival of sound could not diminish her appeal; in fact, Garbo's sultry, accented voice only added to her allure in her first "talkie," "Anna Christie" (1930). Later films - in particular, "Mata Hari" (1931), "Grand Hotel" (1932), "Queen Christina" (1933) and "Camille" (1936) - cemented her megastar status, not only in America, but around the world. Known for her aversion to publicity and demanding nature on the set of her films, she was also an astute business woman, whose bargaining acumen made her one of the highest paid movie stars of the day. Garbo's sudden...

Greta Garbo was arguably the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood's Golden Age, a beautiful, glamorous, and above all, mysterious image, carefully cultivated by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the sole studio she would work for during her American film career. Touted as the "Swedish Sphinx" by MGM upon her arrival in Hollywood, Garbo immediately became one of silent film's most popular actresses in such features as "The Torrent" (1926), "Flesh and the Devil" (1927) and "Love" (1927). Paired with the most talented directors and popular leading men, she entranced audiences with her mesmerizing portrayals of "fallen women" and fatalistic lovers. Even the arrival of sound could not diminish her appeal; in fact, Garbo's sultry, accented voice only added to her allure in her first "talkie," "Anna Christie" (1930). Later films - in particular, "Mata Hari" (1931), "Grand Hotel" (1932), "Queen Christina" (1933) and "Camille" (1936) - cemented her megastar status, not only in America, but around the world. Known for her aversion to publicity and demanding nature on the set of her films, she was also an astute business woman, whose bargaining acumen made her one of the highest paid movie stars of the day. Garbo's sudden decision to retire from film in 1941 and her steadfast maintenance of a notoriously reclusive lifestyle until her death in 1990 further enhanced her mystique and immortalized her as one of the silver screen's greatest icons.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Two-Faced Woman (1941) Karin [Borg Blake, also known as Katherine Borg]
2.
 Ninotchka (1939) Ninotchka [Nina Ivanovna Yakushova]
3.
 Camille (1937) Marguerite [Gautier]
4.
 Conquest (1937) Countess Marie Walewska
5.
 Anna KarĂ©nina (1935) Anna [Arkadyevna] KarĂ©nina
6.
 The Painted Veil (1934) Katrin [Koerber Fane]
7.
 Queen Christina (1933) [Queen] Christina
8.
 Grand Hotel (1932) Grusinskaya, the dancer
9.
 As You Desire Me (1932) Zara [also known as Countess Maria Varelli]
10.
 Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931) Susan Lenox [earlier known as Helga]
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1921:
Appeared in short publicity film, "How Not to Dress"
1922:
First leading role in comedy feature "Luffar Peter" ("Peter the Tramp")
1924:
Won first real notice for leading role in "The Atonement of Gosta Berling"
1924:
Discovered by Swedish director Mauritz Stiller, accompanied him to New York City (date approximate)
1925:
Awarded first Hollywood contract (MGM) thanks to Stiller
1926:
First American film, "The Torrent"
1927:
Separation from Stiller, who sailed back to Sweden after disagreements with MGM and Paramount
1928:
Death of Stiller
1929:
Last silent film, "The Kiss"
1930:
First sound film, "Anna Christie", filmed in English by Clarence Brown and in German by Jacques Feyder
1939:
First comedy, "Ninotchka"
1941:
Last film, "Two-Faced Woman"; abandoned film career at age 36
1991:
Garbo's $20 million estate was all left to her niece, Gray Reisfield (Sven Ake Fredriksson, a retired salesman, had unsuccessfully challenged the will claiming that he is the illegitimate son of her late brother, Sven Alfred Gustafson)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Royal Dramatic Theater School: -

Notes

The screen name, Greta Garbo, was suggested by director Mauritz Stiller.

Garbo's ashes were finally interred in a Stockholm cemetery on June 16, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Gilbert. Actor. Together in late 1920s.
companion:
Leopold Stokowski. Conductor. Together in mid-1930s.
companion:
Mercedes de Acosta. Writer.
companion:
Gaylord Hauser. Writer, health food promoter. Together in 1940s and 50s in a platonic relationship.
companion:
George Schlee. Together in 1960s.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Karl Alfred Gustafsson. Privy cleaner, unskilled laborer. Died of tuberculosis c. 1918.
mother:
Anna Lovisa Gustafsson.
brother:
Sven Garbo.
sister:
Alva Gustaffson. Actress. Born 1903, died 1926; appeared in "Tva konungar/Two Kings" (1925).
niece:
Gray Reisfeld. Daughter of brother Sven; inherited the bulk of Garbo's estate.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Garbo"
"Greta Garbo" Pyramid Books
"The Great Garbo" Praeger
"Walking With Garbo" HarperCollins
"Conversations With Greta Garbo" Viking
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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