Greta Garbo

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Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Garbo in Anna Karenina (1935)
Birthday/Birthplace Greta Lovisa Gustafsson
(1905-09-18)18 September 1905
Stockholm, Sweden
Deceased 15 April 1990(1990-04-15)
New York, New York, U.S
Resting place Skogskyrkogården Cemetery,
Stockholm, Sweden
Profession(s) Actress
Active Years 1920–1941
Official Website

Greta Garbo (Stockholm, September 18, 1905-New York, April 15, 1990) is the pseudonym of Greta Lovisa Gustafsson , a Swedish nationalized American actress who lived most of his life in the United States and gained international recognition for participating in several Hollywood film productions, both silent and sonorous, in the 20s and 30s of the 20th century. He retired from acting in 1941.

Although he began his artistic career as an advertising model, he devoted himself mainly to film, where he began acting in 1920. His first leading role was in the silent film of 1924 Gösta Berlings saga, under the direction of Mauritz Stiller. The following year she was hired by the Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios, which is why she soon moved to Hollywood.

Based in Hollywood, she filmed twenty-four films and was credited with the title of “the woman who does not laugh” because of her acting conditions for the drama. Among the silent productions where she performed, Torrent -its first American film-, Flesh and the Devil, Love, The Divine Woman and A Woman of Affairs stand out. Publicized with the slogan of “¡Garbo habla!”, In 1930 her first sound film was released: Anna Christie, which earned her the first of her four nominations for the Oscars as best actress. Finally it would be awarded an honorary one in 1954, but did not come to pick it up.

During the 1930s it was directed by filmmakers such as Clarence Brown, George Fitzmaurice or Edmund Goulding, and acted alongside some of the most important actors of those times such as Robert Montgomery, Clark Gable, Melvyn Douglas and John Gilbert. Her role as Nina Ivanovna “Ninotchka” Yakushova in the comedy Ninotchka (1939), directed by Ernst Lubitsch, was highly praised. At the time of his death, he had about thirty films filmed, two short films and several advertisements.

Greta_Garbo’s Biography

Greta Garbo began her career as an actress in Sweden, during the silent film era, where she participated in several productions as an extra and in two others with director Mauritz Stiller, who would also be hired by Hollywood.

First years

At the young age of 14, Greta’s father dies and she was forced to leave school to work, and in this way help the family in their disadvantaged economic condition (with only her mother and two brothers) ; She then got a job in a large warehouse known as Pub, in Stockholm, and it was not long before she was chosen, by her type, for the advertising campaigns of the department stores. As soon as her picture appeared in the newspapers, they chose her for a short film for the same Pub chain. This ultimately made her taste the film, and soon she would appear in another short film. A comedy director, Eric Petscher, would give him a small opportunity in his production Luffar-Petter (Peter the Trickster) in 1922 and very soon the young Greta would receive a scholarship to a drama school in Stockholm.

From Sweden to Hollywood

Greta Garbo as Ninotchka and Melvyn Douglas as the Count d’Algou in a scene from the film.

In the year 1924, Garbo would have the first big break, when the famous director Mauritz Stiller gave him a role in his film The Legend of Gosta Berling (Gosta Berlings Saga). The success of this film benefited both; Greta and Stiller were hired with the great M.G.M. (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) in California. His first film was El Torrente (The Torrent) and little by little Garbo became one of the great stars of silent movies with films like Amor (Love) and La mujer ligena (A woman of Affairs) among others. With the beau John Gilbert he shot three consecutive films of great success. They started an idyll and decided to get married, but Garbo did not show up for the wedding and Gilbert ended that day fighting with producer Louis B. Mayer, who had laughed at her. In spite of this amorous disagreement, Garbo and Gilbert continued to work together and when he was already living his decline as a star, she recovered him for a role in Queen Cristina of Sweden.

From the silent film to the sound

The rise of Greta Garbo as a star was in the last years of the silent film, but the arrival of the sound did not hurt her as Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and other divas of the moment. Although the new films with sound betrayed her strong Swedish accent, Garbo retained and reinforced her stardom, and already with her first sound film (Anna Christie by Clarence Brown) was nominated for an Oscar.

Films like Mata Hari, Queen Cristina of Sweden and Anna Karenina secured the legend of “La Garbo”. It is said that when filming Ninotchka, and out of fear of failure, he wanted to leave the profession, although he had previously been reducing his work.

She was nominated as best actress by the American Film Academy in 1930, 1932, 1937 and 1939, but she never received an Oscar, forgetting that years later the Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences decided to amend with an honorary Oscar in 1954 who refused to pick up, because according to his own words “I did not want to see anyone’s face”. The trophy was sent to his home.

A range of successful films would continue, but films such as Grand Hotel, Queen Cristina of Sweden, Ana Karenina and Camille would always be associated with her image and even earned her new Oscar nominations. In 1939 Garbo made his first comedy, Ninotchka, which was not only a great commercial and box office success, but contributed to a new Oscar nomination. M.G.M found a new way to market one of the biggest stars: as a comedian. In 1941, Garbo returned to light comedy with the film La mujer de dos caras (Two-Faced Woman), which would be his last appearance in the cinema.

Greta Garbo was associated with the phrase «I want to be alone», although she said: «I meant to leave me alone, which is different». His lifestyle was described as a hermit and a bit unsociable, because unlike other stars the Garbo stayed away from the major events in Hollywood, preferring loneliness and anonymity.

Premature Withdrawal

At the height of popularity, Garbo left the world of cinema at the young age of 36 and spent the rest of his life in a well-furnished apartment in New York near Central Park, surrounded by works of art; He collected paintings by Renoir, Pierre Bonnard and Kandinsky, among other masters. He lived totally retired and avoiding any contact with the media. He did not go to parties or public events; Even when he was offered an Honorific Oscar, he rejected it. Her last interview was as brief as surprising: the journalist started saying “I wonder …” and she interrupted him and left saying “Why ask?”

Hollywood star of fame.

After his years in Hollywood, Garbo moved to New York City, and in 1951 became a US citizen. Finally in 1954 he received an Oscar for his great cinematographic career. In the following 30 years of his life he would maintain contact with great personalities of the jet set and despite not having appeared in any film since La mujer de dos caras in 1941, the interest of the public towards him never waned; the paparazzi constantly besieged her, and the rumors of her return to the cinema (some false, others real), never failed. Garbo would later comment: “My life has been a journey of hiding places, back doors, secret elevators, and all possible ways to go unnoticed so as not to be bothered by anyone.” The great star of yesteryear happened to become the most famous inmate in the world.

Since her retirement was discovered in the 60s, journalists harassed her until the last moment and stood guard at her home chasing her to photograph her in her old age, which is why she was always seen with big dark glasses and hats that They hid his face. Such precautions were not enough; she was photographed several times, even in the year of her death, and in 1976, People magazine published images of her swimming naked, captured with a telephoto lens.

Despite his early retirement, he had an important fortune thanks to wise real estate investments in the luxurious area of ​​Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills, Los Angeles). But he lived simply, eating frugally, and although he cultivated the friendship of celebrities such as Aristotle Onassis and photographer Cecil Beaton, he dressed very discreetly and had gray hair, undyed, to go unnoticed.


Headstone of Greta Garbo.

Garbo’s health began to decline in the mid-1980s and on April 15, 1990, he died of kidney disease and pneumonia in New York City. He was 84 years old. In June 1999 his ashes were buried in the Skogskyrkogarden cemetery in Stockholm. His fortune, estimated at 20 million dollars, was inherited by his niece, who lives in New Jersey.

Greta Garbo Net Worth – $50 Million

More Facts about Greta Garbo

The Greta Garbo’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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