Greta Garbo

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Greta Garbo
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson
BirthplaceStockholm, Sweden

Garbo, Greta,

1905–90, American film actress, b. Stockholm, Sweden, as Greta Gustafsson. Garbo's success in the Swedish film The Atonement of Gösta Berling (1923) brought her to Hollywood. Possessing classic beauty and a husky, alluring voice, she was known in her early films for her portrayals of sexual passion. Her image as a tragic heroine was established in Anna Christie (1930), Anna Karenina (1935), and Camille (1936). Garbo retired from the screen and lived in legendary seclusion from 1941 until her death. Her films include Flesh and the Devil (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), and Ninotchka (1939).


See biographies by J. Bainbridge (1971) and B. Paris (1995); M. Conway, The Films of Greta Garbo (1968); H. Vickers, Loving Garbo: The Story of Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, and Mercedes Acosta (1994).

Garbo, Greta


(pseudonym of Greta Gustafsson). Born Sept. 18, 1905, in Stockholm. American actress of Swedish nationality.

Born into the family of a worker, Garbo graduated from a school of dramatic art in Stockholm. In 1922 she made her debut in films, and in 1924 she played her first important role in the film The Saga of Gösta Berling. She soon moved to Germany and in 1925 played one of the principal roles in the film Joyless Streets. In 1926 she began to work in Hollywood. In most of her films she created the image of a suffering, deeply unhappy woman. The sincerity and emotionality of her performances and her natural charm won her worldwide recognition. However, the banality of Hollywood films, which she tried to overcome by endowing her heroines with a rich spiritual world, prevented Garbo from realizing her creative potential. Her fine dramatic talent revealed itself in leading roles in the films Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), and Camille (1937). Since 1941, after an unsuccessful performance in the film Two-faced Woman, Garbo has not appeared on the screen.


Urazov, I. Greta Garbo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Laing, E. E. Greta Garbo: The Story of a Specialist. London, 1946.

Garbo, Greta (b. Greta Louisa Gustafson)

(1905–90) film actress; born in Stockholm. A shop-girl who won a bathing beauty contest at age 16, she made some publicity shorts and studied acting before gaining international recognition in Mauritz Stiller's Swedish film, The Story of Gosta Berling (1924). She came to Hollywood (1924) with Stiller, her mentor and companion, and they worked together on The Torrent (1926) but he soon returned to Sweden while she stayed on to become known as "The Swedish Sphinx," reflecting her aloofness and cool beauty. Promoted by the resources of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, she became an international star, especially after her first talkie, Anna Christie (1930); although she made only 13 more films and retired abruptly in 1941, she came to personify all that was most alluring yet unattainable about movie stars. She became an American citizen in 1951, and in 1954 was awarded a special Oscar. Although linked with several men, she never married and became almost a recluse in her final decades.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Greta Garbo became a (reclusive) myth very soon after her arrival in Hollywood.
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1927: Greta Garbo and John Gilbert shocked cinemagoers by their uninhibited kissing in the silent film Flesh And The Devil.
1905: Greta Garbo, the Swedish shopgirl who became one of the most legendary film stars of all time, was born.
New York, December 3 ( ANI ): Greta Garbo - the legendarily reclusive actress who refused to sign autographs or give interviews - would have had "mixed feelings" if she knew about the auction next month of 800 of her possessions, according to her great-nephew Derek Reisfield.
CHAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: Burton talked about many things, including Liz Taylor, during his chat with Dick Cavett RACONTEUR: Richard Burton JOLLYWOOD: Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall tried to play a prank on Burton, while Greta Garbo (main picture) told the then rising star risqu stories
Actress Greta Garbo did not plead: "I want to be alone" and Harold Macmillan said his greatest difficulty as Prime Minister was "the opposition of events", not the widely reported "events, dear boy, events".
James Dean, Greta Garbo, Elvis Presley, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, Adolf Hitler, John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi and Queen Victoria, are among some of the people who feature in The World's Most Photographed exhibition.
Those three adjectives, by the way, perfectly describe the Violetta of soprano Elizabeth Futral, who sings the fallen woman at the heart of this tale -- a story some may know better in its silver-screen incarnation, the Greta Garbo vehicle ``Camille.
WASHINGTON, May 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nearly 71 years after Greta Garbo (1905-1990) won her first award, she is still a worldwide sensation.