87 Facts About Greta Garbo


Greta Garbo launched her career with a secondary role in the 1924 Swedish film The Saga of Gosta Berling.


Greta Garbo's performance caught the attention of Louis B Mayer, chief executive of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who brought her to Hollywood in 1925.


Greta Garbo stirred interest with her first American silent film, Torrent.


In 1928, Greta Garbo starred in A Woman of Affairs, which catapulted her at MGM to its highest box-office star, surpassing the long-reigning Lillian Gish.


Greta Garbo continued in films such as Mata Hari, Susan Lenox, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina and Anna Karenina.


Greta Garbo's career revived with a turn to comedy in Ninotchka, which earned her a third Academy Award nomination.


In 1954, Greta Garbo was awarded an Academy Honorary Award "for her luminous and unforgettable screen performances".


Greta Garbo was the third, and youngest, child of Anna Lovisa, who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer.


Greta Garbo had an older brother, Sven Alfred, and an older sister, Alva Maria.


Greta Garbo was nicknamed Kata, the way she mispronounced her name, for the first ten years of her life.


Greta Garbo's parents met in Stockholm, where her father had been visiting from Frinnaryd.


Greta Garbo moved to Stockholm to become independent and worked as a street cleaner, grocer, factory worker and butcher's assistant.


Greta Garbo was a natural leader who became interested in theatre at an early age.


Greta Garbo directed her friends in make-believe games and performances, and dreamed of becoming an actress.


At the age of 13, Greta Garbo graduated from school, and, typical of a Swedish working-class girl at that time, she did not attend high school.


Greta Garbo cared for him, taking him to the hospital for weekly treatments.


Greta Garbo died in 1920 when she was 14 years old.


Greta Garbo first worked as a soap-lather girl in a barber shop before taking a job in the PUB department store where she ran errands and worked in the millinery department.


Greta Garbo was recruited in 1924 by the Finnish director Mauritz Stiller to play a principal part in his film The Saga of Gosta Berling, a dramatization of the famous novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlof, which featured the actor Lars Hanson.


Greta Garbo made an offer, but Stiller demanded that Garbo be part of any contract, convinced that she would be an asset to his career.


Greta Garbo was immediately struck by Garbo's magnetism and became more interested in her than in Stiller.


In 1925, Greta Garbo, who was unable to speak English, was brought to Hollywood from Sweden at the request of Mayer.


Greta Garbo replaced Aileen Pringle, 10 years her senior, and played a peasant girl turned singer, opposite Ricardo Cortez.


Torrent was a hit, and, despite its cool reception by the trade press, Greta Garbo's performance was well received.


For both Greta Garbo and Stiller, The Temptress was a harrowing experience.


However, Greta Garbo received rave reviews, and MGM had a new star.


Greta Garbo starred in three of them with the leading man John Gilbert.


The impact of Greta Garbo's acting and screen presence quickly established her reputation as one of Hollywood's greatest actresses.


Greta Garbo "lowers her head to look calculating or flutters her lips," he says.


Greta Garbo reveals no nervousness before the microphone and her careful interpretation of Anna can scarcely be disputed.


Greta Garbo was paired opposite Robert Montgomery in Inspiration, and her profile was used to boost the career of the relatively unknown Clark Gable in Susan Lenox.


Greta Garbo played the World War I German spy in the lavish production of Mata Hari, opposite Ramon Novarro.


The movie met with controversy upon its release; censors objected to the scenes in which Greta Garbo disguised herself as a man and kissed a female co-star.


Greta Garbo's performance won her the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress.


Greta Garbo selected George Cukor's romantic drama Camille as her next project.


Greta Garbo had grown close to Thalberg and his wife, Norma Shearer, and had often dropped by their house unannounced.


Greta Garbo's death added to the sombre mood required for the closing scenes of Camille.


Greta Garbo won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her performance, and she was nominated once more for an Academy Award.


Greta Garbo regarded Camille as her favorite out of all of her films.


Greta Garbo played a "double" role that featured her dancing the rhumba, swimming, and skiing.


Greta Garbo signed a one-picture deal in 1942 to make The Girl from Leningrad, but the project quickly dissolved.


Greta Garbo still thought she would continue when the war was over, though she was ambivalent and indecisive about returning to the screen.


Still, Greta Garbo signed a contract in 1948 with producer Walter Wanger, who had produced Queen Christina, to shoot a picture based on Balzac's La Duchesse de Langeais.


Greta Garbo made several screen tests, learned the script, and arrived in Rome in the summer of 1949 to shoot the picture.


Greta Garbo was offered many roles both in the 1940s and throughout her retirement years but rejected all but a few of them.


Greta Garbo never signed autographs or answered fan mail, and rarely gave interviews.


Greta Garbo was routinely referred to by the press as the "Swedish Sphinx".


In spite of her strenuous efforts to avoid publicity, Greta Garbo paradoxically became one of the twentieth century's most publicized women.


In retirement, Greta Garbo generally led a private life of simplicity and leisure.


Greta Garbo made no public appearances and assiduously avoided the publicity she loathed.


Greta Garbo was often perplexed about what to do and how to spend her time, always struggling with her many eccentricities and her life-long melancholy and moodiness.


Greta Garbo was a dinner guest at the White House on November 13,1963, just nine days before the assassination of President Kennedy.


Greta Garbo spent the night at the Washington, DC home of philanthropist Florence Mahoney.


In 1971, Greta Garbo vacationed in Southern France at the summer home of her close friend Baroness Cecile de Rothschild who introduced her to Samuel Adams Green, an art collector and curator in New York City.


Greta Garbo was in the habit of tape-recording all of his telephone calls, including many of his conversations with Garbo.


Greta Garbo did so with her permission, but Garbo ended the friendship in 1981 after being falsely told that Green had played the tapes to friends.


Greta Garbo never married, had no children, and lived alone as an adult.


Gilbert allegedly proposed to her numerous times, with Greta Garbo agreeing, but backing out at the last minute.


In 1937, Greta Garbo met orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski, with whom she had a highly publicized relationship while the pair traveled throughout Europe the following year; whether the relationship was platonic or romantic is uncertain.


Silent film star Louise Brooks stated that she and Greta Garbo had a brief liaison the following year.


In 1931, Greta Garbo befriended the writer and acknowledged lesbian Mercedes de Acosta, whom she met through Salka Viertel, and, according to Greta Garbo's and de Acosta's biographers, began a sporadic and volatile romance.


In 2005, Mimi Pollak's estate released 60 letters Greta Garbo had written to her in their long correspondence.


Greta Garbo died on 15 April 1990, aged 84, in the hospital, as a result of pneumonia and renal failure.


Greta Garbo was cremated in Manhattan, and her ashes were interred nine years later in 1999 at Skogskyrkogarden Cemetery just south of her native Stockholm.


Greta Garbo made numerous investments, primarily in stocks and bonds, and left her entire estate of $32million to her niece.


Greta Garbo was an international star during the late silent era and the "Golden Age" of Hollywood who became a screen icon.


Greta Garbo possessed a subtlety and naturalism in her acting that set her apart from other actors and actresses of the period.


Greta Garbo played heroines that were at once sensual and pure, superficial and profound, suffering and hopeful, world-weary and life-inspiring.


Greta Garbo would move her head just a little bit, and the whole screen would come alive, like a strong breeze that made itself felt.


Greta Garbo shared her emotions with the camera and the audience.


Greta Garbo felt everything she did and had the intelligence to go with it.


Greta Garbo is the subject of several documentaries, including four made in the United States between 1990 and 2005 and one made for the BBC in 1969:.


Greta Garbo has been memorialized in art and literature both during and after her life.


Greta Garbo was one of the subjects of French composer Charles Koechlin's "Seven Stars Symphony", which consisted of seven movements, each dedicated to a Hollywood star.


Greta Garbo was portrayed by Betty Comden in the film Garbo Talks.


Greta Garbo is mentioned in the song "Break My Soul" by Beyonce and "Vogue" by Madonna, along with a number of other famous singers and actresses.


Greta Garbo is mentioned in the 1977 song "Right Before Your Eyes" by Ian Thomas that was recorded by pop group America in 1982.


Greta Garbo is mentioned in The Kinks 1972 song "Celluloid Heros" and the 1981 Kim Carnes song "Bette Davis Eyes".


Greta Garbo was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actress.


Greta Garbo received her nomination for her work in both Anna Christie and for Romance.


Greta Garbo lost out to Irving Thalberg's wife, Norma Shearer, who won for The Divorcee.


In 1937, Greta Garbo was nominated for Camille, but Luise Rainer won for The Good Earth.


Finally, in 1939, Greta Garbo was nominated for Ninotchka, but again came away empty-handed.


Predictably, Greta Garbo did not show up at the ceremony, and the statuette was mailed to her home address.


Greta Garbo twice received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress: for Anna Karenina in 1935, and for Camille in 1936.


Greta Garbo won the National Board of Review Best Acting Award for Camille in 1936; for Ninotchka in 1939; and for Two-Faced Woman in 1941.


Greta Garbo appears on a number of postage stamps, and in September 2005, the United States Postal Service and Swedish Posten jointly issued two commemorative stamps bearing her image.