Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was given birth to on the 18 September 1905, born to a poor family and reared in a working class district. Greta was the youngest of three children. With a love for performing, Greta aimed to be an actress. It was common in that period for the poorer children to not attend high school, and that Greta did not study further in her teenage years in high school did give her an inferior complex.
In the year of 1919, the Spanish flu was sweeping across Stockholm. Garbo was close to her dad and he became infected with the virus that year. A year later despite treatments and the young 14 year old Greta staying home to care for her dad, he died.
Greta’s first job is recorded as being a soap lather girl in a barbershop, then moving to doing errands in the millinery of a PUB department store, which progressed to modelling hats for the store’s catalogue. From there it was swiftly into modelling and commercials for the store (all before 1921, at the age of 15) and soon she ventured into the film industry.
Between the years of 1922 to 1924, she studied at The Royal Dramatic Theatre's Acting School (which was in Stockholm) by scholarship. An established and highly regarded director, Mauritz Stiller, recruited her in 1924 to play a main role in The Saga of Gosta Berling. This director became her mentor, trainer and manager.
After Louis B. Mayer, who was the vice president and general manager of Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), met Greta he was convinced of her start quality. It was at the end of June 1925 that Greta and her manager Mauritz Stiller sailed to North America with a contract from MGM. When Greta arrived in New York, she could not speak English, had dental visits to straighten her teeth and was requested to lose weight. Before 1930, all films were silent and Greta claimed wide awe for her film appearances. It was only one of her silent films that were not profitable, yet all were received well eith great reviews.
This actress was appreciated for her engaging performances, was the highest paid actor/actress by MGM during most of her career, in the year of 1954 was rated as the most beautiful woman that ever lived by the Guinness Book of World Records, was a screen icon, set fashion and beauty styles and became known as a legendary actress. Few actors made a successful transition from silent film to audio film;Greta was one of those few actors.
Greta shunned the media and only gave 14 interviews during her life, her dislike for public related events and strangers led to her being named as the ‘Swedish Sphinx’ by the press.
There are speculations of romantic affairs with men and females, while there are no records of ever being married or having children. Greta’s film career lasted 19 years, from 1922 to 1941 and in the heart of her career in the 1930s she was one of the highest paid women in America.
Greta passed away at age 84 in New York on the 15 April 1990 due to pneumonia and kidney failure.
Greta was awarded noteworthy awards for her contribution to screen performances. Among them were two of the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best actress and The Swedish royal medal, Litteris et Artibus (a medal given for valuable contributions to culture). This Swedish born actress was nominated four times for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
The following are same films starring Greta:
•Flesh and the Devil
•A Woman of Affairs
For more information, please view: http://www.gretagarbo.com