Greta Garbo

photo Greta Garbo
Name: Greta Garbo ( Greta Lovisa Gustafsson )
Born: September 18, 1905
Age: 84 years old
Died: April 15, 1990
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Height: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Occupation: actress
Tags: actress, show
Relationship Status: wasn’t married
More info: show
    2.1/5 (7 votes)

    Greta Garbo: biography

    Greta Garbo is a film actress, she was born in Europe and she gained recognition in the United States, became an icon and a diva, went in history as a cold, unearthly, majestic woman with extraordinary piercing eyes and indescribable beauty. She was silent, preferred solitude and therefore she was surrounded by an atmosphere of mystery. The tender and passionate heart was kept under the outer facade of aloofness.

    It was this woman, as it was recently known from secret documents, was a secret agent of the British and saved the Jews in Denmark during the Second World War. Greta's biography is full of surprises.

    The actress Greta Garbo
    The actress Greta Garbo

    The girl was born in a family with low income in Sweden in 1905. Greta's dad died when she was 13. The family consisted of a mother and three children, so the girl dropped out of school and went to her first job. She worked in a beauty salon, retail stores, began to act as a model for photos in local advertising videos and magazines gradually. The girl was noticed by agents. She was invited to an episodic role in the movie Peter the Tramp.

    The girl decides that she will pursue a career in the cinema. Greta goes to the Academy of theater arts to implement it, where she mastered the profession of the actress for two years. Garbo meets with a director named Mauritz Stiller, who thinks over the image of Greta and shoots her in his several his films.

    Greta Garbo in her youth
    Greta Garbo in her youth

    A silent movie instantly opened the talent of the girl, besides her looks, height 5,5 feet (170 cm), piercing look, grace and plastic looked on the big screen well. The actress conquered film critics and ordinary viewers inspired colleagues and attracted producers. She is offered to move to the United States, Greta did it. She had movies, love, success and a lot of money here.


    Garbo became the highest paid actress of the pre-war time, 270 thousand dollars for the film was an incredible amount at that time. Her best roles in films were about strong women with character and desire to live a life in the name of love and faith. The heroine of Garbo often died at the end of the film. The characters, played by Greta, gave her global fame and the title of one of the best actresses in Hollywood history. The two most important roles of the actress: Anna Karenina (in the film Love) and Mata Hari.

    Greta Garbo in the film Mata Hari
    Greta Garbo in the film Mata Hari

    The actress did not disappear from the screens when the sound appeared in the movies. So, many people assumed that the mystery of Greta and her unearthly image would disintegrate at the first sounds of her voice but the timbre of the actress had a magical effect on the viewer. A weak low voice with slight hoarseness became the trademark of Garbo.

    Greta Garbo and Clark Gable
    Greta Garbo and Clark Gable

    Greta had a bad relationship with some colleagues in the film industry. For example, Garbo and Clark Gable starred in the film Susan Lenox and Rise together, after which they quarreled. The actor considered the woman arrogant and biased and Greta called the result of Clark "clumsy."

    In total, the star played in 20 films. Garbo was awarded an Oscar for her positive and invaluable contribution to the development of cinema in 1954.

    The years of war

    Garbo took a break in her career. She took part in the events during the Second World War. The fact that Adolf Hitler was delighted with the legendary actress and therefore insisted on their meeting. And British intelligence prepared Greta as the murder weapon of the leader of Nazi Germany.

    Hitler was delighted with Greta Garbo
    Hitler was delighted with Greta Garbo

    The plan collapsed, although Greta could get a lot of secret information about the Nazis in many covert operations. She was an agent in Europe for many years and therefore could not return to the cinema after the war. Garbo realized that she will not take her work seriously as a simple actress after such events and shocks.

    Personal life

    The personal life of a film star was full of secrets and rumors. It is only bright that the woman was never married and did not discover the happiness of motherhood. Greta always called her absence of her children and husband as her conscious choice. Instead of creating a family and taking care of her, Garbo chose to live an exciting and unusual life full of love experiments.

    Greta Garbo and John Gilbert
    Greta Garbo and John Gilbert

    Once, she almost got married after a passionate love affair, the actor John Gilbert proposed to the girl. But Greta changed her mind at the last moment.

    Marlene Dietrich was considered for Garbo as her main rival for the title of "Queen of Hollywood" for many years. Moreover, the actress was jealous of her rival to a prominent writer, Erich Maria Remarque, who maintained a close relationship with Greta and was delighted with this talented unusual woman. Marlene couldn't admit that she's inferior to her at least something and she was strongly against Garbo for "a stolen heart" of Erich.

    Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich
    Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich

    It is well known that Greta Garbo was in a serious relationship with both men and women in different years. Her lovers were always successful people, as a rule, representatives of creative professions, those who shared Greta's passion for creativity and art. There were often the actors, directors or members of the elite among men. There was the screenwriter or the photographer among women.

    Greta Garbo and George Schlee
    Greta Garbo and George Schlee

    One of the most famous people, who had a relationship with the actress was a successful businessman George Schlee, who was married officially with Greta for many years. It is still unknown the reasons for such a strange, almost painful love affection of the actress to not an attractive but smart man. However, the affair lasted nearly 20 years definitely, as a result of which the man helped the actress to increase her wealth.

    A very close friend of the actress was the photographer Cecil Beaton, who admitted his homosexuality later.

    The style of icon

    Garbo belonged to the category of women, who should not make an effort to look great and attract admiring glances at every appearance. Greta's style struck the public in the cinema in the years of her triumph and continued its existence after her death.

    Greta Garbo's unique style
    Greta Garbo's unique style

    The main elements of the image of the actress –a red lipstick, marble complexion, thin eyebrows and bright eye makeup; simple cut things, closed dresses, shirts. And, of course, the male costume, actress became a trendsetter, coming to the public in black pants and jacket.

    Greta Garbo in a man's suit
    Greta Garbo in a man's suit

    Greta loved the comfort and privacy in her ordinary life and chose to hide her figure, without emphasizing her shape. She loved the color black and a variety of hats, she could wear a hat, scarf or turban.

    The actress did not worry about fashion. She preferred to follow the inner sense of style.

    Beautiful Greta Garbo
    Beautiful Greta Garbo

    Greta's favorite fashion designer was a Russian immigrant, Valentina Shlee. The whole of Hollywood was dressed in her American fashion house. Shlee created simple, elegant outfits for Garbo, in which the Japanese simplicity of lines was seen. They were close friends but the relationship between Greta and Valentina`s husband changed from friendship to hatred. Valentina couldn't forgive Greta for the rest of her life.

    Greta Garbo and Renata Litvinova
    Greta Garbo and Renata Litvinova

    Garbo`s style is relevant in our time. For example, the star of the Russian cinema, Renata Litvinova created her image based on the image of Greta.

    Recent years and death

    After her career in 1941, Greta Garbo never returned to the big movie, playing the episodic role of "herself" in small films. After the war, she returned to America and began to live in seclusion. Greta Garbo had a net worth of $50 million.

    Greta Garbo in her old age
    Greta Garbo in her old age

    A woman was stalked by representatives of the media and simple fans. The legendary actress aroused the interest of her public appearance. Garbo went into voluntary imprisonment for the sake of her privacy and personal life, spending a lot of time in her apartment. She appeared in constant black glasses in public places.

    The grave of Greta Garbo
    The grave of Greta Garbo

    The woman died at the age of 84; the cause of death of Greta Garbo was complications after severe pneumonia. The tomb of the actress, which is located in the cemetery of Stockholm, became a must-visit place for all fans of Garbo.


    • Two-Faced Woman (1941)
    • Ninotchka (1939)
    • Conquest (1937)
    • Camille (1936)
    • The Painted Veil (1934)
    • Queen Christina (1933)
    • As You Desire Me (1932)
    • Grand Hotel (1932)
    • Mata Hari (1931)
    • Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931)
    • Inspiration (1931)
    • Anna Christie (1930)
    • Romance (1930)
    • The Kiss (1929)
    • The Single Standard (1929)
    • Wild Orchids (1929)
    • A Woman of Affairs (1928)
    • The Mysterious Lady (1928)
    • The Divine Woman (1928)
    • Love (1927)
    • Flesh and the Devil (1926)
    • The Temptress (1926)
    • Torrent (1926)
    • The Joyless Street (1925)
    • The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924)
    • Mr. and Mrs. Stockholm Go Shopping (1920)

    Other Celebrities