Click on any of the Greta Garbo Wing pieces below to enlarge, then use the arrows on the screen or your keyboard to peruse the rest.
Greta Garbo’s career began in silent films. Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, believed that Greta had a unique star quality and so he brought her to Hollywood from Sweden. The film, Flesh and the Devil, in 1926, made her a star. Her first talking film was Anna Christie in 1930. I have loved all of the Garbo films I’ve seen. She had a luminescence on screen, and she was a fine actress. She was nominated for three Academy Awards and received an honorary award for her contribution to film in 1954.Greta made 28 films in her career, and she retired at the young age of 35.
As a very young woman, Greta was a model. Both Louis B. Mayer, and MGM producer, Irving Thalberg thought Greta had that star quality. Greta’s acting career started in the silent film era and she became a very popular actress at that time. When she starred with silent film actor, John Gilbert, Greta and Gilbert fell in love. They were a very popular screen couple but it wasn’t meant to last. Greta made the successful transition into talking films, but John Gilbert did not. Greta was so popular at that time, that in her first talking film, Anna Christie, the MGM marketing department promised that “Garbo talks!” and the people loved it.
In 1931, she played in Mata Hari with heartthrob Ramon Novarro. Upon release, the commotion outside the theater of people waiting to get inside was so great that the police had to be called to keep the people calm.
She also made Anna Karenina and the famous 1936 movie, Camille, with young actor Robert Taylor. The death of producer, Irving Thalberg, in the mid 30’s, upset her terribly. Irving and his wife, actress Norma Shearer, were very good friends to Greta. Thalberg was also a strong supporter and ally in the studio. John Gilbert also died young.
At one time, Garbo had been on the verge of marrying Gilbert but ultimately she never wanted anyone to control her life. She wanted to be the boss. She never married, nor had children.
When she retired at 35, she meant to return one day to film but then World War II happened and the timing never seemed right to her. Greta also did not want to age on film. She had money, friends and other interests. She lived a full life after her full life in Hollywood. She too became a legend in her lifetime.
The photo and posters you see of her in this wing display Garbo literally in all her facets. The photo at the top is an original and one of her all time most famous photos.
After retirement from films, people remained fascinated with her. In New York, where she resided, people would always be on the lookout for sightings of her. Some people have that charisma that is larger than life…that was Garbo.
Greta Garbo Quotes:
“There is no one who would have me – I can’t cook.”
“I’m afraid of nothing, except being bored.”
“Is there anything better than to be longing for something, when you know it is within reach?”
“If you are blessed, you are blessed, whether you are married or single.”
“I never said I want to be alone. I only said I want to be let alone. There is all the difference.”
“I don’t like writers. They are dangerous people.”