Greta Garbo was the very definition of the word, “Star”, the Diva was born on this day in 1905
Remembering iconic actress Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo was the very definition of the word, “Star”. She was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden September 18, 1905, the ”Swedish Sphinx” passed away on Easter Sunday, April 15, 1990, at the age of 84. Garbo launched her career with a secondary role in the 1924 Swedish film “The Saga of Gosta Berling”. Her performance caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer, chief executive of MGM, who brought her to Hollywood in 1925. She immediately stirred interest with her first silent film, “Torrent”, released in 1926; a year later, her performance in “Flesh and the Devil”, made her an international star. After a few more films, including “The Temptress” 1926, “Love” 1927, and “A Woman of Affairs” 1928, Greta starred in “Anna Christie” 1930, her first “talkie”, which not only gave her a powerful screen presence but also garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Greta continued to give intense performances in whatever she was handed landing starring roles in “Mata Hari” 1931, and “Grand Hotel” 1932. However, it was in MGM’s “Anna Karenina” 1935, that she gave what some consider the performance of her life. She was absolutely breathtaking in the role as a woman torn between two lovers and her son. Six years later she made what was to be her last film, the comedy “Two-Faced Woman” 1941. The film drew controversy and was condemned by the Catholic Church and other groups and was a box office failure, which left Garbo shaken. After World War II Greta, by her own admission, felt that the world had changed perhaps forever and she retired, never again to face the camera. In 1954 Greta was given a special Oscar for past unforgettable performances. She even penned her biography in 1990. The camera loved her and she radiated beauty from every frame of film. Aside of her fantastic career as an actress, Greta Garbo also became a fashion icon, creating her own unique style and look that endures to this day as influential.
Look back at one of Greta Garbo’s most memorable scenes in the movie “Queen Christina”, 1933
By Ken Warren, 2018
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