Thursday, 1 January 2009

Greta Garbo

Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 18, 1905. She was 14 when her father died, leaving the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store. The store used her for her modeling abilities for newspaper ads.
She had no film aspirations until she appeared in an advertising short at that same department store while she was still a teenager. This led to another short film when Erik A. Petschler, a comedy director, saw the film. He gave her a small part in the film, _Luffarpetter (1922)_. Encouraged by her own performance she applied for and won a scholarship in a Swedish drama school.
While there she appeared in two films, Lyckoriddare, En (1921) and _Luffarpetter (1922)_ the following year. Both were small parts, but it was a start.
Finally famed Swedish director, Mauritz Stiller, pulled her from drama school for the leading role in Gösta Berlings saga (1924). At 18, Greta was on a roll. Following Die Freudlose Gasse (1925) both Greta and Stiller were offered contracts with MGM. Her first US film was Torrent (1926). It was a silent film where she didn't have to speak a word of English.
After a few more films, such as The Temptress (1926), Love (1927/I), 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 gave her an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.
Unfortunately she didn't win. Later that year she filmed Romance (1930) which was somewhat of a letdown, but bounced back as lead role in Susan Lenox (1931) with Clark Gable. The film was a hit and led to another exciting title role in Mata Hari (1931).
Greta continued to give intensified performances in whatever was handed her. The next year Greta was cast in another hit Grand Hotel (1932).
But it was MGM's Anna Karenina (1935) where she, perhaps, gave the performance of her life. She was absolutely breathtaking in the title role as a woman torn between two lovers and her son. Greta starred in Ninotchka (1939) which showcased her comedic side.
It wasn't until two years later she made what was to be her last film that being Two-Faced Woman (1941), another comedy. 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.
Her films, she felt, had their proper place in history and would gain in value.
On April 15, 1990, Greta died of natural causes in New York and with it the "Garbo Mystique". She was 84.

4 comments:

Betty said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Betty


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R said...

hi allison and a happy new year to you super post on garbo enjoyed reading about her on here. rrrrr:-)

bluedreamer27 said...

im back!! sorry for not being here in the blososphere for almost 2 weeks...
but now im happy to tell you that im back from th field again...
and im so sorry again for missing some of your post...my apology
may you have a great year my friend
have a great day and God bless! !

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