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She was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm, where she later worked in a department store. Discovered in a beauty contest, she won a place at the city's prestigious drama school, and was soon a film star as a result of being spotted by Mauritz Stiller and given a major role in his film Gösta Berling (1924). It was Stiller who brought her to the USA in the following year, but their relationship came to an end as her worldwide fame grew. Having achieved enormous success as a silent movie star, she was one of the few who made the transition to talkies - unlike her one-time lover, John Gilbert. Her most successful films include: Anna Christie (1930), Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), Camille (1936), Grand Hotel and Ninotchka (1939).
She abandoned her career in 1941 when her star threatened to wane, and thereafter refused to appear in public. She continued to live in the USA, becoming an American citizen in 1951, but chose to live anonymously and dress dowdily in order to avoid media attention.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd.
Greta Garbo died in New York City on April 15, 1990 and was cremated, her ashes buried at Skogskyrkogarden, in Stockholm, Sweden.
Greta Garbo Facts
|Birth Name||Greta Lovisa Gustafsson|
|Birthday||September 18, 1905|
|Date of death||April 15, 1990 (age 84)|
|Height||5' 7½" (1m71) How tall is Greta Garbo compared to you?|
|Awards||1955 Academy Awards: Honorary Award|
|The Painted Veil|
|TCM Archives: The Garbo Silents Collection|