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garbo1.jpgBorn on this day September 18, 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden as Greta Lovisa Gustafsson to Anna Lovisa Johansson and Karl Alfred Gustafsson who died when she was only fourteen years old.  The loss of her father forced Greta and her two siblings to quit school and go to work to help out the family, she started work as a lather girl in a barbershop, then as a clerk at a department store and was soon modeling in newspaper ads for that store.  This led to some advertising films, then to her first real film role in the movie Peter The Tramp in 1922.  In the next two years she would gain acting experience with her study at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, have a major role in the film, Gosta Berlings Saga in 1924 and get her stage name, Greta Garbo.  She then starred in two more Swedish films, then one in Germany, The Joyless Street in 1925 at the age of eighteen.  Greta would make it to the United States of America and star in a few more silent films, the best known of these, Flesh and the Devil in 1926, The Temptress in 1926 and Love in 1927.  She was a huge success when “talkie” movies started and she would not be one of the many silent film stars left behind, her last silent film was The Kiss in 1929.  Garbo’s low husky voice with her Swedish accent was first heard in the movie Anna Christie in 1930, which was promoted with the slogan “Garbo Talks.”  She would get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  Also in 1930, she filmed the movie Romance and then in 1931 the movie Susan Lenox with Clark Gable which led to her title role in mata-hari.jpgMata Hari also in 1931.  She would show another great performance in the hit movie Grand Hotel in 1932 which won the Best Picture Oscar. In 1935 she made the movie Anna Karenina and gave the performance of a lifetime, until she starred in Camille in 1936 and her performance was called by some the finest ever recorded on film.  She stared in the movie Ninotchka in 1939 before making her last film in 1941, Two Faced Woman.  After World War II Greta would retire and felt her films had their rightful place in history.  She became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in 1951.  Greta Garbo was ranked as the fifth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.  She was given an Honorary Oscar “for her unforgettable screen performances” in 1955.  At the age of eighty-four Greta died on April 15, 1990.– There are two quotes I found from many that I think sum up the toughness, Greta must have had to have, to be the huge star she was, always in the public eye, never left alone.  Her quotes also show the loneliness that must also come with that kind of fame.  “There are many things in your heart you can never tell a person.  They are you, your private joys and sorrows, and you can never tell them.  You cheapen yourself, the inside of yourself, when you tell them.”  and  “Life would be so wonderful if we only knew what to do with it.” Greta Garbo

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