Greta Garbo

Garbo, Greta, 1905–90, American film actress, b. Stockholm, Sweden, as Greta Gustafsson. Garbo's success in the Swedish film The Atonement of Gösta Berling (1923) brought her to Hollywood. Possessing classic beauty and a husky, alluring voice, she was known in her early films for her portrayals of sexual passion. Her image as a tragic heroine was established in Anna Christie (1930), Anna Karenina (1935), and Camille (1936). Garbo retired from the screen and lived in legendary seclusion from 1941 until her death. Her films include Flesh and the Devil (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), and Ninotchka (1939).

See biographies by J. Bainbridge (1971) and B. Paris (1995); M. Conway, The Films of Greta Garbo (1968); H. Vickers, Loving Garbo: The Story of Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, and Mercedes Acosta (1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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