American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000


GRETA GARBO
Elusive Star

1905-1990

"I vant to be alone."
--Line from Grand Hotel (1932)

 

Born Greta Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden, Garbo achieved superstardom in Hollywood, appearing in a series of films for MGM from 1924 to 1941. Then she retired to live in seclusion for 50 more years. Legendary directors created shimmering visual styles to capture what many consider the most stunning female face ever to grace the screen.

Combining allure with iciness, she was cast in many silent films with costar John Gilbert, with whom she had a lengthy off-screen relationship. When "talkies" arrived, she adapted her theatrical style for such classics as Anna Christie (1930), Queen Christina (1934), Camille (1936) and Ninotchka (1939). Garbo's ego was as large as her star. During the filming of Anna Karenina (1935), she refused to sign an autograph for Shakespearean actor Basil Rathbone, the highest-paid freelance actor in Hollywood, who was playing her husband!

 

Historic Artifacts:

SWEDISH DRIVER'S LICENSE of Greta Garbo
MAKEUP KIT in a tiny suitcase used by Garbo
SEAMSTRESS MEASUREMENTS (copy) found insitde makeup kit usedby Garbo
SNAPSHOTS (copies) ound in makeup kit used by Garbo
-- On loan from Dr. Jon K. Lattimer, Kailua-Kona HI

NATURALIZATION PAPERS (facsimile) of Greta Garbo
-- On loan from National Archives Pacific Southwest Region, Laguna Nigel CA

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