Greta Garbo is a Swedish actress that starts out in silent features at the cusp of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She becomes one of the biggest movie stars of the 1930s. In 1941, Greta unceremoniously retired from the entertainment industry in her mid-30s. After this, she live a life of seclusion in Manhattan for years leading up to her death many decades later. After spending in Manhattan seclusion, she becomes a legend around the area and is spotted walking around. However, she remains out of the spotlight after her 1941 retirement and never returns to it before her 1990 death. Many years after her death, some personal letters were revealed that shed light on the mysterious star’s life. Join Facts Verse as letters reveal the secrets of Greta Garbo’s mysterious private life.
The Death After her Hollywood Retirement
Greta Garbo passed away in 1990, after having retired from the entertainment industry in 1941. In the years between her retirement and her death, the actress lived an incredibly mysterious and isolated life in Manhattan. Though she was often spotted publicly, not much was known about what the actress was really up to. She was never married during her lifetime, and seemingly never worked after her retirement. Her mysteriousness makes her more of a legend, and she remains a star figure in the years after her death. A few decades later, a series of letters uncover from the 1930s and 1940s. It reveals a good deal about what Greta is up to in the years after her retirement. Letters didn’t reveal everything, they say that Greta is not satisfied with her Hollywood fame. She prefers to live a life of seclusion in the Swedish countryside.
Writing Letters After Retirement
Greta was born and raised in Sweden, and that is where her remains reside. However, she spent the majority of her life in America. After choosing to end her days of Hollywood stardom, Greta moved to Manhattan and spent her remaining decades there. The time after her retirement, she writes letters to her friends back in Sweden wishing she can go back there. It remains uncertain what kept the actress in America, or why exactly she retired from show business.
It reveals that she spent her time alone and that she will talk to herself to pass the time. She enjoys taking walks on the beach alone and prefers to spend her time in isolation as much as possible. The actress never married throughout her life, and never had children. Though she involves with some figures during her lifetime, her sexuality remains as mysterious as most of the actress’s topics.
The revelation of the Letters
Greta Garbo’s final film is 1941’s, Two-Faced Woman. The letter says that Greta isn’t entirely happy with the decisions that are in the picture without her approval. This may have been another part of why the actress chose to call it quits on the entertainment industry. Following the informal feature, the actress chooses to retire from Hollywood after starring in nearly 30 pictures over 15 years.
After her 1941 retirement, Greta continued living in Beverly Hills for a period of time before her relocation to Manhattan. Even during the height of the actress’s fame, she was notoriously aloof. She didn’t like doing interviews, and she never answered fan mail. The Golden Age actress liked to let her work speak for itself.
During Greta’s decades as a mysterious legend living in New York City, fans walking the streets could often spot her. These appearances become famous and the actress turns up in crowds in the background of photographs taken within the city. Fans cherish these sporadic appearances, as the only designs to make in the years between her retirement and later death.
Greta Garbo’s Career in Hollywood
She works in the entertainment industry for 15 years, though she remains alive for five decades after her 1941 retirement. Despite the short time that Greta works in entertainment, the star manages to make an incredible impression on audiences. She remains a mystery to audiences to this day, and people trying to figure out what exactly the star ticks. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Greta Garbo was born in Sweden on September 18, 1905. As a young woman, she works in a barbershop while studying acting at the Royal Dramatic Theatre Acting School. In 1924, a director by the name of Mauritz Stiller discovered Greta and cast her in a film by the name of The Saga of Gosta Berling. Following her appearance in the film, Greta continued appearing in films under the director’s guidance for a few years before she eventually came to Hollywood.
It was Louis B. Mayer of MGM who was the one who brought Greta Garbo to Hollywood. At the insistence of the infamous studio head, Greta learned English and altered her appearance slightly to appeal to the American audience. She lost a little bit of weight, straightened out her hair, and had her teeth straightened. After this, Greta was ready to make her first appearance in a Hollywood feature film!
Hollywood Debut in 1926
Greta Garbo made her Hollywood debut in 1926. The actress appears in three Hollywood features that release over the course of the year, three being titled Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress, and Torrent. Throughout the 1920s, Greta starred in a total of 11 silent features for MGM, with her final silent feature being 1929’s The Kiss. By that point, the sound introduces to motion pictures, and it remains whether or not the Swedish actress is going to have the voice to pull off continued stardom. Thankfully, she did!
By the 1930s, Greta’s English had become good enough that she was able to continue her career once sound became the norm in film. The actress first revealed her voice to the public in Anna Christie, and the film proved that Greta could still remain a selling point in the age of sound. Following her appearance in Anna Christie, Greta went on to appear in several more hit pictures during the early 1930s, including Mata Hari and Grand Hotel.
By 1933, Greta’s star power rise so considerably that she is an unprecedented deal with MGM that saw her not only earning more money but also having a greater level of control of her own projects. Despite this fact, letters reveal that Greta isn’t happy with decisions that are beyond her control in her final picture. That final picture aforementions Two-Faced Woman. Critics received the risqué comedic film poorly, and it served as the perfect opportunity for Greta to abandon Hollywood.
Two-Faced Woman Film
Many give the failure of Two-Faced Woman sole credit for causing Greta Garbo to leave behind the entertainment industry, but there seems to have been a variety of other factors at play. For one thing, Greta’s star power was waning considerably towards the end of the 1930s, and the actress likely didn’t feel supported by her own community. Secondly, the actress simply never felt very much at home in Hollywood, as expressed in the posthumously revealed letters. After her unceremonious retirement in 1941, numerous people tried to bring Greta back to the screen.
One of the Hollywood figures that tried to bring Greta out of retirement was Billy Wilder, who offered the actress a part in the feature film Sunset Blvd. The actress turned down the proposed part in the film, choosing instead to remain out of the spotlight. A few years later, she relocated to Manhattan and made her removal from the entertainment industry permanent. Technically, the actress’s final on-screen appearance was in a 1974 film by the name of Adam and Yves. The film was located in New York City and featured several establishing shots of Manhattan. One of the establishing shots incidentally happened to include Greta Garbo, though the inclusion wasn’t purposeful.
In 1955, Greta Garbo gives an Academy Honorary Award at that year’s ceremony. It was the star’s first and only win, having been nominated four times previously but never taken the award home. By this point in time, the actress was already becoming a legend in her own time and was well on her way to becoming the incredibly mysterious figure that she ended up being by the time of her death.
Single Life of Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo ended up passing away on April 15, 1990. At the time of her death, she was 84 years old. As established, the actress had never married nor had children and died relatively alone, though it seems that was what she wanted. Despite the fact that the actress was never married, there are a few lovers that she was known to have had over the course of her lifetime. The most notable of these lovers was British fashion photographer Cecil Beaton, though she was also engaged to actor John Gilbert for a period of time.
Although Greta Garbo was only a public figure for just a fraction of her life, her mysterious withdrawal from the spotlight only made her that much more interesting to the public. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Greta Garbo retired from the entertainment industry during her mid-30s and that she spent the rest of her life in isolation in Manhattan? As always, like this video to show your support, subscribe, and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!