Friday, June 21, 2013

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

Date of Birth
18 September 1905, Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden 

Date of Death
15 April 1990, New York City, New York, USA (pneumonia) 

Birth Name
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson 

The Face 
The Swedish Sphinx 




Lived the last few years of her life in absolute seclusion.

Letters and correspondence between Garbo and poet, socialite and notorious lesbian Mercedes de Acosta were unsealed on April 15, 2000, exactly 10 years after Garbo's death (per De Acosta's instructions). The letters revealed no love affair between the two, as had been rumored.

Once voted by The Guinness Book of World Records as the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Her personal favourite movie of her own was Camille (1936).

She disliked Clark Gable, a feeling that was mutual. She thought his acting was wooden while he considered her a snob.

Left John Gilbert standing at the altar in 1927 when she got cold feet about marrying him.

Before making it big, she worked as a soap-latherer in a barber's shop back in Sweden.

In the mid-1950s she bought a seven-room-apartment in New York City (450 East 52nd Street) and lived there until she died.

1951: Became a US citizen.

Garbo's sets were closed to all visitors and sometimes even the director! When asked why, she said: "During these scenes I allow only the cameraman and lighting man on the set. The director goes out for a coffee or a milkshake. When people are watching, I'm just a woman making faces for the camera. It destroys the illusion. If I am by myself, my face will do things I cannot do with it otherwise."

Garbo was prone to chronic depression and spent many years attacking it through Eastern philosophy and a solid health food regiment. However, she never gave up smoking and cocktails.

Except at the very beginning of her career, she granted no interviews, signed no autographs, attended no premieres, and answered no fan mail.

She was as secretive about her relatives as she was about herself, and, upon her death, the names of her survivors could not immediately be determined.

Never married, she invested wisely and was known for her extreme frugality.

Although it was believed that Garbo lived as an invalid in her post-Hollywood career, this is incorrect. She was a real jet setter, traveling with international tycoons and socialites. In the 1970s she traveled less and grew more and more eccentric, although she still took daily walks through Central Park with close friends and walkers. Due to failing health in the late 1980s, her mobility was challenged. In her final year it was her family that cared for her, including taking her to dialysis treatments. She died with them by her side.

Popularized trenchcoats & berets in the 1930s.

Spanish sculptor Pablo Gargallo created three pieces based on Garbo: "Masque de Greta Garbo à la mèche," "Tête de Greta Garbo avec chapeau," and "Masque de Greta Garbo aux cils."

(Masque de Greta Garbo aux cils)

Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"

Pictured on a 37¢ USA commemorative postage stamp issued 23 September 2005, five days after her 100th birthday. On the same day, Sweden issued a 10kr stamp with the same design. The likeness on the stamps was based on a photograph taken during the filming of As You Desire Me (1932).

Once lived in the famed Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles (8221 Sunset Boulevard).

Was offered the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950), but she turned it down. Gloria Swanson was cast instead and she went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

Garbo's dramatic eye make-up was the inspiration for many a Hollywood starlet - including Marilyn Monroe - and not without good reason. To create the look, she would apply a super-thin layer of petroleum jelly over the eyelids, cover with neutral skin-toned powder all the way up to the brow line and blend a dark shade into the crease for a theatrical, deep-set appearance. She'd also line the upper lid with eyeliner made from a blend of  petroleum and charcoal pigment, and finish with mascara.

Get the look
Using Petroleum jelly and neutral powder does work, but to avoid your eyeliner running, go for a great primer like Benefit's Lemon Aid