×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Garbo, screen siren, 84

'Queen Christina' actress retired in 1941

Greta Garbo, 84, the most successful and glamorous screen star during Hollywood’s Golden Age, died April 15 in New York. In keeping with her obsession for privacy, hospital would not reveal the cause of death.

A virtual recluse for the last five decades of her life after retiring in 1941, Garbo shunned offers for a screen comeback and steadfastly declined personal appearances at retrospectives of her films.

The mystery woman image, created in the ’20s by MGM’s publicity department, combined with re-issues of her most popular work to create new generations of fans. As her most frequent director Clarence Brown explained in 1963, “Today, without having made a film since 1940, she is still the greatest. She is the prototype of all stars.”

Born in Stockholm, she was discovered in 1921 while working in a department store. In 1925, Garbo was spotted by an MGM talent scout in Berlin. Her first Hollywood film role was in “The Torrent,” followed by “The Temptress” and then the breakthrough hit “Flesh and the Devil.” She starred in seven hit silent films released after “The Jazz Singer” had ushered in a public demand for talkies.

She was Oscar-nommed for “Anna Christie,” advertised with the slogan “Garbo Talks!,” as well as “Romance,” George Cukor’s “Camille,” and “Ninotchka.” Her other notable roles included “Queen Christina” and “The Painted Veil” and her last film was “Two Faced Woman” in 1941. The Academy gave her an honorary Oscar in 1954.

–Adapted from Variety’s obit of April 18, 1990.

More Scene

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content