8 x 10 silver photograph of the great Hollywood actress Greta Garbo. Taken by Clarence Bull (1895-1979), one of the great glamour photographers from Hollywood's golden era. His and MGM's wet stamp image verso.
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 18, 1905. She was 14 when her father died, leaving the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store. The store used her for her modeling abilities for newspaper ads. She had no film aspirations until she appeared in an advertising short at that same department store while she was still a teenager. This led to another short film when Eric Petscher, a comedy director, saw the film. He gave her a small part in the film, PETER THE TRAMP (1920). Encouraged by her own performance she applied for and won a scholarship in a Swedish drama school. While there she appeared in two films, EN LYCKORIDDARE in 1921 and LUFFARPETTER the following year. Both were small parts, but it was a start. Finally famed Swedish director, Mauritz Stiller, pulled her from drama school for the leading role in THE ATONEMENT OF GOSTA BERLING in 1923. At 18, Greta was on a roll. Following DIE FREUDLOSE GASSE (1925) both Greta and Stiller were offered contracts with MGM. Her first US film was THE TORRENT in 1925. It was a silent film where she didn't have to speak a word of English. After a few more films, such as THE TEMPTRESS (1926), LOVE (1927), and A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS (1928), Greta starred in 1930's ANNA CHRISTIE (her first 'talkie') which not only gave her a powerful screen presence, but also gave her an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. Unfortunately she didn't win. Later that year she filmed ROMANCE which was somewhat of a letdown, but bounced back as lead role in SUSAN LENOX: HER RISE AND FALL with Clark Gable. The film was a hit and led to another exciting title role in MATA HARI in 1931. Greta continued to give intensified performances in whatever was handed her. The next year Greta was cast in another hit GRAND HOTEL. But it was MGM 1935's ANNA KARENINA where she, perhaps, gave the performance of her life. She was absolutely breathtaking in the title role as a woman torn between two lovers and her son. In 1939, Greta starred in NINOTCHKA which showcased her comedic side. It wasn't until two years later she made what was to be her last film that being TWO-FACED WOMAN, another comedy. After World War II, Greta, by her own admission, felt that the world had changed perhaps forever and she retired, never again to face the camera. She would work for the rest of her life to perpetuate the Garbo mystique. Her films, she felt, had their proper place in history and would gain in value. She abandoned Hollywood and moved to New York City. She would jet-set with some of the world's best known personalities such as Aristotle Onassis and others. She spent time gardening flowers and vegetables. In 1954, Greta was given a special Oscar for past unforgettable performances. She even penned her biography in 1990. On April 15, 1990, Greta died of natural causes in New York and with it the 'Garbo Mystique'. She was 84.
$400 No. 2306