Actress. Born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden to impoverished parents, she went to work at the age of 14, first as a lather girl in a barbershop, and then as a clerk in a department store. At age 17 she appeared in her first motion picture, "Luffar-Petter" (1922), playing a bathing beauty. She studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm from 1922 to 1924, and it was in that time period that she met Mauritz Stiller, the Swedish director who gave her a role in "Gosta Berlings Saga" (1924). He also gave her the stage name of Greta Garbo and trained her in cinema-acting techniques. When Stiller went to the United States to work for MGM Movie Studios in 1925, he demanded that Greta Garbo be given a contract as well. She would appear in 27 films, the most important of her silent films being "The Torrent" (1926), "Flesh and the Devil" (1927), and "Love"(1927) along with John Gilbert with whom she had a love affair. "Anna Christie" (1930) was the talking picture in which her famed rich, low voice was first heard. Garbo despised the film, although it was a great success and earned her the first of four Academy Award nominations. At age 36, after her film "Two Faced Woman" (1941) was unsuccessful, Garbo withdrew from the motion picture industry and retired to a more secluded life in New York City, New York. In 1954, she was awarded a special Academy Award for performances. When she died in 1990, in New York City, she was still considered one of the most glamorous and popular stars of the 1920s and 1930s.
Bio by: Marta Monk