Thursday, August 12, 2010

Greta Garbo - A Legendary Leading Lady

There is a short list of the most legendary leading ladies in the history of Hollywood, and one of those which will always be remembered is that of Greta Garbo. Greta Garbo is an important part of the early age of Hollywood, as she was one of those original stars who made the transition from the early silent films into the Golden Age of Hollywood. Born in 1905, Garbo was a Swedish actress and would become not only renowned for her beauty, but also for her talent which would be recognized with various honors throughout her lifetime. A first good bit of trivia for any Greta Garbo quiz: her real name wasn't Garbo at all, but was Greta Lovisa Gustafsson.

Garbo was one of those tremendously talented actresses of the period who actually had studied acting professionally, as opposed to many film stars who simply seemed to burst into the profession. She studied in her native Sweden at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, (which is where she would also start to go by the name Greta Garbo.) This is where she would meet the director who would give her the first starring role in her film career, in the silent film Gosta Berlings Saga.

It was this role which would catch the eye of legendary Hollywood Mogul Louis B. Mayer, one of the biggest star-makers of the period. It was her performance which caught his eye in the film, and from there he would sign her to MGM.

Could you name any of Garbo's silent films? This would be a great piece of Greta Garbo trivia and would include films like Flesh and the Devil, Love, and The Mysterious Lady. She survived the transition to the era of talking movies, but she loved the silent films, and even appeared in the last silent film ever made by MGM.

The transition to talking movies would prove that Garbo was the real thing, and her performances in all those movies which followed would in fact earn her four Acadamy Award nominations. Do you know what pictures those were for? She was nominated for Anna Christie, Romance, Camille, and Ninotchka, Greta Garbo essentially was finished acting by the end of World War II. She never appeared in any feature films after that time, although she would always be remembered as one of the greatest of her time. Her honors later in life included an Honorary Academy Award, as well as being listed on the American Film Institutes list of the best actresses of all time.

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