Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books.
Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Greta Garbo Died - 1990
On this date in Hollywood history – April 15, 1990, Greta
Garbo died at the age of 84, in New York City. Born Greta Gustaffson, Garbo
grew up in poverty in Stockholm, working in a barber shop and later in a
department store to help support her family after her father died. From 1922 to
1924, Garbo studied on scholarship at the Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theater’s acting
school. She was discovered by the director Mauritz Stiller, who cast her in his
epic film The Legend of Gosta Berling and gave her the stage name Garbo.
When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered Stiller a film contract, he took Garbo with
him to Hollywood. She made her American film debut in 1926’s The Torrent,
and quickly became a sensation.
By the end of the 1920s, Garbo was playing the leading
lady on and off-screen, opposite John Gilbert, the preeminent silent film actor
of the day, in Flesh and the Devil and Love, among other films.
Garbo made her sound debut in 1930’s Anna Christie; the film’s tagline
was “Garbo Talks!” Her husky voice and thick accent only increased her exotic,
mysterious appeal, and Garbo would reign supreme among Hollywood’s A-list
actresses throughout the 1930s. She stood out in a star-studded cast in Grand
Hotel (1932), as well as in a reunion with Gilbert in Queen Christina (1933).
Two later performances, in Anna Karenina (1935) and Camille (1936),
both won her Best Actress honors from the New York Film Critics.
Garbo’s first comedy, marketed as “Garbo Laughs!”--was
the acclaimed Ninotchka (1939), directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The coming
of World War II cut off the European market, where Garbo’s films had always
been more popular than in the United States, and when MGM refused to meet her
salary demands, Garbo announced her retirement. Though she intended to return
to work in Hollywood after the war ended, the planned projects never came to
fruition. Despite three nominations, Garbo never won an Academy Award for Best
Actress. She was given an honorary Oscar in 1955.
Known as the “Swedish Sphinx” for her indifferent onscreen
persona, Garbo did no interviews after the early years of her career and
declined to participate in public appearances and other trappings of the movie
star life. She was never known to have married, but her love affairs with
Gilbert and others, inspired endless speculation. Having become an American
citizen in 1951, she spent much of her post-Hollywood life living a reclusive
life in New York, though she traveled frequently to Europe.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous books that
include Fade to Black Graveside Memories
of Hollywood Greats, 1929-1950 (2011, Schiffer). The book has been awarded
several literary awards that include the 2011 Readers Favorite Best Books
SILVER MEDAL and was named WINNER of the 2013 Beverly Hills Book Awards. For
more information about the author and his books visit www.michaelthomasbarry.com
His book can be purchased from Amazon through the