Died when: 84 years 209 days
Star Sign: Virgo
Greta Garbo (born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson; 18 September 1905 – 15 April 1990) was a Swedish film actress during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Garbo fifth on their list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema. Garbo launched her career with a secondary role in the 1924 Swedish film The Saga of Gösta Berling. Her performance caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer, chief executive of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), who brought her to Hollywood in 1925. She stirred interest with her first American silent film, Torrent (1926). Garbo’s performance in Flesh and the Devil (1927), her third movie, made her an international star. Garbo's first talking film was Anna Christie (1930). MGM marketers enticed the public with the tagline "Garbo talks!" That same year, she starred in Romance. For her performances in these films, she received the first of three Academy Award nominations for best actress. Academy rules at the time allowed for a performer to receive a single nomination for his or her work in more than one film. In 1932, her success allowed her to dictate the terms of her contract, and she became increasingly selective about her roles. She continued in films such as Mata Hari (1931), Grand Hotel (1932), and Queen Christina (1933). Many critics and film historians consider her performance as the doomed courtesan Marguerite Gautier in Camille (1936) to be her finest. The role gained her a second Academy Award nomination. However, Garbo's career soon declined and she was one of the many stars labeled box office poison in 1938. Her career revived upon her turn to comedy in Ninotchka (1939) which earned her a third Academy Award nomination, but after the failure of Two-Faced Woman (1941), she retired from the screen, at the age of 35, after acting in 28 films. After retiring, Garbo declined all opportunities to return to the screen. Shunning publicity, she led a private life. Garbo was an art collector whose collection, including works from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pierre Bonnard, and Kees van Dongen, was worth millions of dollars when she died.