1905 : 18th September early in the morning: Greta Lovisa Gustafsson is born in Stockholm, Sweden. Her parents, Karl Alfred and Anna Lovisa Gustafsson were industrial- workers.They lived in a smal apartment on the southern side of Stockholm..( Blekingegt. 32) Greta had a happy and loving childhood, and were close to both her parents, and her sister Alma and brother Sven. Sven has said about his sister that she loved the Swedish countyside…. and that she was at her happiest when they spent the summerhollidays at their grandparents farm far away from the city of Stockholm.
1924: “The story of Gösta Berling” is a big hit all over Europe. And although Garbos role wasn’t among the biggest , she got to attend the premiere in Berlin with Stiller. Later the same year Stiller and Garbo moved to Berlin to work on a new film: “The joyless street. “ In november Garbo met Louis B. Mayer (head of MGM) for the first time. He was mostly interested in getting Stiller to sign a contract with him. Stiller agreed to sign a contract with MGM, but only if Garbo got a contract too. Mr. Mayer agreed to this Greta loved the theatre from an early age. She was a good student, but when her father got ill in 1919 she dropped out of school to stay home and watch him. He died in 1920, and all of a sudden Greta’s family was poor. Gretas first job was as a “soap- girl” at a hairdresser. She then moved on to work at PUB, a warehouse in the center of Stockholm.
1921: Gretas career starts!!! She’s the hat model at PUB. She also plays in various commercials…
1922: Greta Gustafsson quits her job at PUB to paly in her firs film: “Luffar Petter”. I saw this movie some time ago… and Garbo is really great in it. She plays a bathing nymph… She looks very happy…. and is quite chubby…( she ate lots of cake!!!! ) It was quite wild for someone with Greta’s background to drop a secure job at that time…. but Greta followed her heart. She wanted to be an actress. 1922 was also the year she got accepted at “The dramatical sceneschool” in Stockholm.A prestigous school.
1923: Greta met the director Mauritz Stiller, and signed a contract with him. She had landed her first big role. She was to play Countess Elisabeth Dohna in “The atonement of Gösta Berling”. Already in her first movie, Garbo gave a nuansed and mature portrayal. Mauritz Stiller was to become the most important man in Garbos life. He knew from the start that she could become a filmstar…and did everything in his power to help her with her career. On November the 9th Greta Gustafsson changed her name to Greta Garbo…. the legend was born.
1925: “The joyless street/ Street of sorrow” was released in Europe to good critics. Garbo was one of the stars of the movie, and a name people in Europe had stsrted to notice. Marlene Dietrich does a small cameo in “Joyless street”. She catches Garbo when she faints in a key scene. Dietrich said she’d never been in the movie…. but you can have a look for yourself. I mean: Dietrich had such a special face…. In July Garbo and Stiller moved to New York. Garbo didn’t like the big city…or the climate there. There was a heath- wave when they arrived…and Garbo spent most of the days in a bathtub with cold water. .