America’s highest-paid film star in the 1930s was a Swedish-born woman we know as Greta Garbo. A legend during the Golden Age of Hollywood, Garbo was one of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, as well as very successful in the early talking films.
Born as Greta Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden in 1905, the actress crossed the Atlantic in the early 1920s, and went on to become one of the most popular movie stars in the US. By the time this article appeared in Picture Show Annual in 1934, she was reportedly making $9,000 per week — an absolute fortune at the time.
Despite three Academy Award nominations, Garbo grew tired of life in the spotlight, and retired from acting in 1941. She was only 35 years old, but had already made 28 movies — enough to cement her status as a film icon. She spent the rest of her life pursuing other interests — and actively avoiding publicity.
Greta Garbo was 84 years old when she died in New York City in 1990. While she had no spouse and no children, Garbo left behind a cinematic legacy matched by few others.
Greta Garbo and her films
“The Atonement of Gosta Berling” was the last film Greta Garbo made in Sweden before going to America, to become the greatest star of her time.
1925 – The Atonement of Gosta Berling, with Lars Hansen
1930 – The Mysterious Lady with Conrad Nigel
1926 – Ibanez’ Torrent, with Ricardo Cortez
1930 – A Woman of Affairs, with John Gilbert
1927 – The Temptress, with Antonio Moreno
1930 – Wild Orchids with Nils Asther
Greta Garbo movies
1928 – Flesh and the Devil, with John Gilbert
1930 – The Single Standard, with Nils Asther
1929 – The Divine Woman, with Lars Hansen
1930 – The Kiss, with Lew Ayres
1929 – Love, with John Gilbert
1930 – Anna Christie, with Charles Bickford
Greta Garbo movies
1931 – Romance, with Gavin Gordon
1931 – Inspiration, with Robert Montgomery
1932 – The Rise of Helga, with Clark Gable
1932 – Mata Hari, with Ramon Novarro
2932 – As You Desire Me, with Melvyn Douglas
1933 – Grand Hotel with John Barrymore