37¢ Greta Garbo
Issue Date: September 23, 2005
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75
Greta Garbo (1905-90) was born Greta Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden. When her father died, 15-year-old Greta had to go to work. She won a scholarship to the Royal Dramatic Theater Academy in 1922, where she was discovered by Sweden’s foremost director, Mauritz Stiller.
In 1925, when Stiller went to work for MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) in the U.S., he insisted the studio hire Garbo. She was an overnight sensation. MGM launched the “Garbo mystique,” creating an air of mystery around the naturally quiet woman. During most of her career, she did not grant interviews, sign autographs, attend premieres, or answer fan mail.
Garbo made 27 silent and sound movies from 1922 until her retirement. “Anna Christie” (1930) was the film in which her husky, seductive voice was first heard.
Garbo alternated between exotic vamps and tragic heroines, even playing some comedy roles – it did not matter. Her mere presence made the films worth seeing.
After World War II, Garbo retired. She abandoned Hollywood and moved to seclusion in New York.
In 1955, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Greta Garbo with a special Oscar. Characteristically, the actress did not attend the ceremony.