Bluffer's Briefing on: Garbo

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The Independent Online
Born: Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, Stockholm, 18 September 1905.

Catch-phrase: 'I vant to be alone.'

Her denial: 'I never said 'I want to be alone'. I only said 'I want to be let alone.' There is all the difference.'

First jobs: In barber shop (at age 15), modelling hats (17), bathing costumes (18).

Height: 5ft 7in.

First film: Peter the Tramp (1922).

First speaking part: Anna Christie (1930).

First spoken line: 'Gimme a whisky with ginger ale on the side and don't be stingy baby.'

Final film: Two-Faced Woman (1941).

Reason given for her retirement from films in 1941: 'I had made enough faces.'

Alastair Forbes' description of her: 'The gloomiest Scandinavian since Hamlet.'

Guests at her apartment for tea in 1988: The King and Queen of Sweden.

Favourite pastimes in her final years: Whisky, vodka, watching TV.

Proceeds from sale of her NY apartment contents in November 1990: pounds 11m.

Died: 15 April 1990, 450 East 52nd Street, New York.