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Elisabeth Bergner - Austrian Actress


Bergner was an actress born in Drohobycz, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Drogobych, Ukraine).  She inspierd the film All About Eve. In her autobiography she mentions a great story. Did Greta try to seduce her or not? You have to read the story.

After Bergners arrival in Hollywood...
"There was that funny story, which took place the day after my arrival in Hollywood. It rang and Paulus opened the door, and there was Garbo who said: “Where is that woman?”. Paulus stammered: “still asleep”. And she was gone. Paulus must have felt like I did when Gerhard Hauptman was at my door. I was much too shy to call her and waited therefore, if she would get in contact. Long time not."

Garbo's birthday!
"One day she sent Erich Maria Remarque to us, to ask us, to join them for her birthday. We were delighted and accepted. There was only Paulus and I, Remarque and Mr. Gaylord Hauser, the famous Diet specialist, with whom she was “very connected” at the time. But most of the evening she was sitting in a corner with Paulus, singing Swedish songs to him. She was nearly as shy with me as I was with her.

Maybe I will tell you later that story, when Remarque brought her to our place for diner. ……after this bizarre Hollywood-story, I will now tell you the most beautiful one: When Remarque brought Greta Garbo to Dinner the first time. I can't remember what we eat, but I remember that we drank Aquavit. We told her, how amazing the first Stiller films were (to us). And she told us similar about our films and that is why she immediately came when she heard that I was in Hollywood."

Garbo touched her chest!
"She wanted to be accompanied to the bathroom after the dinner. I guided her upstairs and opened the door. Suddenly she put her hand very slowly on my chest and looked at my very earnest and calm. I needed some confused seconds. Then I took, also very calm, her hand from my breasts and left her alone in the bathroom.

The fact that we both stayed so calme made the biggest impression on me. It made of a civilised question something of a friendship, love and trust declaration. I heard rumours of the unlimited freedom of her way to live her life. I knew now, that she was actually as royal as she looked."

They danced!
"When Greta came downstairs to join us again, we put on music and started to dance. Me first. Then her. Both on their own. That was beautiful. Remarque tried also to dance alone, but he gave up soon. He had too much to drink. Paul (Bergner's husband) could anyway not dance and didn't even try.

I was used to dance alone and loved it. She was also totally filled with enthusiasm by then. That was one of the most beautiful evenings, if not the most beautiful of my Hollywood-memories. Paulus complained the entire evening because he didn't have a camera with him to film the two dancers. We didn't see each other again in Hollywood, but Paulus and I didn't stay for much longer in Hollywood. I didn't tell Paulus anything about the bathroom. I wanted avoid misunderstandings."

Thanks to Patrick

Bergner, Elisabeth (1978): Bewundert viel und viel gescholten.

Garbo Stories
Greta's Childhood Stories
Garbo Stories - Part 1
Garbo Stories - Part 2
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 1
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 2
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 3
Funny Garbo Stories


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