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Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 2


* Garbo Story by Dick Jenrette
* Myrna Loy on Garbo
* Jane Fonda on Garbo
* Frederick Ledebur on Garbo
* "Tupperware-Party"

* Susan Hayward and Garbo
* Sharon Stone on Garbo
* Charles Bickford on Garbo
* Marlene Dietrich and Garbo by Gus Statiras
* A Garbo anecdote: "A Rare Bird"

* Arlene Dahl about Robert Taylor and Camille


Dick Jenrette (American business man)

Lunch with Miss Garbo?

In 1959, Jenrette passed up the chance to meet Garbo. The world's most famous recluse kept an account at the venerable New York bank Brown Brothers Harriman, which had hired Jenrette out of Harvard Business School in 1957.

A few months after Brown Brothers put him in charge of the account, he arranged to meet Ms. Garbo for lunch at the bank's offices in lower Manhattan.

"Brown Brothers was famous for its lunches," he says. "We always served a glass of sherry in an oak-paneled room."

Then, just days before Ms. Garbo's arrival, Jenrette told his superiors he would soon be leaving the bank, intent on starting a new investment firm with two Harvard classmates. The lunch fell to someone else. Jenrette always regretted not having met Garbo.

Thanks to Kata


Myrna Loy (American actress)

Myrna Loy's, who was also under contract with MGM in the 1930s. Loy shared an MGM dressing area with Garbo.

In her autobiography she wrote:

" I made several friendly gestures to Garbo. She never responded. One day we ran into each other in the hall, and there was no way she could avoid me.

I looked at her and smiled. She lowered her head, and in that low, lingering voice,said, ‘Hallooo …,' and hurried on by. That was my only exchange with Greta Garbo.


Jane Fonda (American actress)

Jane Fonda describing a summer and a meeting with Garbo on the French Riviera:

“We visited Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on his enormous yacht, the Christina --- which had a Picasso hanging in the living room, gold-leafed faucets in the bathrooms, a mosaic swimming pool, and always many pretty girls with secrets in their eyes who talked easily with men who owned Picassos."

That summer she went swimming with Greta Garbo, who stunned her by asking, "Are you going to be an actress?" When Jane demurred that she didn't have talent, Garbo replied, "I bet you do, and you're pretty enough to be one."

This was, believe it or not, a big shock to young Jane. She thought of herself as fat and plain, with bad hair.

Taken from her book My life so far

Thanks to Isaura


Frederick Ledebur (Austrian Actor)


Ledebur had accompanied Garbo, Salka Viertel and one other on a camel trip. Garbo refused to pay her share or to sign the photos their guides produced: "I am invited. I don't pay".

Ledebur was furious: "You're invited? By someone with a tenth of your money". He made it clear that if she didn't do both things, she would be left in the desert. She did both.



Garbo, Hedy, Gardner, Hayworth

Hollywood beauties assembled for a so called 'Tupperware Party' ast Gene Kelley's house.

At an unknown date (ca. late 1950s - mid 1960s)  Hedy Lamarr, Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner were invited by Gene Kelly's wife, Betsy Blair to her home for what was known as a 'Tupperware' party.

Gene Kelly and his first wife, actress Betsy Clair, were popular hosts, and one of the most unusual gatherings in their household took place one evening, shortly after their cook decided she could do with a new sets of pots and pans. She had spotted a pamphlet advertising new utensils for cooking without water.

Gene and Betsy were persuaded to call the sponsor and ask him around to demonstrate the pans. The man said he would be delighted to oblige, but insisted on there being at least a half dozen people present, as he was going to cook a large meal which had to be eaten.

Naturally, he was also hoping to off-load as many pots and pans as he could. So Betsy invited Hedy Lamarr, Nick Conte and his wife Ruth, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and George Cukor. At eight o'clock their front doorbell rang.

Gene Kelly

"I opened the door," Gene said, "and saw it was Georg Cukor and he'd brought with him Greta Garbo, who was a diet fanatic and was very taken with the whole idea of cooking with steam.

"When everyone arrived, we moved into the kitchen. Garbo sat on the sink. Hedy Lamarr crossed her legs on the sidebaord. Ava Gardner propped herself against the refrigerator, and Rita Hayworth squatted in a corner on the floor."

"Our young demonstrator didn't have a clue who any of us were, and began by showing us how to cook carrots without water. An Hour later or so later he completed the meal - which was absolutlely tasteless - and said whoever ate the most would get a prize. Nick Conte acceoted the challenge and won. His prize was pancake cooked without butter. Garbo thought that hilarious and laughed and laughed, just as she did in 'Ninotchka' when melvyn douglas fell of the chair.

After the demonstration was over, Greta disappeared into the lounge, and returned a half an hour later having bought a complete set of utensils for $87.

This most sophisticated Swedish woman - and probaly the most famous film star in the world - was completely won over by the man and took evyerthing he said dead seriously.

We just couldn't believe it was the same woman who had played 'Camille' or 'Marie Walewska'. She was so completeley naive. In retrospect, it one of the evenings i remember most vividly in all my years in Hollywood: Garbo, Lamarr, Gardner, and Hayworth - four of the world's most beautyful woman - draped round my kitchen like ordinary hausfraus.

I wish someone had taken a photograph of them."

Source: Newspaper


Susan Hayward (American Actress)


Garbo visited Susan Hayward in the early 70s when she was dying of cancer.

Hayward was one of Garbo's favourite actresses.


Sharon Stone (American Actress)


One day in the early 1980s, Sharon Stone saw Garbo in a little New Yorker restaurant. Stone said that nobody had the courage to approach her.

Garbo just sat there, on the table alone, on her own. One day, Stone was asked about the most beautiful "divas" of the screen and talked about Garbo.

The actress said: "We'll never know the real Garbo. She was there, in a little corner of the restaurant, alone. You could see her but nobody knew the real Garbo".


Charles Bickford (Garbo's Anna Christie Co-star)

Charles and Greta's  first meting

Before filming started on Anna Christie, Bickford saw Garbo slip out one day, he followed her. She broke into a run, and he gave chase, finally catching up with her at her dressing room.

“I'm sorry for chasing you like that,” he said, panting. “My mistake. I thought you were a rabbit.”

Garbo laughed at this. “What were you doing on my set, Miss Garbo?” “I wanted to see you act.” “That's very flattering. Did you like what you saw?” “Very much.”

“Thank you. Why did you run away?” “I was embarrassed to have you see me there.”
The ice was broken, and the two became acquainted.


Marlene Dietrich and Garbo

As told by Gus Statiras

One rainy day, Miss Dietrich, attired in a yellow rain hat, coat and boots, stormed into the Liberty Music Shop demanding to see me.

I was talking to and waiting on Mrs. Brian Aherne (Mary Aherne) and Miss Greta Garbo, who were seated on the sofa off at the far end of the record counter.

At the other end of the counter, near the front entrance, at the top of her voice, Miss Dietrich shouted she wanted to see Mr. Statiras! Miss Dietrich wanted me to introduce her to Miss Garbo!

(How she learned that Miss Garbo was in the store was a mystery. I always thought that Edward Konrad had phoned her.)

I dashed to Miss Dietrich and told her that would be most difficult, knowing of Miss Garbo's regard for privacy. She then went into an almost tearful speech of how she copied Miss Garbo's eye makeup style and that Miss Garbo was her inspiration, etc.; that I must take her to meet Miss Garbo.

I returned to the other end of the counter where I found the sofa had been abandoned. Miss Garbo and Mrs. Aherne slipped out into the rain through a side door at the far side of the shop.

Telling Miss Dietrich that Miss Garbo had left through the side door, she dashed out of the shop into the rain looking up and down Madison Avenue for a glimpse of Miss Garbo.


A Garbo anecdote: "A Rare Bird"

From "Sweet Serendipity" by Stephen Bruce.

One morning we (the waiter of a restaurant) were setting up for the lunch rush when a quiet woman wandered into the gift shop and asked, "How much is dot candlestick in da vindow?"

We knew right away that it was Greta Garbo, the notoriously reclusive actress. She had shunned Hollywood some 30 years earlier after completing her last movie, Two-Faced Woman, and moved to New York where she lived just a few blocks from Serendipity, on East 52nd Street.

She was famous for avoiding any public attention and was rarely seen by anyone, We spent ten minutes quietly observing her as she browsed -- longer than anyone in New York had spent with her in years -- when a waiter noticed her and screamed, "It's Garbo!" In the blink of an eye, she flew away, and we never saw her again.


Arlene Dahl about Robert Taylor and Camille

Norwegian actress Arlene Dahl had interesting information when she was interviewed in 2007: In her 4th film, she starred with Robert Taylor in the western AMBUSH (MGM 1949). She raved about him and told him that two years prior she had received his autograph, prited by the studio.

Arlene Dahl

The next morning he presented her with 4 dozen yellow roses, a big silver framed photograph of him and a little package... she red the card before opening it and it read "Garbo gave me this on the set of 'Camille' to give me luck and I'm giving it to you for the same reason. Love Bob" And it was an ivory carved Buddha and I still have it... That was the kind of man he was...

Thanks to Henning

Garbo Stories - Introduction


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