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Garbo's beauty trivia


What was the mystery of her unbelievable human beauty? How can it be judged, how can it be explained? Is there an explanation? Maybe it was just a gift from heaven?

Read the detailed report regarding that incredible beauty and everything which belongs to her unique appearance.

Maybe she saw herself quite different, maybe she didn't feel divine at all, maybe she felt as ordinary as millions of women around her.

Anyway, her beauty is hard to explain because actually you are unable to understand such a beauty and unable to explain it.

But it could be seen and felt. Deep down in your dreams and in your heart.


* Garbo's eyes
* Garbo's hair
* Garbo's film costumes
* Garbo's make-up

* Garbo's unique walk
* Garbo's masculine “touch”
* Garbo's voice
* Garbo's height and weight
* Garbo's measurements

* Garbo's teeth
* Garbo's hands
* Garbo's beauty world record
* Garbo's monument of beauty
* Soap Advertisment

Garbo's eyes

 Garbo had pale blue eyes.

 It is said that she had eye-lashes like the feet of a centipede.

 Garbo said that she has her long eye-lashes from her mother.


Magical eyes

Clarence Sinclair Bull on Garbo's eyes and lashes

“There has never been anything false between Greta Garbo and me,” he once said. But he was curious, as many were, about her famous eyelashes. “At the end of one long sitting ... I thought I heard myself say, ‘Are they real?' A slow smile drifted across her mouth ... the lashes fluttered ... a throaty giggle.

What are you talking about, Mr. Bull?' Are your lashes real?' ‘Pull them and find out.'”

So he did – and they were. (Tallulah Bankhead and sculptor Carl Milles were among those who also accepted her challenge.)

Garbo's eyes in real color

When she auditioned for Mauritz Stiller

Greta's screen-test with Stiller for Gösta Berling Saga , was made in early summer of 1923. Upon arrival, they were made up and taken to a set.

Stiller's immortal first words to Garbo were: “If you want the part, you'll have to lose at least twenty pounds.” And yet he exclaimed to all present, “Look, isn't she beautiful? Did you ever see such eyelashes?”

Garbo's trademarks
Garbo's hair

  It is not really clear what her real hair color was. It is stated as dark blond and even brown.

 In keeping with the Hollywood standard of homogenous beauty, Greta allowed her permed hair to be modified to a softer, more attractive style before appearing in her first screen test. She also had a small blemish removed from her hairline.

 One of the few things Garbo demands of the camera is golden blonde hair. Most actresses blondine their hair if it seems “muddy,” but Garbo is reluctant to take any liberties with nature's coloring. As a matter of fact, her hair is typically  Swedish blonde, but on film it appears darker unless properly lighted.

 In her "Hollywood years" she bleached her hair and even permed it sometimes.

 For The Torrent, Garbo allowed her stylist to dye her hair black, a color more befitting as a Spanish diva.

 In 1946 Cecil Beaton writes that Garbo's hair appeared golden in the Californian sun, but "now was an uncompromising – but beautiful – cinder mouse". Many years later - 1965 - when he founds again Garbo in Greece for a cruise aboard Cecile De Rothschild's yacht – he writes in his diary that "the hair has become grey".

 Sam Green, who met Garbo in the '70's and then become a close friend for almost 15 years – said that her hair was "honey–colored".

Garbo's film costumes

Gilbert Adrian designed Garbo's wardrobe for seventeen of her twenty-four American films and warrants as much credit as William Daniels for how marvelous she invariably appeared. Adrian's role in creating the Garbo ‘look' cannot be overestimated. She spent dozens of hours with him on every film, not just choosing and modeling his fashions but figuring out how they would move.

Adrian and GG

Garbo integrated costumes, as everything else, into her performances; Adrian was essential to helping her do it. He was tall, thin, handsome, and sympathetic. From her earliest days on the lot, they enjoyed a personal if problematic friendship.

The fondness between them was mutual and genuine, and they were of deep, symbiotic importance to each other professionally. But Garbo's volatility was addening, and Adrian was forever having to adjust to her mixed signals.

Garbo's make-up

Garbo's luminescence on screen wasn't just the divine manifestation of charisma. She used a light makeup base from Max Factor, Silver Stone #2, which was very popular among movie actors because it had a touch of silver in it.

Did you know?

The make-up of Garbo's in Queen Christina, was pale silver-toned makeup is juxtaposed against the rich texture of her cloak. It is her most exaggerated mask: near-white makeup, beaded eyelashes, eyeliner extended beyond the outside comers of her eyes.

Garbo's unique walk

Garbo's screen movement was distinguished by her walk. “She walked obliquely,” said Tynan, “seeming to sidle even when she strode, like a middle-weight boxer approaching an opponent.” She led with her shoulder in a kind of S-shaped undulation – not the sashay of a coquette but a natural liquidity, quirky and seductive.

Garbo walking

David Diamond thought it was her right leg – ‘the right foot, actually, slightly splayed out' – that distinguished her unique walk.
Garbo's masculine “touch”

Garbo drew a strong masculine crowd, but she had an even more pro, found effect on her female audience. She reached beyond “the protective and romantic instincts in men” to touch women as well. Sex was undeniably part of it. Garbo's approach to lovemaking stimulated young teenage girls, even women in their twenties and thirties, who had been taught that pleasure was a man's prerogative.

GG as Queen Christina of Sweden

Her intimate posture and kisses suggested a woman – not a vamp – who was secure in her sexuality; Garbo often took the initiative and was allowed the right to have amorous needs and desires. Confident but never haughty, she challenged traditional roles with few negative consequences. “No actress, before or since, has combined the masculine and feminine wills so tightly in one embrace,” one historian asserted.

Garbo's voice
One of Garbo's trademarks is of cource her stunning voice but also her very special way accent and her imperfect English. Garbo was often amused about that. She spoke the language quite well, her misusages always minor and charming. Audiences all over the world have been fascinated by her dark and androgyne voice which seemed to fit perfectly to her mysterious magic.

Maybe it was Garbo's biggest adventure in her film career: The public discovery of her significant voice! MGM was afraid how their topstar's voice would sound in the ears of all fans. The studio hesitated, they put her in another silent movie (THE KISS) and wanted to win some more time before bringing Garbo's first talkie.

But then they couldn't wait any longer, they had to take the risk and Garbo had to speak-finally. And how she spoke!!! She made ANNA CHRISTIE a vivid and hearing woman.

It was a breathtaking premiere and the whole world was fascinated by that deep and strong voice with that special Swedish accent. Garbo was lucky, people didn't only love her extraordinary beauty, they were also enthusiastic about her unique voice.

Now she was perfect. Not only a wonderful woman to admire but also a wonderful voice to listen to.

A screen wonder had happened.
Garbo's height and weight

 Baby Greta was 52 centimeters long (20.47 inches) & weighted 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds).

 By the time she was twelve, Greta had reached her full height of five feet seven inches, a point most evident in school photos where she has hidden herself, straight hair and straight-faced, in the back of the classroom.

 Greta once said that she was on a strict diet since she was 15

 1,68 m and 56 kg (according to Photoplay, 1936)

 1,68 m as a Teenager and 1,71 m as an adult (slated by J. Bainbridge)

 1,71 m and 57 kg (according to Current Biography, 1955)

 1,72 m (slated by Gray Reisfield on July 15, 1991)

Garbo's measurements

According to MGM designer Adrian, her measurements were 35 1/2-28-33 1/2.

Garbo's teeth

In a final concession to imagemakers regarding her looks (and smile), it has been said that Garbo submitted to the costly and time-consuming process of having her teeth capped. MGM employed the best dental technicians in the business and their skills were highly prized by their celebrity patients.

Perfect smile

However, an examination of photographs taken between 1922 and 1927 reveals that, at best, Greta required minor corrective work to fix the alignment between her front teeth. Indeed, according to studio dentist Scott Christianson, Garbo had the only perfect teeth of all their stars.

Did you know?

Before she went to bed she often brushed her teeth with salt.
Garbo's hands

In her films we saw much more of her hands, not just because of their greater visibility but because she acted with them. Her nails were simply buffed, never manicured. 'People forget what extraordinary hands Garbo had,' says David Diamond, ‘particularly when dealing with children.'

Gesture of her hands

On a man's face, hers were the most expressive fingers in the world. Like few other actresses, Garbo's emotional responses often began in her hands, as Arnold Genthe had observed in New York: “With a single gesture of her hands, Greta Garbo can express more than can most actresses after hours of emoting. Just look at her hands! They really say more than her words.”

Garbo's beauty world record

In 1950 she had an entry in the famous Guiness Book of Records: The most beautiful woman in the world.

Garbo's monument of beauty

In 1931 Clarence Sinclair Bull had a fantastic idea: The creation of the Swedish Sphinx. In a darkroom experiment he superimposed a close-up of her face over a photo of the Egyptian Sphinx, having first airbrushed out its face. The monument was born for eternity .


Soap Advertisment

In early 1924, Greta's and Alva's photographs appeared in an Advertisement for YVY Soap. The pictures appeared in a 1924 Film magazine – Filmnyheter (Film News).


It is not clear sure when those pictures exactly were published. YVA, used a Portrait from Garbo in Gösta Berling Saga and an Portrait of Alva. It is possible that Svensk Filmindustri had their hands on this.
Garbo's personal style
Garbo's famous feet
Garbo's Beauty  


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