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Details on her Estate


Her estate was first estimated at $55 million but that figure was much inflated. It was reported that she owned many fine investment properties. Including a large portion of Rodeo Drive and other estate in Beverly Hills but that was not true. Her few commercial buildings in California had all been sold long before her death. One parcel of this went to an Arab whose wife wanted to open a dress shop.

Garbo's primary assets were in art

The bulk of which was sold in November 1990 at Sotheby's, for a total of $19 million. From the purchase prices, her art had appreciated roughly 2,000 percent. Greta probably paid less than $100,000 for nearly $20 million worth of art. Two Renoirs alone brought $11.6 million on an investment of about $35,000. Her Chase Manhattan checking and money-market accounts contained a combined balance of $640,000. She was getting annual annuities totaling $36,500 from two insurance policies.

Her personal clothing was valued at a mere $5,800. Her only other significant asset was her apartment at 450 East 52 Street, now appraised at $850,000. Her only fortune was in stocks and bonds. Her major holdings consisted of $3 million in Federal Farm Credit Bank notes. Total stocks and bonds at the time of her death: $9.861 million. The total value of Garbo's estate was: $32,042,429 and two cents.

This was filed in New York County Surrogate's Court on 21 February 1991. These totals do not include trust funds, set up during Garbo's lifetime. That were excluded from probate and from the resulting tax documents on file.  The Estate declines to reveal any information concerning the beneficiaries or the amounts of those trusts. Those are believed to be considerable.

Nothing of historical interest from her Hollywood days

It was assumed that Garbo left behind some priceless material. A chache of papers and memorabilia from her Hollywood days. The most famous people in the world sought her out, including Adolf Hitler. He had written her fan letters. But Garbo was not a saver, and there were no Hitler letters. There wasn't anything else of historical interest, in her trunks in the basement of the Campanile.

Some time later her niece Gray said: “She pruned extensively. She didn't want people going through her things after she was gone.” Garbo had no wish to memorialize herself. Among the many things Garbo did not leave behind was a wish to memorialize herself. Whatever her narcissism in life, she had no post-mortem ego. She had no desire to perpetuate her name any further and she hardly needed to.

Who inherits Garbo's estate?
The Greta Garbo Collection
by Sotheby's
Garbo's Estate - Introduction  


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