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Garbo's Grave


Each year at winter's end, wrote Selma Lagerlöf, all living creatures are filled with a deep longing for spring. At Easter, in Swedish folklore, the animals gather to watch the great crane dance and to think no more of struggling: "Instead, both the winged and those who had no wings all wanted to raise themselves eternally, lift themselves above the clouds, seek that which was hidden beyond them, leave the oppressive body that dragged them down to earth, and soar away toward the infinite."

Greta Lovisa Gustafson died at 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, 15 April 1990. Greta Garbo did not.

Garbo's gravestone

The 1990 memorial service at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel was of course private, attended only by the Reisfields and a very few friends. In compliance with her request, she was cremated. In 1990, the final resting place and site of a permanent memorial have yet to be determined.

On Wednesday, June 16, 1999, after 9 years of her Garbo's actual death in 1990, her ashes were finaly buried at skogskyrkogården in Stockholm, Sweden.

The famous cemetary
The memorial service
The speech from the American ambassador
"Till minne av..." on Swedish TV
Garbo's grave desecrated

Why did it take nine years?

After Garbo died, her body was cremated in April,1990, after her request. The memorial service at Frank E. Cambell Funeral Chapel was of course private. Attended only by the Reisfields family and a few very few friends.Her Urn stayed in New York for 9 years at an undisclosed location. The story was that, there were many discrepancies about the last place for the Urn.

The Reisfield family wanted the best security for Garbo's grave. Gray inspected burial sites in Stockholm and New York several times. But she found them "too accessible for plunder and for demonstrations of hysteria. Garbo's heirs were fearful of another incident like the one of  Charlie Chaplin's grave in Switzerland.

That is why they have been unable to commit to a final resting place for Garbo. After she was cremated, her ashes kept at an American mortuary for nine years. In the meantime, her niece and sole heir, Gray Reisfield, decided what to do with them.

Why was Greta cremated?

It was Garbo's wish, that after her death, her body should be buried to ashes. A rumour is that, she heard the story about Chaplin's stolen corpse. That maybe was a reason for her to be cremated. Chaplin died in 1978 and after he was buried, his body was stolen.

The thiefs were a small group of Polish and Bulgarian mechanics. They did it in an attempt to extort money from his family. The plot failed, the robbers were captured, and the body was recovered 11 weeks later. Chaplin was reburied under six feet of concrete to prevent another attempt.


Garbo at Find-a-Grave

Visit Garbo at! This online database of cemeteries and buriel records.
Click  HERE  and leave some words or flowers for Greta!

Garbo and Sweden
Garbo's House in Sweden 
Garbo's Apartment in New York 
Garbo in Berlin 
Garbo's Estate 
Places where Garbo lived 
Garbo Stockholm Tour 


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