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Cecil Beaton


Beaton was one of the most important photographers of the last century. The Royal Family, famous celebrities, writers, singers, painters and statesmen were shot by Beaton. He also was a good writer and wrote about all the places he visited and the people he had known. Beaton also was a designer and a perfect english gentleman of cultivated tastes.

Loving Garbo: The Story of Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton,
and Mercedes de Acosta by Hugo Vickers (1994)

Garbo Pictures by Beaton
Beaton and Garbo trivia
Garbo Sketches by Beaton
Garbo related Books by Beaton
Garbo in Beaton's Book of Beauty
Garbo and Beaton in Vogue
Garbo's Letters to Beaton
Garbo Stories by Beaton
Beaton's Garbo article
Beaton and Garbo Stories
The first meeting

Some say that Beaton was obsessed with Greta Garbo.  In the 1930's he went to Hollywood with the secret desire to shot Garbo.  But Garbo, elusive as ever, did not want to meet him.

He caught a glimpe of her just for a few hours casually in the mansion of the director Edmond Goulding where Garbo unexpected was invited and he was absolutely bewitched by "the swedish goddess".

Beaton in the early 1930s

Lovers or friends?

The second time Garbo and Beaton met was in New York, 1946. Garbo was not working in that period and was often seen walking in Manhattan or attending cocktail parties. In 1946, they met casually and even mad a series of photographs.

They started a deep friendship and it is rumoured that they had a love affair. Beaton later said that he even proposed marriage.

Garbo and Beaton, England 1951

Beaton's mistake

Their friendship continued until 1972, when Beaton commited an unbelievable mistake: He published his book The Happy Years, the third volume of his diaries, that resumed in full length, his love-affair with Garbo.

Garbo by Beaton, 1965

The book contained many details about their presumed story and she was here seen for the first time in her real life, doing christmas shopping, walking in central park, gardening in her house in Hollywood. Garbo was deeply shocked, she rightly thought Beaton was a traitor and she cut him out of her life.

The last time they met

If it's true to say that Garbo had several reasons to consider Cecil Beaton not a loyal friend and a gentleman ( for writing about her and her private life ) but we must admit that Beaton shot more than 200 pictures and candid shots of Garbo from 1946 to 1965 and he was the only one allowed to photograph her after she retired from the movies (with the exception of Hoyningen Huene and Beauchamp).

Garbo and Beaton, 1965

In those photographs, Garbo is beautiful than ever... He really is the man who shot Garbo. In England, 1974, they met for the last time after Beaton had a severe stoke.

Garbo's Lovers & Friends
Garbo's Lovers & Friends - Part 1
Garbo's Lovers & Friends - Part 2
More Lovers & Friends


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