The actress told the world
'I want to be alone'... so
she could take gay lovers
SCREEN legend Greta Garbo had good reason to tell the world “I want to be alone”. She was hiding a secret life as a lesbian!
Deep-voiced, never-married Greta – who died of kidney failure aged 84 on Easter Sunday – became the world's most famous recluse after retiring from the screen nearly 50 years ago. Close friends knew her secret, but never breathed a word to the world.
“Greta Garbo was a secret lesbian most of her life, 2 confided a source. “Her closest friends called her ‘Harry' in private. She loved powerful, dominating women – and she was interested in men only for the power that they wielded.” A long-time Hollywood insider continued, “One of Garbo's lovers was Salka Viertel, who wrote five of her films, including Queen Christina.
“For many years they spent their summers together in Switzerland, where Salka lived.
“Other close female friends were Tallulah Bankhead, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, all known lesbians.
“Still another was author Mercedes de Acosta. They fell in love at first sight in 1931 – and de Acosta wrote about Greta in her autobiography, Here Lies The Heart.
“Jacqueline Susann even based a lesbian character in her book Once Is Not Enough on Garbo.”
Long after Garbo left the Hollywood spotlight, she kept her secret from the world. In the early 1980s she became deeply involved with a woman who was a member of a wealthy European family.
“One summer they visited a Mediterranean island and, at sunset, had a marriage ceremony,” said the source. “The wedding, held with only a few friends present, was candle-lit and there was lots of flowers.”
Author Edward Lozzi interviewed Garbo three times in 1981, and he recalls, “I once asked Miss Garbo what her sexual preference was, and she refused to answer.
“But she admitted that her closest friends were mostly women.”
And the actress told a friend in recent years, “Women were my true friends, the ones I could trust and the ones I could love. If that makes me gay or a lesbian, then that's what I am! Women are more sensitive than men.”
When Greta became reigning queen of the movies throughout the ‘30s, in such films as Grand Hotel, Anna Christie, and Anna Karenina, studio executives did everything that they could to hide her sexual exploits.
“They capitalised on Garbo's mysterious woman image. The mystique hit high gear in the 1932 film Grand Hotel when she said, ‘I want to be alone',” said the Hollywood insider.
“When she lost her youthful beauty in her 40s, it was a big blow to her – and then she lost her physical activity in her 80s,” said Lucienne Graessly, who owns the Hotel Pardenn in Klosters, Switzerland, where Garbo loved to spend her summers.
“In almost 40 years, I never once saw her wearing women's clothing. With Greta it was always men's pants and coats. She told me: ‘Male clothes are the only type I like wearing'.”