Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo was a shy, imaginative girl who had dreams of being an actress from the age of ten onwards. It remains a mystery as to when, during the course of her dreams being realized, she became disillusion by the industry. She retired at the age of thirty-five and spent the rest of her life as a recluse.
Despite her short career, Garbo has risen to fame as one of the most iconic movie stars of the era, whether by the subtlety of her expressions in silent films or her easy transition to the talkies when sound technology advanced. (The 1930 film Anna Christie gained publicity under the tagline “Garbo talks!”) She was intensely private, not even attending awards ceremonies when she had been nominated. She never met up with crowds of fans to sign autographs. She had a publicized romance with actor John Gilbert after they starred together in the 1926 film Flesh and the Devil. Garbo herself demonstrated a loyalty to Gilbert beyond the call of professionalism, but despite this, and although they lived together, she would perpetually reject Gilbert’s marriage proposals.
I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is all the difference.
Many modern biographers have found evidence of Garbo’s numerous romantic relationships with women, perhaps beginning as early as fourteen with a childhood friend by the name of Eva Blomgren, and more famously with fellow Swedish actress Mimi Pollak (they had attended the Royal Dramatic Theater school in Stockholm together in the 1920’s). Their correspondences are preserved in the Swedish compilation Djävla älskade unge! by Tin Andersen Axell. Garbo’s other confirmed conquests included actress Lilyan Tashman, actress and 1920’s fashion icon Louise Brooks, and novelist Mercedes de Acosta.
Garbo died in 1990, yet her name remains evocative of the mystery and magic that the early years of theater brought to audiences all over the Western world.
Also see – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/sep/11/film.filmnews
Megan Ellison, the openly bisexual producer of American Hustle and Her, has started making a TV serial focusing on the lives of two female icons of vintage Hollywood: Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.
The project explores the relationship between the frank and forthright Dietrich and the quieter, more reflective Garbo. Some have speculated that the two women may have had a love affair in real life, but it isn’t clear whether this new biopic will touch on that. However, it will examine the passionate dalliances both startlets had with various men and women during the Golden Age of American cinema.
LGBT film lovers are excited by the prospect of Angela Robinson (The L Word, D.E.B.S., True Blood) and Alex Kondracke (The Hug, The L Word) collaborating to write the serial. They are expected to bring their trademark sensitivity and style to this highly-anticipated project.
This week Megan Ellison was named by OUT as one of the most powerful LGBT people in the United States. It is rumoured that when she turned 25 her super-rich father Larry gifted her $2 billion. But rather than spend it selfishly she decided to invest it in a string of critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated hits. Ellison was the first woman to be nominated for two Best Picture Oscars in one year.
But rather than continue to produce mainstream commercial movies, Ellison has decided to take a risk and greenlight a project with overt LGBT themes and concerns. She has previously said that LGBT women like her have a duty to support the kinds of films that simply wouldn’t get made in Hollywood, and now she is making good on that pledge.
The question that’s now on everybody’s lips is which actresses will be cast in the roles of the legendary Garbo and Dietrich?
By now we’re no stranger to rumours of who does and doesn’t have one foot in the closet. However, few of us will be able to think back to the so-called ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ between the 1920s and the 1960s, in which films were still in slightly foggy black and white; only just able to be shown with both picture and sound. Yet, out queer actors and movie professionals were basically unheard of.
It didn’t stop people from gossiping behind closed doors (very much in secret for fear that it would be classed as slander). Despite this, two ladies who set tongues wagging were Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo; two actresses who were incredibly popular and incredibly fond of embracing masculinity by regularly looking dapper in suits.
Their popularity has transcends the 20th Century, and so have the rumours about their sexuality. There have been years of gossip regarding the former stars of Hollywood and this just one reason why their lives have just been announced as the centre of a scripted TV drama.
Set to be developed by Annapurna Pictures, the film and finance company behind Hollywood hits such as Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle, the Dietrich and Garbo based production is being headed up by Angela Robinson and Alex Kondracke. Robinson’s projects include True Blood, D.E.B.S and the iconic queer film But I’m a Cheerleader while Kondracke is known for her work as a writer and producer on The L Word, a show only rivalled in terms of queer content by Queer as Folk.
How this plays out on the screen (as in, if their involvement does actually result in the show including any queer characters) is yet to be seen as the show doesn’t yet have any names attached to the acting roles.
Feel free to sound off on actors you’d like to see cast and story lines you’d like to see covered in the comments below.
Via The Hollywood Reporter.