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- The Swedish Sphinx
- Greta Lovisa Gustafsson
- Collecting Antiques
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 18, 1905. She was 14 when her father died, leaving the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store. The store used her for her modeling abilities for newspaper ads. She had no film aspirations until she appeared in an advertising short at that same department store while she was still a teenager. This led to another short film when Erik A. Petschler, a comedy director, saw the film. He gave her a small part in the film, _Luffarpetter (1922)_. Encouraged by her own performance she applied for and won a scholarship in a Swedish drama school. While there she appeared in two films, Lyckoriddare, En (1921) and _Luffarpetter (1922)_ the following year. Both were small parts, but it was a start. Finally famed Swedish director, Mauritz Stiller, pulled her from drama school for the leading role in Gösta Berlings saga (1924). At 18, Greta was on a roll. Following Freudlose Gasse, Die (1925) both Greta and Stiller were offered contracts with MGM. Her first US film was Torrent (1926). It was a silent film where she didn't have to speak a word of English. After a few more films, such as The Temptress (1926), Love (1927/I), and A Woman of Affairs (1928), Greta starred in Anna Christie (1930) (her first "talkie"), which not only gave her a powerful screen presence, but also gave her an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. Unfortunately she didn't win. Later that year she filmed Romance (1930) which was somewhat of a letdown, but bounced back as lead role in Susan Lenox