GARBO by Fritiof Billquist


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The ""mysterious Garbo exists only in the public's imagination""- even so the affiliated adjectives, unaccountable, reserved, reserved, indifferent, bored, phlegmatic, are used again and again in this new biography of the great screen star who was once called ""Mademoiselle Hamlet"". While written by a friend, countryman and colleague, a Swedish actor, it adds little to the known facts and fullblown speculations about her life, and is by no means as sharp or entertaining as John Bainbridge's Garbo which appeared in 1955. Billquist gives a fairly full account of her professional career which began at 14 when she left school to start haunting the theatres; her discovery by Mauritz Stiller whose protegee she became and who took her to America- an indifferent Hollywood; her first, long delayed film and great success; and a picture by picture account of the 27 films in which she starred. Her listlessness (anemia at one time), homesickness (all the time), conscientiousness and kindliness on the set, desire for solitude once off it, are all part of the portrait which does not presume on her private life (the bruited romance with John Gilbert; friendships with Stokowski and Gayelord Hauser) and leaves her an enduring enigma with more brazen competition to face in a season featuring Ava- Zsa Zsa-and Marilyn.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1960
Publisher: Putnam