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Greta Lovisa Gustafson was born on in Stockholm in 1905. At the age of sixteen she won a beauty contest and then made some publicity shorts and studied acting. From 1922 to 1924, Miss Garbo studied acting at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm. When she met film director Mauritz Stiller, he changed her last name to Garbo. In 1924, Miss Garbo came to Hollywood with Stiller who became her companion. He was known to be quite jealous of her. After they made a film in 1926 the couple returned to Sweden.

In 1930, she made a film for MGM "Anna Christie" which through their promoting efforts, turned Miss Garbo into an international star. She continued working until 1941 when she quickly retired. She only made thirteen films in her brief career. She was known as the most glamorous movie star of the 1920s and 1930s. She was known for making the phrase "I Want To Be Alone" famous.

In 1951, Miss Garbo became a United States Citizen and won a special Oscar in 1954 for her special performances. She never married and in her later years, became a self-exiled recluse until her death in 1990. Her retirement seemed to extend her career through the films she had already made. Miss Garbo preferred to be alone and tended to be a bit melancholy. No one knew what her life was like prior to coming to America, as she never spoke of it.

Miss Garbo was very skilled at keeping herself aloof and not letting people know of what her life was actually going on in her life.

Karen Swenson has written a biographical book on Miss Garbo’s life. It is titled "Greta Garbo – A Life Apart."