What was the appeal of Greta Garbo? (I know this may be out of the purview of this forum)

For the life of me, I can't understand Greta Garbo's appeal. She was notoriously aloof, wouldn't sign autographs, and just seemed like someone I would go out of my way to avoid. She always came across on the screen---at least to me---as being an unpleasant person. 

Maybe her private life eclipsed her professional life, which gave me such a jaundiced view of her. 

as always

Garrett Meadows 

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She wouldn't even sign for friends, but then again, K Hepburn was the same. 

As for GG, she didn't welcome fame. She resented it. 

She called autograph hunters "customers" 

Interesting thing about Katharine Hepburn is she would send signed letters ttm quite often but refused to sign photos. 

My first major mistake when I was starting to collect autographs (and had money for the first time in my life) was purchasing a joint "inscribed and signed" photograph of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  I can still see it...a beautiful oversized vintage portrait of the two of them from THE SEA OF GRASS.  It came from a dealer who had worked in the film industry in the 1940s and 50s.  It turned out to be a total forgery.

Some of the old timers here might remember this dealer's name...but I usually try to not speak ill of the dead.

To each his own I guess. The appeal lies in her alluring beauty that was most prevalent in silent film. She retired from the screen in 1941 and fascinated people for her aloofness for the next fifty years. I am a huge fan of Garbo and lucky enough to have some memorabilia from her along with her autograph. 

I've been really wanting one of those checks that she signed after her retirement from the screen that have been offered on eBay by her nephew.  A few years ago, a Garbo anything signed by Garbo was but a dream for most collectors!

Most of them are signed in our favorite green ink (like I have) or purple ink. You can pick them up for a good price. I know some collectors don’t like to collect checks but I don’t mind them, most of the time they are authentic. I have a really nice Errol Flynn and Lenny Bruce, signed with his real name Leonard A. Schneider, along with his stage name. 


Good point. Likewise, I didn't care for Marlene Dietrich. I always got the idea they were always playing "movie stars" in public. Joan Crawford and Lana Turner were well-known for playing the "movie star" in interviews and public appearances. You never get the feeling you were getting a real person. 

Some high profile stars probably don't know who they are. I would imagine being idolised by millions of people would give anyone a warped sense of reality. A false reality at that. 

In the so-called "studio era" which each of your names were products of, the studios, publicists and actors were all partners in creating images and personas for them as stars.  Their accessibility was also controlled and measured to protect the "product".

In our era of actors being constantly online via Instagram, Twitter, etc., this is becoming harder for us to even imagine.

The actors of the studio era had little choice in their own image. When they signed a contract, they were signing away their identity. Their entire life was controlled by the studio. 

Here's something that I've been aware of for the couple of years that it's been on eBay.  The seller is located in Argentina ... and does not accept returns (usually not a good sign):




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