: I am not proud of being a film star. I have no reason to be. Compared with other professions, what I am doing is so unimportant.
Garbo was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store. The store used her as a model in its newspaper ads.
She had no film aspirations until she appeared in short advertising film at that same department store while she was still a teenager. Erik A. Petschler, a comedy director, saw the film and gave her a small part in his Luffar-Petter (1922).
Encouraged by her own performance, she applied for and won a scholarship to a Swedish drama school. While there she appeared in at least one film, En lyckoriddare. Both were small parts, but it was a start. Finally famed Swedish director Mauritz Stiller pulled her from the drama school for the lead role in The Saga of Gösta Berling. At 18 Greta was on a roll.
At the age of 35 and having acted in 28 films Garbo retired from the screen. She was an art collector whose collection, including works from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pierre Bonnard, and Kees van Dongen.
Garbo never married and had no children and led a private life. She had invested wisely, primarily in stocks and bonds, and left her entire estate, $32,042,429 ($62,642,567 by 2018 rates) to her niece.