Born Gretta Lovisa Gustafson, on September 18, 1905 in Stockholm Sweden to Anna Lovisa and Karl Alfred. Now known as Greta Garbo, she was born and grew up in one of the most poverty stricken era's in U.S. and European history. At the time of her birth, her parents were so poor that Karl's employer offered to adopt her to take the "burden" off of the family of four. After considering the offer, Greta's mother decided that "If God gives you a child, He also gives you bread." Greta was often described as being a thin, gawky, moonfaced child who was forced to grow up too quickly. She always knew that she wanted to be a star and at the age of five years old, Greta was quoted as saying "I am thinking of growing up and becoming a great actress."
Even from an early age, Greta was determined to become an actress. In the spring of 1921, she was given her first small role in the film "Our Daily Bread", directed by John W. Brunisfrom of the Skandia Film Company. Only Greta's most intimate friends were aware of what she was doing. Within a year of "Our Daily Bread" she had small parts in three small films. Shortly after this, in the summer of 1922 she was discovered by director Erik Petschler in the hat department of Bergstroms where she worked. The actual employment records for the store read: Employment ended: 22/7 1922; Reason for Leaving: to make films.
At first she showed no remarkable promise. But after some training and discipline from Frans Ewal, a private coach, she was on her way to being a star. After her training from Ewal she took the "test" at The Royal Dramatic Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the most difficult acting schools in the world. She stood alone, on the stage at The Academy in August of 1922, shortly before her thirteenth birthday. "She remembers going on stage, but she could remember nothing that happened afterward, except the agony of being closely watched, the horror of hearing her own echoing voice and the consciousness...
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