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More Garbo Friend's


* Salka Viertel
* Peter Viertel
* Deborah Kerr
* George Schlee
* Valentina Schlee
* Max Gumpel
* Vera Schmiterlöw
* Mona Mårtenson
* Wilhelm Sörenson
* Rouben Mamoulian

* Prince Sigvard Bernadotte
* Aristoteles Onassis
* Count & Countess Wachtmeister
* Count & Countess Bernadotte
* Ona Munson

* Lillian Tashman
* Claire Koger
* Zsa Zsa Gabor
* Irene Selznick
* David Niven

* Lilli Palmer
* Einar Hanson
* George Brent
* Nils Asther
 * Sydney Guilaroff

* Johnny Weissmüller
* Charles Addams
* Ramon Navarro
* Eva Le Gallienne
* Carl Brisson

* Fifi D'Orsay
* Sven Broman
* Louise Brooks
* Leopold Stokowsky
* Erich Maria Remarque

* Cecile de Rothschild
* George Tabori


Salka Viertel


Much has been discussed of Viertel's relationships and friendships with actresses Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, as well as writer Mercedes de Acosta.

Although many rumours have suggested these relationships as lesbian, the nature of her close ties with both Garbo and Dietrich have never fully been disclosed.


Peter Viertel


Son of Salka Viertel, Greta was one of his mothers closest friends.


Deborah Kerr

Deborah Kerr (1921 –2007) was a Golden Globe award winning and six-time Academy Award nominated Scottish actress.

She was married to Peter Viertel, the son of Garbo's best friend Salka Viertel. Kerr and Viertel even contributed to the Barry Paris book.

Garbo was very fond of Peter and Kerr. They married in Klosters (1960) and lived in a big hillside house, surrounded by fir trees, south of town.

Kerr, was a friend, Garbo never lost. Kerr's quiet, thoughtful ways always charmed her.

"She could be so funny and had such a wonderful way of knocking herself," remembered Kerr, whose lilting soprano voice downshifts at  will into a perfect imitation of Garbo's baritone.

"Once in the late afternoon, we were about to have a glass of wine and I asked, 'Miss G, would you like red or white?' She gave me the most tragic look and said, 'Ooooh, De-bo-rah – that is a terrrrible decision!'”

"You never knew with her, whether she was sending you up or not. Peter, on the other hand, was never deferential. He would say, 'C'mon, Greta – just make up your mind!'"

In 1975, Garbo went to see Kerr in Edward Albee's Seascape and walked backstage afterward to say she admired her performance. "I was so nervous," said Deborah Kerr. "It was among the great thrills in my life that she came to see me. But she wouldn't say anything about the  play."

Kerr suffered from Parkinson 's disease and died in November 2007.


George Schlee


Schlee was Greta's companion and some kind of a manager. He was by her site from the 1940s to 1960s.  It seems he wanted to marry Garbo. But he was married to Valentina Schlee. He couldn't get divorce.  Again we are not sure that there was love between them.

When Schlee died in 1964 Garbo was deeply shocked. She really cared for him and missed him until her final years.  They met through  Valentina, Garbo‘s dress designer in New York in 1941. On the Riviera, in Cap d‘Ail, George Schlee bought “Le Roc“, a spacious and well protected house, which, naturally, has never been called anything besides “Garbo‘s house“.

In 1964 George Schlee died.


Valentina Schlee

Valentina Schlee was an American fashion designer. She was born as Valentina Sanina in Russia on 1 May 1904. She was married to George Schlee, most famous for having an affair with screen siren Greta Garbo. She was a dancer as a young woman at the Chauve Souris Theatre in Paris before she moved to New York and opened a small couture house, Valentina's Gowns.

In 1950 Valentina also introduced a perfume, "My Own". She was always impeccably turned out, earning her a mention on the International Best Dressed List. She died in 1989.


Max Gumpel


Max was a personal friend of Greta's, on visits to Sweden she would stay with Mr Gumpel.They met during the filming of  the advertising film How Not to Dress. Max Gumpel, a bachelor in his early thirties and the owner and manager of one of Sweden's most successful construction firms. He often visited the set to watch his 7 old nephew Erick, who was also in the film, perform.

Years later Max said that he was very taken with the actress and Greta was very taken with his affable style and manner. One day he asked the 15 year old Greta to dine with him in his glamorous apartment. She accepted.

One day Max made her the present of a tiny gold ring with a small diamond in it. The dated for a while but one day in 1921 they separated like the good friends they had always been.


Vera Schmiterlöw

Vera like Greta was born in Stockholm in Sweden, she attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school in Stockholm with Greta and they were close friends.


Mona Mårtenson

Mona also attended The Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school whilst Greta was there, she was a friend of Garbo's.


Wilhelm Sörenson


The son of a wealthy Swedish industrialist. Sorensen, a year GG's senior, became o frequent escort during her visit, and later followed her back to  America.


Rouben Mamoulian


Mamoulian was a theatre and film director in the US, he directed Queen Christina. It is said that they had an affair while filming Greta´s famous movie.


Prince Sigvard Bernadotte

(in Treatment)


Aristoteles Onassis


Was a friend of Greta's, she and George Schlee would borrow Onassis yacht.


Count & Countess Neils and Ingrid (Hörke) Wachtmeister


During her three months' stay in Sweden, Garbo and Wilhelm Sorensen were invited by his aunt Countess Hoerke Wachtmeister to stay a ther castle south of  Stockholm.  At first Greta was reluctant to go, fearing a crowd of  fasionable and curious guests.

On being told that she and Sorensen would be the only guests she accepted the invitation, exclaiming, "Oh, how exciting.  It will be the first time I stay in a real castle!". Soon after arriving  however she was called back to Hollywood to film The Single Standard.


Count & Countess Carl & Kerstin Bernadotte

(in Treatment)



Ona Munson

Munson was a Polish born actress. She wrote a love letter to brief companion Mercedes de Acosta, who was at the time the lover of actress Greta Garbo, with whom Munson also became involved.

During the mid 1930s she was involved with a married Marlene Dietrich, as well as actress Tallulah Bankhead, among others.


Lillian Tashman

Born in Brooklyn in 1899, Tashman was a fairly successful actress.  She was rumoured to be a lover of Miss Garbo's


Claire Koger

Born 11 July 1906, in Basel, Claire Koger was raised in Switzerland and moved to Germany when she was in her twenties . Before the outbreak of World War II, she made her way to England where, for a while, she cared for the children of actor John Mills.

After the war, she returned to Switzerland and, in the early 1950s, left for better-paying domestic work in the United States, first in Washington and then in New York It was there that Valentina Schlee discovered her through an agency and recommended her to Garbo. Her average salary over the years was about $150 per week.


Zsa Zsa Gabor


Zsa Zsa states in her autobiography, "One Lifetime Is Not Enough"  that one night Greta seduced her.

Read the "Garbo Story" by  Garbor  HERE!


Irene Selznick


The Daughter of Louis B Mayer. Claimed that Garbo tried to seduce her.


David Niven

A British born actor.  In 1940, Niven married Primula Susan Rollo (1918–1946), the aristocratic daughter of a British pilot, after a whirlwind two-week romance; they had two sons, David Jr. and Jamie.

She died at age 28.  He counted Garbo as one of his friend.


Lilli Palmer


Lilli was a German actress who was married to Rex Harrison. She met Greta several times and she said that they were close friends.

Read the "Garbo Story" by Palmer  HERE!


Einar Hanson

Hanson was a silent film actor; he was in Joyless Street with Greta.

It was rumored that they had an affair in late 1924.


George Brent


Brent was known as a womaniser in Hollywood, and had a lengthy relationship with his co-star Bette Davis.

It was rumored that he and Greta had an affair wile filimng The Painted Veil together.


Nils Asther


Attended Royal Dramatic Theatre School in Stockholm.  He played romantic roles in films with Joan Crawford, Pola Negri and Greta Garbo.

It is said that they were good friends.


Sydney Guilaroff

Crowning Glory: Reflections of Hollywood's Favorite Confidant

Sydney Guilaroff was a celebrated hairstylist who worked with Greta, Marlene, Joan Crawford and many more. In his biography Guilaroff claims to have had long term sexual affairs with GG and Ava Gardner.

Thanks to RubyRed


Johnny Weissmüller

Johnny Weissmuller (1904–1984) was an American swimmer and actor who was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal.

He won fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. After his swimming career, he became the sixth actor to portray Tarzan in films, a role he played in twelve motion pictures.

Dozens of other actors also played Tarzan, but Weissmuller was by far the best known. His character's distinctive, ululating Tarzan yell is still often used in films.

In his late 1980s biography he claimed that, in the 1930s,  he had a love affair with Garbo.


Charles Addams (American cartoonist)

Did he 'dated' Garbo?
Addams did his best to appear as spooky and ooky as he could, collecting crossbows and mortuary equipment, painting his bathroom walls black, posing for a picture in a suit and a medieval knight's helmet.

For a tall, big-nosed man whose resemblance to Lyndon Johnson and Walter Matthau was often noted, he was quite the ladies' man. In his book Charles Addams: A cartoonist's life he wrote that he dated, among others, Veronica Lake, Joan Fontaine, Jackie Kennedy (possibly platonically), Greta Garbo, as well as a harem of New York socialites.

Expert taken from Charles Addams: A cartoonist's life

Thanks to Kata


Ramon Navarro


Ramon was a Mexican actor who achieved fame as a "Latin lover" in silent films.

During the filming of  Mata Hari together  it was rumored that they were lovers. Ramon was gay in real life.


Eva Le Gallienne


Eva a well-known actress, producer, and director, during the first half of the 20th century.

She was well known for her homosexuality and was rumoured to of had an affair with Garbo.


Carl Brisson


Danish performer Carl Brisson was Greta's first teenager idol. One day, the former boxer was in Södermalm (Sweden) with his revue and Greta went to see him live on stage. She had a crush on him. Greta waited backstage and handed him a bunch of violets.

Brisson signed her an autograph and a card that would allow her to see any performance at the theatre. He was rumored to get the lead part in Gösta Berlings saga.


Fifi D'Orsay


A Canadian born actress. While never a superstar, she worked hard at her craft headlining with the likes of Bing Crosby, and Buster Crabbe.

Some say that Greta has been romanticly linked to Fifi.


Sven Broman

(in Treatment)


Louise Brooks


Garbo had a close encounter with Louise
Brooks is an actress of the 20's and 30's. The two beauties were never friends, but Brooks knew John Gilbert and occasionally showed up at his house to find Garbo playing tennis. She was as much in awe of Garbo as everyone else.

In her later years, Brooks claimed they spent a night together, and that Garbo had been both charming and tender.

Brooks about Garbo
"From the moment 'Torrent' went into production, no contemporary actress was ever again to be quite happy in herself!".

"In 1928 when I met Garbo at Alice Glazer's, we sat facing each other closely across a narrow breakfast table. Her gaze was so intense and so eloquent that I left after an hour although I had intended to spend the afternoon."

They only met a few times, she told film writer John Kobal, adding offhandedly: "She made a pass at me."

Brooks never ceased to admire and analyse Garbo in her irreverent way: "Garbo was a completely masculine dyke, which makes her films ever more wonderful."


Leopold Stokowsky


Stokowski was the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air.

He had a well publicized affair with Miss Garbo.True or not. We will never know.


Erich Maria Remarque


Erich Maria Remarque was the author of 1929's All Quiet on the Western Front, a novel based on his experiences as a soldier in World War I. The book -- and its strong anti-war message -- made Remarque an international celebrity (the 1930 film version is a classic of early cinema). He emigrated from Germany in 1931 to Switzerland, then moved to the United States in 1939.

He wrote novels and worked briefly in Hollywood, making friends with movie stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Paulette Goddard. They met in the early 1940s and Remarque calimed that they had an affair. He died in 1970.


Cecile de Rothschild


Baroness De Rothschild was a friend of Greta. They were close friends, sometimes they could be seen walking on the streets of New York together. Sam Green says that they were not lovers. But we'll never know. There was just this deep true frienship.

Garbo was fascinated and spoiled by her riches - Cecile was obsessed by Garbo as she was the greatest screen-legends of all. They were close friends like sisters but many think  they even had an affair.

Cecile died January 17th, 1995.


George Tabori (Hungarian theatre director and novelist)


George Tabori was a playwright, theatre director, novelist and translator. From 1947 until 1969, Tabori worked as a scriptwriter in Hollywood and New York, where he mingled with the rich and famous. Tabori wrote in his autobiography that he met Garbo and even had an affair ("She never forgave me") with her.

He wrote a screen-play
Der Zauberberg. English producer Alexander Korda bought the film rights to the novel and Tabori worked on a screenplay for six month.

Tabori and Zoltán Korda (Alexander Korda's brother) considered Garbo as Madame Chauchat, Montgomery Clift as Hans Castorp and Charles Laughton was interrested to play. It is possible that Garbo was interested but the project never wnet into production.

Tabori reveals his affair with Garbo in a German magazine:
At Garbo's 100th Birthday the director remembers Garbo. In 1943, Tabori was a war correspondent in Bulgaria. He worked in Hollywood with Hitchcock, with Bert Brecht in Berlin and he said he loved Greta.

Was Greta Garbo a diva?
Perhaps, but she also liked hefty meals like Koenigsberger Klopse (a German dish consisting of meatballs in a white sauce with capers) and she dressed very simple: White blouse, black trousers, hat, sun glasses.

Only once - at my 34. Birthday - she was dressed as well as she was in her films. She was wearing a black and tight long velvet dress and a great elegant hairstyle. I was speechless. She placed herself next to me in my car.

Due of all my excitement i forgot to tell her that this was the place were my dog always lies. When we arrived at the restaurant, her black dress was covered with white hair from my dog. I thought, that she will never forgive me! But she twirled herself three times and the hair flew in all directions and we went on and celebrated.

What is your first memory about her?
She was already celebrated, when I was a little boy in Budapest. For me she is the best actress who ever existed.

How did you meet her?
1948 in Hollywood, when i was at the dentist. I had terrible pain, a tooth had to be pulled out. There she came in the waiting room and asked me: "Aren't you well? I will bring you a coffee." She took care of me and held my hand while i was waiting.

What was so extraordinary about her?
She was very proud, she gave up her career because her last film Two-Faced Woman was a flop. She even gave her fee back. And she was beautiful. Breath-taking. When i visited her in her mansion, she often made gymnastic at the pool - half naked! Garbo had beautiful shoulders.

How did she live?
Seclusive and she collected works by Dalí and Giacometti. I will never forget herbed: Two golden angels graced over it over it and guarded her sleep. Like a crazy person, she loved to race with her Chevrolet. This scared me.

Do you miss your friend?
We spend some months together. But when I left it for two weeks, in order to travel to New York, I lost her love. I still regret this. For me the time i spend with her was a gift. I still don't know, why i deserved this.

© Copyright by BZ

Thanks to RubyRed and Bea

Garbo's Friends - Introduction


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