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I want to be alone

These words will always be associated with the legendary Swedish-born Hollywood star, Greta Garbo.

A great beauty as well as a genuinely brilliant actress, Greta was subject to a massive amount of public interest in the 1920s and 1930s. She retired completely from acting in 1941 and from then on lived a very private existence, moving to a glamourous Manhattan apartment in 1954, where she lived for the rest of her life.

The actress devoted herself to collecting fine art and declined all offers of film or TV work.

She became a major star in the silent movie era and her first speaking role in the film Anna Christie was hyped with the tagline “Garbo talks!”

Many people turned up just to hear her first spoken line on film: “Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy, baby!”

Greta never married and chose to live alone, but later claimed her legendary words had been misquoted.

“I never said, I want to be alone. I only said, I want to be left alone,” she said.

“There is all the difference.”