Loving Garbo:: The Story of Greta Garbo, Cecil Beaton, and Mercedes de Acosta

Hugo Vickers, Author
Hugo Vickers, Author Random House (NY) $25 (333p) ISBN 978-0-679-41301-1
Hardcover - 978-0-517-16451-8
Hardcover - 978-0-224-03072-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7126-5949-9
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4464-9969-6
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Vickers fails in his attempt to demystify Greta Garbo. Clearly he found more material than he could use while researching Cecil Beaton , his biography of the famed photographer of British royals and other glitterati, but still not enough for a successful Garbo analysis. Over a 30-year period, Beaton sent hundreds of letters to Garbo, preserving carbon copies. ``My Darling Sugar Plum,'' as he once called her, was an elusive and frustrating lover, although they seem to have enjoyed some energetic sexual encounters. ``Sunday morning had been put to its ultimate use,'' Beaton wrote after one amorous encounter. Garbo's off-again, off-again relationship with him is paralleled in this plodding account by a long-lasting lesbian affair. Garbo met playwright Mercedes de Acosta--who dressed only in black and white--in 1931, and their frequently troubled relationship continued until the early '60s. The supporting cast here is full of famous names, all dutifully footnoted, but somehow Greta Garbo succeeds after her death in doing what she did so often in her lifetime: she slips away unobserved. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
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