Place of Death
Montecito, California, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
The Wanderer (1925), The Lucky Lady (1926), The Luck of a Sailor (1934)
Profile Bio Text
Greta Nissen (1905 – 1988) was a Norwegian-born American film and stage actress. Born Grethe Ruzt-Nissen in Oslo, Norway, Nissen was originally a dancer. She appeared in several Broadway shows in the 1920s. Greta was discovered by Paramount Pictures and appeared in more than twenty films. Among these were A Wife, The Love Thief, Ambassador Bill, The Lucky Lady, and Honours Easy. Her film career ended in the mid-1930s after she appeared in a few British films. A 1925 New York Times review of the silent film A Norwegian Actress described Greta: "She was graceful in her movements and expressions, with a constantly changing gaze. The actress was attractive rather than beautiful. Her chin and nose were both somewhat pronounced. Greta`s personality was delightful and she never showed an awareness to the audience that she was conscious of being on camera. Her skin was fair and she possessed blonde hair. At different times her coiffure had a somewhat "wild" appearance."
The reviewer believed her hair was more effective when it was brushed down rather than when it was concealed by a small hat. As for her eyes, there was a close affinity in their appearance to those of Sarah Bernhardt. Mordaunt Hall commented on her acting, saying Miss Nissen gives a sincere and earnest portrayal, always obtaining excellent results with an originality rarely beheld on the screen. Greta was the original choice for leading lady in Hell`s Angels (1930), an epic film made by Howard Hughes. She lost the part when the movie was remade to include sound, because of her Norwegian accent. In 1933 she moved to England. In 1937 she retired from movie acting altogether.
Nissen died at home in Montecito, California of Parkinson`s disease on May 15, 1988. Her husband was retired manufacturer Stuart D. Eckert. Eckert did not report her death immediately because she had avoided publicity since their 1941 marriage. He said she still received fan letters. Greta was 82. Greta had one son, Tor Bruce Nissen Eckert, now living on a ranch near Grass Valley, California. In 2005, Tor gave his large collection of Greta Nissen memorbilia to the Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Ottestad, Norway.
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Greta Nissen (30 January 1906 – 15 May 1988) was a Norwegian-born American film and stage actress.
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