Eleanor Aherne was observing a cardinal Greta Garbo rule: Fewer is better.
Garbo sat opposite me, so I had a chance to study her closely. She was in her late 40s, and absolutely beautiful. She was wearing black velvet pants with a white blouse and a black velvet bolero. Her hair, cut Prince Valiant–style, came to just above her shoulders, and she kept pulling it back in a repetitive gesture. “Why do you have cotton in your ears?” I finally asked. “You know, Mr. Frye, I have a hole in my head, and here at the beach the wind blows right through, from one ear to the other. I cotton them up!” she replied with a straight face. I was totally charmed.
After dinner I told Brian that it must be thrilling to have Garbo staying in his home. “My dear boy, it’s not at all a thrill,” he said. “It can be goddamned embarrassing. When I go down to the pool in the morning to have breakfast, she’s already out there sunning herself, stark naked. I never know which way to look.”
— William Frye on meeting Greta Garbo (above, photographed by Cecil Beaton)