Gray Gustafson Reisfield died on Sunday at 85 years of age. Reisfield was not very well known on her own, but through her affiliation with a screen icon.
Reisfield was the sole heir to Greta Garbo’s estate, and was the actress’ companion for decades after she left Hollywood, vowing “I vont to be alone!”
Garbo was Reisfield’s aunt, and although the younger woman managed to marry and raise her own family, according to news reports, she seemed always to be at the beck and call of Garbo, the noted Hollywood recluse.
The actress never married and never had a family of her own, instead relying on Reisfield to be her constant companion whether at home, or when she traveled.
And Reisfield obliged, through marriage, pregnancy, motherhood, and grandmotherhood,
Garbo may have been reclusive, but she knew how to manage her finances, and even decades after she left Hollywood, she always had enough money, which she spent on several homes that she owned in the U.S. and abroad, and on lavish trips and vacations.
And Reisfield was seemingly always by her side.
I am sure there was much love between the two women, but some might have thought that the relationship between them was kind of strange, and kind of sad, too.
Reisfield’s efforts paid off, as she was the sole heir of Garbo’s fortune when she died in April 1990 at 85 years of age.
There is little else to tell about Reisfield, as she was as protective about herself as her aunt was.
But the link between the two women was seemingly real and genuine, and proved that Garbo may have “vonted to be alone,” but like most people, she really didn’t.
She needed someone to trust, and Reisfield was that person.
Thus, Reisfield became nothing more than a footnote in history, but an interesting one indeed.