Native of Denmark, actress Greta Thyssen, who doubled for Marilyn Monroe, dated Hollywood heartthrob Cary Grant, and also took a pie to the face from the Three Stooges, has died recently.
Greta Thyssen, the renowned Danish beauty who also doubled for actress Marilyn Monroe, and dated Cary Grant during his LSD phase, also starred opposite the Three Stooges, died recently at 90 years old.
Thyssen died at her Manhattan apartment after having been sick from pneumonia, said her daughter, Genevieve Guenther.
Greta Thyssen was known mostly because of her Marilyn impersonations, but also because of her starring in several "B" movies such as the horror film, "Terror Is a Man" (1959), and also, the loosely adapted "The Island of Dr. Moreau" by H.G. Wells. Thyssen played the wife of a scientist, Francis Lederer, who "tormented by unsatisfied desire, desperate to escape a loneliness and her fear" according to the film's trailer, on a mystery island. The movie was filmed in the Philippines.
Four of Thyssen's other famous works came in the Joseph Kane noir genre "Accused of Murder," which came to the movie halls in 1956, "The Beast of Budapest" in 1958, "Three Blondes in his Life" in 1961 against Jock Mahoney, and finally "Journey to the Seventh Planet" in which she played an enticing pin-up beauty on Uranus in 1962. That movie was shot in her native Denmark.
Greta, who was born and grew up in Hareskovby, Denmark, was named Miss Denmark in the early 1950s. Soon after, she left Europe for Hollywood, through Paris.
"She was always cagey about her acting career and its trajectory," said Thyssen's daughter. "My mother was a very clever woman and extremely well read. If she had been born in a different era, I think she could have been a lawyer or professor. I think she always felt a little bit embarrassed about the movie persona that she adopted as this kind of voluptuous, glamorous Danish pastry with nothing between her head except silk and feathers."
She was a classic beauty with the measurements of 39-24-36 or 40-21-35, depending on what the magazine published. Greta was true body double to Monroe during the filming of the romantic comedy "Bus Stop" in 1956.
Later, she played the role of the Pirate Girl on the game show "Treasure Hunt" on the first three seasons (1956-58), created by host Jan Murray.
"I didn't quite understand that those kind of shorts would later be so admired and loved. I just was offered the job, because (the Stooges) wanted to start again. There was a new producer, and it was a new time. I think the original ones -- weren't they in the 30s?" said Thyssen in an interview in 2010, for the Three Stooges trio, "Quiz Whizz" (1958), "In Pies and Guys" (1958), and "Sappy Bull Fighters" (1959).
Greta's movie career ended shortly after she decided to raise a family with her third husband, Theodore Guenther, a mining engineer, in 1967. He died in 2000.
After her retirement from acting, she became as an artist, painting representational nude figures against surrealistic allegorical backgrounds, at the Art Students League, New York.
Greta Thyssen is survived by her daughter, her son-in-law and her grandchild.
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter