Born Irene Granstedt, this Swedish starlet changed her first name for obvious reasons when entering films in 1928. No one, however, mistook Granstedt for Garbo and she went on to play a series of hardboiled roles seemingly deemed too small for the likes of Veda Ann Borg. Growing up in Mountain View, CA, Granstedt first made headlines when at 14 she shot and critically wounded a boyfriend who had committed the sin of accompanying another girl to a church social. According to newspaper reports, Greta Granstedt was sentenced "to leave Mountain View and never return."
By the mid-'20s, she had recovered enough from the ordeal to appear opposite Joseph Schildkraut in a Los Angeles production of From Hell Came a Lady and had taken the second of her seven husbands. She made her screen debut in a small role in Buck Privates (1928), with European idol Lya de Putti, and her talkie debut in The Last Performance (1929). Again the role was miniscule and Granstedt would make her biggest impact in low-budget action films, including two serials. Her unfortunate past was dredged up again when she married musician Ramon Ramos but her reputation as the "Tragedy Girl" failed to open any new doors in Hollywood and she continued to play mainly bit parts. Some of these, however, were quite good and she is memorable as Beulah Bondi's daughter in the crime drama Street Scene (1931) and as Margo's hardboiled friend in the New York-lensed Crime Without Passion (1934).
While in New York, Granstedt appeared in a couple of Broadway plays before returning to Hollywood for perhaps her best remembered role, that of Anna, one of the resistance workers in Beasts of Berlin (1939), the exploitation drama that put ramshackle PRC on the map. Her other 1940s roles were minor and she had to wait until 1958 and The Return of Dracula to make any kind of impact. In this not-as-bad-as-it-sounds horror pastiche she played a stout California housewife welcoming Francis Lederer's count to her suburban home -- with the expected results. Retiring permanently from the screen in 1970, Granstedt relocated to Canada and raised Appaloosa horses.