Nils Asther was the Swedish-born silent film star that critics and audiences adored as “the male Greta Garbo”. Behind his cool and exotic exterior, however, no one really knew Nils Asther—maybe not even himself. From his secret affairs with “sailors” to his failed marriage proposals, Asther was a Swedish enigma for the ages.

1. He Was Handsome

Throughout his career, Nils Asther was a heartbreaker. The New York Times, for example, described Asther as “[handsome] and dark-haired”. Needless to say, given his good looks, he was “generally cast as a lover” in his films. Not to mention, standing at six feet tall, he was irresistible to women—and, perhaps, men.

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