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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich was born on December  27, 1901 in Leberstrasse 65 on the Rote Insel in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin, Germany. She is considered to have been the first German actress to become successful in Hollywood.

Her big break came in 1930, when she was cast in The Blue Angel as Lola-Lola, a cabaret singer. There were 236 retakes of Marlene Dietrich singing "Falling In Love Again" because she couldn't pronounce the word 'moths.'

Marlene Dietrich 1930

Women across the world started wearing slacks after Marlene Dietrich looked good in them in the 1930 film, Morocco.

Marlene Dietrich’s make-up man said she kissed so hard that she needed a new coat of lipstick after every kiss.

Dietrich never worked without a mirror on the set so she could constantly check her makeup and hair. She demanded that Max Factor sprinkle half an ounce of real gold dust into her wigs to add glitter to her tresses during filming.

Dietrich was married only once, although rumor has it she and her husband Rudolph Sieber enjoyed a very open marriage. They remained together until his death in 1976.

During the 1940s Dietrich would disassociate herself from her German homeland by joining her fellow Hollywood contemporaries in the war effort, appearing not only on multiple War Bond promotional tours, but actually traveling to war zones.

Marlene Dietrich recorded a version of the song “Lili Marleen” which was popular with the allies. performed in her native language, Dietrich's version was designed to demoralize enemy soldiers. She became synonymous with the tune, performing it for American soldiers many times over the following years.

For her contributions to the war effort, Dietrich was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Dietrich died of renal failure on May 6, 1992 at the age of 90.

Dietrich's gravestone

The inscription on Dietrich's gravestone in Berlin reads "Hier steh ich an den Marken meiner Tage" (literally: "Here I stand at the marks of my days"), a line from the sonnet "Abschied vom Leben" ("Farewell to Life") by Theodor Körner.


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