Marlene Dietrich

Actor and Singer
Born Dec 27, 1901

Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer. Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as "Lola-Lola" in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US.… Read More

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1901 Birth Born on December 27, 1901.
1907 5 Years Old Dietrich attended the Auguste-Viktoria Girls' School from 1907 to 1917 and graduated from the Victoria-Luise-Schule (today Goethe-Gymnasium Berlin-Wilmersdorf) in 1918. … Read More


1922 20 Years Old 1 More Event
Her dreams of becoming a concert violinist were curtailed when she injured her wrist, but by 1922 she had her first job, playing violin in a pit orchestra that accompanied silent films at a cinema in Berlin. … Read More
1923 - 1924 2 More Events
1929 27 Years Old In 1929, Dietrich landed the breakthrough role of Lola Lola, a sexy cabaret singer who caused the downfall of a hitherto respectable schoolmaster (played by Emil Jannings), in UFA's production The Blue Angel (1930). … Read More
1930 28 Years Old Dietrich starred in six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935. … Read More


1932 30 Years Old Shanghai Express (1932), which was dubbed, by the critics, as "Grand Hotel on wheels", was Sternberg and Dietrich's biggest box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1932. … Read More
1937 35 Years Old 1 More Event
…  She refused their offers and applied for US citizenship in 1937. … Read More
1938 36 Years Old 1 More Event
…  By this time, Dietrich placed 126th in box office rankings, and American film exhibitors proclaimed her "box office poison" in May 1938, a distinction she shared with Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Mae West, Katharine Hepburn, Norma Shearer, Dolores del Río and Fred Astaire among others.
1939 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile entertainer. … Read More


1942 40 Years Old She toured the US from January 1942 to September 1943 (appearing before 250,000 troops on the Pacific Coast leg of her tour alone) and was reported to have sold more war bonds than any other star.
1944 42 Years Old 1 More Event
During two extended tours for the USO in 1944 and 1945, she performed for Allied troops in Algeria, Italy, the UK and France, then went into Germany with Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton. … Read More
1947 45 Years Old Dietrich received the Medal of Freedom in November 1947. … Read More
1948 46 Years Old …  When Maria gave birth to a son (John, a famous production designer) in 1948, Dietrich was dubbed "the world's most glamorous grandmother". … Read More


1953 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1953, Dietrich was offered a then-substantial $30,000 per week to appear live at the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. … Read More
1957 55 Years Old Bacharach's arrangements helped to disguise Dietrich's limited vocal range—she was a contralto—and allowed her to perform her songs to maximum dramatic effect; together, they recorded four albums and several singles between 1957 and 1964. … Read More
1960 58 Years Old Dietrich's return to West Germany in 1960 for a concert tour was met with mixed reception— despite a consistently negative press, vociferous protest by chauvinistic Germans who felt she had betrayed her homeland, and two bomb threats, her performance attracted huge crowds. … Read More


1962 - 1972 4 More Events
1973 71 Years Old 1 More Event
A stage fall at the Shady Grove Music Fair in Maryland in 1973 injured her left thigh, necessitating skin grafts to allow the wound to heal. … Read More
1975 73 Years Old Dietrich's show business career largely ended on 29 September 1975, when she fell off the stage and broke her thigh during a performance in Sydney, Australia. … Read More
1979 77 Years Old Her autobiography, Nehmt nur mein Leben (Take Just My Life), was published in 1979.
1982 80 Years Old In 1982, Dietrich agreed to participate in a documentary film about her life, Marlene (1984), but refused to be filmed. … Read More
1988 86 Years Old In 1988, Dietrich recorded spoken introductions to songs for a nostalgia album by Udo Lindenberg. … Read More
1989 87 Years Old In 1989, her appeal to save the Babelsberg studios from closure was broadcast on BBC Radio, and she spoke on television via telephone on the occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall later that year.
Her funeral ceremony was conducted at La Madeleine in Paris, a Roman Catholic church on 14 May 1992. … Read More
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