Marlene Dietrich
actor and singer
Marlene Dietrich
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.
Biography
Marlene Dietrich's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Marlene Dietrich from around the web
Marlene Dietrich Movie Schedule: SHANGHAI EXPRESS, THE SCARLET EMPRESS, THE ... - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Vittorio De Sica, Arthur O'Connell. C-101 mins, Letterbox Format. 7:45 AM KNIGHT WITHOUT ARMOUR (1937) A British spy tries to get a countess out of the new Soviet Union. Dir: Jacques Feyder. Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Robert Donat,
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Daily guide - Boston Globe
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R (1994) The Devil Is a Woman 10 pm (TCM) Josef von Sternberg's tale of a Spanish femme fatale (Marlene Dietrich). NR (1935) Disappearing Acts 10 pm (LMN) An aspiring singer falls for a construction worker (Wesley Snipes). (2000) Blood and Wine 10 pm
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TV and art films: Aug. 28 to Sept. 3 - Reading Eagle
Google News - over 5 years
Among Hollywood's most prestigious efforts of the 1930s were the seven films that director Josef von Sternberg made with his muse, Marlene Dietrich. Some today may find them dated, or even (per Susan Sontag) campy; but there are others of us for whom
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70 years later, still haunted by ghosts of World War II - msnbc.com
Google News - over 5 years
One war story that brings a smile to Guy's cherubic face involves sexy siren Marlene Dietrich. A German exile, Dietrich defied her homeland by performing for US troops throughout the war. At one show, Guy and Fred managed to sneak backstage and get her
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Preview: Marlene Dietrich – An Affectionate Tribute - So So Gay
Google News - over 5 years
Marlene Dietrich, the smoky-voiced icon of the silver screen, whom in 1999 the American Film Institute named the ninth greatest female star of all time, is to be reclaimed by the gay community in a new show: Marlene Dietrich – An Affectionate Tribute
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Androgynous look famed by actor Marlene Dietrich striding back into vogue - Adelaide Now
Google News - over 5 years
The bold, androgynous look is strongly associated with German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, who wore a tuxedo in the 1930 film Morocco and the character Annie Hall in the 1977 film of the same name. Played by Diane Keaton, Annie wore vintage
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Midweek Madness: In these volatile days, Marlene Dietrich's musical saw may soothe - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Here then, for something completely different, the immortal Marlene Dietrich performing a lovely little Hawaiian song on her saw. As you will hear in this radio show from the 1940s, interviewed by Milton Cross (voice of the Metropolitan Opera
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Lions club to conduct blood drive Monday at clubhouse - Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Imagine if you can, an evening with Cole Porter at the piano, Dorothy Parker at the bar and Marlene Dietrich singing. The cast will feature Elise and Julie Bruckelmeyer, Roxanne Crocco, Jeff and Mary Dupler, Jane Dickman, Dawn Grube,
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'My Fair Lidy' nearly 'a wrap' - Orlando Sentinel (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
He plays a straight man who discovers a talent for impersonating Marlene Dietrich in the dramedy, a guy whose friends, co-workers and boss don't know he has a secret. Backus crooned — Dietrich style — an original, smokey and suggestive song by the
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Europe's movie heritage now captured forever online - Siliconrepublic.com
Google News - over 5 years
A new EU-supported internet portal to the digital collections of European film archives including rare Marlene Dietrich footage and which offers free access to currently about 400000 digital videos, photos, film posters and text materials has just gone
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Silent Films Soar In San Francisco - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Rare films from around the globe, featuring everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Walt Disney's earliest animated characters, marked the 16th annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival this past weekend…along with the announcement of the Festival's plans
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Ways With Words - Rabbi Lionel Blue: Marlene Dietrich is my inspiration in old age - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Asked about the music he would take to a desert island he said it had always been women's voices that “got me” and that his inspiration in old age was Marlene Dietrich. “She just carried on regardless. They propped her up at the bar, virtually glueing
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SF Silent Film Festival: early Marlene Dietrich - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Marlene Dietrich makes a steamy entrance in Kurt Bernhardt's 1929 German silent film "The Woman Men Yearn For." Marlene Dietrich was a little-known Berlin stage actress who appeared occasionally in small roles in German silent films when Hollywood
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Christopher Backus IS Marlene Dietrich — or a Marlene drag performer, in 'My ... - Orlando Sentinel (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Backus, a hunky 29 year old who could pass for Robert Pattinson's macho older brother, plays a straight guy who drunkenly discovers his resemblance to Marlene Dietrich and steps, tentatively, into a world he barely knew existed when he dons a dress
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The naked truth about Marlene’s later years - Yorkshire Post
Google News - over 5 years
No, what we are talking about is the “nude dress” being made for Sarah Parks for her portrayal of Marlene Dietrich in a revival of the late Pam Gems' play which recounts the screen star's twilight years. The heavily-beaded evening gown of silk soufflé,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Marlene Dietrich
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1992
    Age 90
    In 1992, a plaque was unveiled at Leberstraße 65 in Berlin-Schöneberg, the site of Dietrich's birth.
    More Details Hide Details A postage stamp bearing her portrait was issued in Germany on 14 August 1997. Luxury pen manufacturer MontBlanc produced a limited edition "Marlene Dietrich" pen to commemorate Dietrich's life. It is platinum-plated and has an encrusted deep blue sapphire. For some Germans, Dietrich remained a controversial figure for having sided with Nazi Germany's foes during World War II. In 1996, after some debate, it was decided not to name a street after her in Berlin-Schöneberg, her birthplace. However, on 8 November 1997, the central Marlene-Dietrich-Platz was unveiled in Berlin to honour her. The commemoration reads: Berliner Weltstar des Films und des Chansons. Einsatz für Freiheit und Demokratie, für Berlin und Deutschland ("Berlin world star of film and song. Dedication to freedom and democracy, to Berlin and Germany"). Dietrich was made an honorary citizen of Berlin on 16 May 2002. Translated from German, her memorial plaque reads
    On 14 May 1992, her funeral ceremony was performed at her favorite Parisian church, La Madeleine.
    More Details Hide Details Dietrich was fluent in three languages — her native German, English and French. Dietrich was a fashion icon to the top designers as well as a screen icon that later stars would follow. In an interview with The Observer in 1960, she said, "I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men. If I dressed for myself I wouldn't bother at all. Clothes bore me. I'd wear jeans. I adore jeans. I get them in a public store – men's, of course; I can't wear women's trousers. But I dress for the profession." Her public image included openly defying sexual norms, and she was known for her androgynous film roles and her bisexuality. A significant volume of academic literature, especially since 1975, analyzes Dietrich's image, as created by the film industry, within various theoretical frameworks, including that of psycho-analysis. Emphasis is placed, inter alia, on the "fetishistic" manipulation of the female image.
    Her funeral ceremony was conducted at La Madeleine in Paris, a Roman Catholic church on 14 May 1992.
    More Details Hide Details Dietrich's funeral service was attended by approximately 1,500 mourners in the church itself—including several ambassadors from Germany, Russia, the US, the UK and other countries—with thousands more outside. Her closed coffin rested beneath the altar draped in the French flag and adorned with a simple bouquet of white wildflowers and roses from the French President, François Mitterrand. Three medals, including France's Legion of Honour and the US Medal of Freedom, were displayed at the foot of the coffin, military style, for a ceremony symbolising the sense of duty Dietrich embodied in her career as an actress, and in her personal fight against Nazism. Her daughter placed a wooden crucifix, a St. Christopher's medal and a locket enclosing photos of Dietrich's grandsons in the coffin. The officiating priest remarked: "Everyone knew her life as an artist of film and song, and everyone knew her tough stands... She lived like a soldier and would like to be buried like a soldier". By a coincidence of fate her picture was used in the Cannes Film Festival poster that year which was currently pasted up all over Paris.
  • 1989
    Age 87
    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.
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  • 1988
    Age 86
    In 1988, Dietrich recorded spoken introductions to songs for a nostalgia album by Udo Lindenberg.
    More Details Hide Details In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2005, Dietrich's daughter and grandson claim that Dietrich was politically active during these years. She kept in contact with world leaders by telephone, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, running up a monthly bill of over US$3,000.
  • 1982
    Age 80
    In 1982, Dietrich agreed to participate in a documentary film about her life, Marlene (1984), but refused to be filmed.
    More Details Hide Details The film's director, Maximilian Schell, was allowed only to record her voice. He used his interviews with her as the basis for the film, set to a collage of film clips from her career. The final film won several European film prizes and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 1984. Newsweek named it "a unique film, perhaps the most fascinating and affecting documentary ever made about a great movie star".
  • 1979
    Age 77
    Her autobiography, Nehmt nur mein Leben (Take Just My Life), was published in 1979.
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  • 1975
    Age 73
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, her husband, Rudolf Sieber, died of cancer on 24 June 1976. Dietrich's final on-camera film appearance was a cameo role in Just a Gigolo (1979), starring David Bowie and directed by David Hemmings, in which she sang the title song. An alcoholic dependent on painkillers, Dietrich withdrew to her apartment at 12 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. She spent the final 11 years of her life mostly bedridden, allowing only a select few—including family and employees—to enter the apartment. During this time, she was a prolific letter-writer and phone-caller.
  • 1973
    Age 71
    Maybe once, but not now," Dietrich told Clive Hirschhorn in 1973, explaining that she continued performing only for the money.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details She fractured her right leg in August 1974. "Do you think this is glamorous? That it's a great life and that I do it for my health? Well it isn't.
  • 1972
    Age 70
    In November 1972, I Wish You Love, a version of Dietrich's Broadway show titled An Evening With Marlene Dietrich, was filmed in London.
    More Details Hide Details She was paid $250,000 for her cooperation but was unhappy with the result. The show was broadcast in the UK on the BBC and in the US on CBS in January 1973. In her sixties and seventies, Dietrich's health declined: she survived cervical cancer in 1965 and suffered from poor circulation in her legs. Dietrich became increasingly dependent on painkillers and alcohol.
  • 1968
    Age 66
    She performed on Broadway twice (in 1967 and 1968) and won a special Tony Award in 1968.
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  • 1964
    Age 62
    Dietrich in London, a concert album, was recorded during the run of her 1964 engagement at the Queen's Theatre.
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  • 1962
    Age 60
    She also undertook a tour of Israel around the same time, which was well-received; she sang some songs in German during her concerts, including, from 1962, a German version of Pete Seeger's anti-war anthem "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", thus breaking the unofficial taboo against the use of German in Israel.
    More Details Hide Details She would become the first woman and German to receive the Israeli Medallion of Valor in 1965, "in recognition for her courageous adherence to principle and consistent record of friendship for the Jewish people".
  • FIFTIES
  • 1960
    Age 58
    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.
    More Details Hide Details During her performances at Berlin's Titania Palast theatre, protesters chanted, "Marlene Go Home!" On the other hand, Dietrich was warmly welcomed by other Germans, including Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt, who was, like Dietrich, an opponent of the Nazis who had lived in exile during their rule. The tour was an artistic triumph, but a financial failure. She was left emotionally drained by the hostility she encountered and she left convinced never to visit again. East Germany, however, received her well.
  • 1957
    Age 55
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In a TV interview in 1971, she credited Bacharach with giving her the "inspiration" to perform during those years. She would often perform the first part of her show in one of her body-hugging dresses and a swansdown coat, and change to top hat and tails for the second half of the performance. This allowed her to sing songs usually associated with male singers, like "One for My Baby" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face". "She … transcends her material," according to Peter Bogdanovich. "Whether it's a flighty old tune like 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby' … a schmaltzy German love song, 'Das Lied ist Aus' or a French one 'La Vie en Rose', she lends each an air of the aristocrat, yet she never patronises … A folk song, 'Go 'Way From My Window' has never been sung with such passion, and in her hands 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone? ' is not just another anti-war lament but a tragic accusation against us all."
  • 1953
    Age 51
    During 1953–54, she starred in 38 episodes of Time for Love on CBS (which debuted 15 January 1953).
    More Details Hide Details She recorded 94 short inserts, "Dietrich Talks on Love and Life", for NBC's Monitor in 1958. Dietrich gave many radio interviews worldwide on her concert tours. In 1960, her show at the Tuschinski in Amsterdam was broadcast live on Dutch radio. Her 1962 appearance at the Olympia in Paris was also broadcast.
    In 1953, Dietrich was offered a then-substantial $30,000 per week to appear live at the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
    More Details Hide Details The show was short, consisting only of a few songs associated with her. Her daringly sheer "nude dress"—a heavily beaded evening gown of silk soufflé, which gave the illusion of transparency—designed by Jean Louis, attracted a lot of publicity. This engagement was so successful that she was signed to appear at the Café de Paris in London the following year; her Las Vegas contracts were also renewed. Dietrich employed Burt Bacharach as her musical arranger starting in the mid-1950s; together they refined her nightclub act into a more ambitious theatrical one-woman show with an expanded repertoire. Her repertoire included songs from her films as well as popular songs of the day.
  • FORTIES
  • 1948
    Age 46
    When Maria gave birth to a son (John, a famous production designer) in 1948, Dietrich was dubbed "the world's most glamorous grandmother".
    More Details Hide Details After Dietrich's death, Riva published a frank biography of her mother, titled Marlene Dietrich (1992).
  • 1947
    Age 45
    Dietrich received the Medal of Freedom in November 1947.
    More Details Hide Details She said this was her proudest accomplishment. She was also awarded the Légion d'honneur by the French government for her wartime work. From the early 1950s until the mid-1970s, Dietrich worked almost exclusively as a highly paid cabaret artist, performing live in large theatres in major cities worldwide.
  • 1944
    Age 42
    In 1944, the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) initiated the Musak project, musical propaganda broadcasts designed to demoralize enemy soldiers.
    More Details Hide Details Dietrich, the only performer who was made aware that her recordings would be for OSS use, recorded a number of songs in German for the project, including "Lili Marleen", a favorite of soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Major General William J. Donovan, head of the OSS, wrote to Dietrich, "I am personally deeply grateful for your generosity in making these recordings for us." At the war's end in Europe, Dietrich reunited with her sister Elisabeth and her sister's husband and son. They had resided in the German city of Belsen throughout the war years, running a cinema frequented by Nazi officers and officials who oversaw the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Dietrich's mother remained in Berlin during the war, her husband moved to a ranch in the San Fernando Valley of California. Dietrich vouched on behalf of her sister and her sister's husband, sheltering them from possible prosecution as Nazi collaborators. Dietrich would later omit the existence of her sister and her sister's son from all accounts of her life, completely disowning them and claiming to be an only child.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details When asked why she had done this, in spite of the obvious danger of being within a few kilometers of German lines, she replied, "aus Anstand"—"out of decency". Billy Wilder later remarked that she was at the front lines more than Eisenhower. Her revue, with Danny Thomas as her opening act, included songs from her films, performances on her musical saw (a skill she had originally acquired for stage appearances in Berlin in the 1920s) and a pretend "mindreading" act. Dietrich would inform the audience that she could read minds and ask them to concentrate on whatever came into their minds. Then she would walk over to a soldier and earnestly tell him, "Oh, think of something else. I can't possibly talk about that!" American church papers reportedly published stories complaining about this part of Dietrich's act.
  • 1942
    Age 40
    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.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1941
    Age 39
    In December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, and Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to help sell war bonds.
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  • 1939
    Age 37
    In 1939, she became an American citizen and renounced her German citizenship.
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    Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile entertainer.
    More Details Hide Details Although she still made occasional films after World War II, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a marquee live-show performer. Dietrich was noted for her humanitarian efforts during the War, housing German and French exiles, providing financial support, and even advocating their US citizenship. For her work on improving morale on the front lines in WWII, she received several honors from the US, France, Belgium, and Israel. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema. Marlene Dietrich (was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich on 27 December, 1901 in Leberstrasse 65 on the Rote Insel in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin, Germany. She was the younger of two daughters (her sister Elisabeth was a year older) of Wilhelmina Elisabeth Josephine (née Felsing) and Louis Erich Otto Dietrich, who married in December 1898. Dietrich's mother was from a well-to-do Berlin family who owned a jewelry and clock making firm. Her father was a police lieutenant who died in 1907. His best friend Eduard von Losch, an aristocratic first lieutenant in the Grenadiers, courted Wilhelmina and married her in 1916, but he died soon afterward from injuries sustained during the First World War. Eduard von Losch never officially adopted the Dietrich girls, so Dietrich's surname was never von Losch, as has sometimes been claimed. Her family nicknamed her "Lena" and "Lene" (Lay-neh).
  • 1938
    Age 36
    In 1938, Dietrich met and began a relationship with the writer Erich Maria Remarque, and in 1941, the French actor and military hero Jean Gabin.Their romance began when both were supporting the Allied troops in World War II.
    More Details Hide Details The relationship ended in the mid-1940s. In the early 1940s, Dietrich also held an affair with John Wayne, her co-star in two films. Dietrich also had a strong friendship with Orson Welles, who for her was a kind of platonic love and whom she considered a genius. She also had an affair with the Cuban-American writer Mercedes de Acosta, who claimed to be Greta Garbo's lover. Sewing circle was a phrase used by Dietrich to describe the underground, closeted lesbian and bisexual film actresses and their relationships in Hollywood. In the supposed "Marlene's Sewing Circle" are mentioned the names of other close friends such as Ann Warner (the wife of Jack L. Warner, one of the owners of the Warner studios), Lili Damita (an old friend of Marlene's from Berlin and the wife of Errol Flynn), Claudette Colbert and Dolores del Río (whom Dietrich considered the most beautiful woman of Hollywood). The French singer Edith Piaf was also one of Dietrich's closest friends during her stay in Paris in the 1950s and always rumored something more than friendship between them.
    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.
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  • 1937
    Age 35
    In 1937, her entire salary for Knight Without Armor (450,000) was put into escrow to help the refugees.
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    She refused their offers and applied for US citizenship in 1937.
    More Details Hide Details She returned to Paramount to make Angel (1937), a romantic comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch; the film was poorly received, leading Paramount to buy out the remainder of Dietrich's contract. When film projects at other studios fell through, Dietrich and her family set sail for an extended holiday in Europe. In 1939, with encouragement from Josef von Sternberg, she accepted producer Joe Pasternak's offer—and a significant pay cut—to play against type in her first film in two years: that of the cowboy saloon girl, Frenchie, in the western-comedy Destry Rides Again, opposite James Stewart. Pasternak had tried to sign Marlene to Universal Studios after the release of The Blue Angel. The bawdy role revived her career and "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have", a song she introduced in the film, became a hit when she recorded it for Decca. She played similar types in Seven Sinners (1940)
  • 1932
    Age 30
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Dietrich and Sternberg again collaborated on the romance Blonde Venus (1932), which was a critical and box office disappointment. Dietrich worked without Sternberg for the first time in three years in the romantic drama Song of Songs (1933), playing a naive German peasant, under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian. Dietrich and Sternberg's last two films, The Scarlet Empress (1934) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935)—the most stylized of their collaborations—were their lowest-grossing films. Dietrich later remarked that she was at her most beautiful in The Devil Is a Woman. A crucial part of the overall effect was created by Sternberg's exceptional skill in lighting and photographing Dietrich to optimum effect—the use of light and shadow, including the impact of light passed through a veil or slatted blinds (as for example in Shanghai Express)—which, when combined with scrupulous attention to all aspects of set design and costumes, make this series of films among the most visually stylish in cinema history. Critics still vigorously debate how much of the credit belonged to Sternberg and how much to Dietrich, but most would agree that neither consistently reached such heights again after Paramount fired Sternberg and the two ceased working together. The collaboration of one actress and director creating seven films is still unmatched in cinema history.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1930
    Age 28
    Dietrich starred in six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935.
    More Details Hide Details Sternberg worked effectively with Dietrich to create the image of a glamorous and mysterious femme fatale. He encouraged her to lose weight and coached her intensively as an actress—she, in turn, was willing to trust him and follow his sometimes imperious direction in a way that a number of other performers resisted. Their first American collaboration, Morocco (1930), again cast her as a cabaret singer; the film is best remembered for the sequence in which she performs a song dressed in a man's white tie and kisses another woman, both provocative for the era. The film earned Dietrich her only Academy Award nomination. Morocco was followed by Dishonored (1931), a major success, with Dietrich as a Mata Hari-like spy.
  • 1929
    Age 27
    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).
    More Details Hide Details Josef von Sternberg directed the film and thereafter took credit for having "discovered" Dietrich. The film is also noteworthy for having introduced Dietrich's signature song "Falling in Love Again", which she recorded for Electrola and later made further recordings in the 1930s for Polydor and Decca Records. In 1930, on the strength of The Blue Angel's international success, and with encouragement and promotion from Josef von Sternberg, who was already established in Hollywood, Dietrich moved to the United States under contract to Paramount Pictures. The studio sought to market Dietrich as a German answer to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Swedish sensation, Greta Garbo. Sternberg welcomed her with gifts, including a green Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The car later appeared in their first US film Morocco.
  • 1924
    Age 22
    Her only child, daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber, was born on 13 December 1924.
    More Details Hide Details Dietrich continued to work on stage and in film both in Berlin and Vienna throughout the 1920s. On stage, she had roles of varying importance in Frank Wedekind's Pandora's Box, William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah and Misalliance. It was in musicals and revues, such as Broadway, Es Liegt in der Luft, and Zwei Krawatten, however, that she attracted the most attention. By the late 1920s, Dietrich was also playing sizable parts on screen, including Café Elektric (1927), Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (1928) and Das Schiff der verlorenen Menschen (1929).
  • 1923
    Age 21
    She met her future husband, Rudolf Sieber, on the set of another film made that year, Tragödie der Liebe. Dietrich and Sieber were married in a civil ceremony in Berlin on 17 May 1923.
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  • 1922
    Age 20
    Her earliest professional stage appearances were as a chorus girl on tour with Guido Thielscher's Girl-Kabarett, vaudeville-style entertainments, and in Rudolf Nelson revues in Berlin. In 1922, Dietrich auditioned unsuccessfully for theatrical director and impresario Max Reinhardt's drama academy; however, she soon found herself working in his theatres as a chorus girl and playing small roles in dramas, without attracting any special attention at first.
    More Details Hide Details She made her film debut playing a bit part in the film, The Little Napoleon (1923).
    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.
    More Details Hide Details However, she was fired after only four weeks.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1907
    Age 5
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She studied the violin and became interested in theater and poetry as a teenager.
  • 1901
    Born
    Born on December 27, 1901.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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