88 Facts About Marlene Dietrich


Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German and American actress and singer whose career spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s.


In 1920s Berlin, Dietrich performed on the stage and in silent films.


Marlene Dietrich starred in many Hollywood films, including six iconic roles directed by Sternberg: Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express and Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman, Desire, and Destry Rides Again.


Marlene Dietrich successfully traded on her glamorous persona and exotic looks, and became one of the era's highest-paid actresses.


Marlene Dietrich was known for her humanitarian efforts during World War II, housing German and French exiles, providing financial support and even advocating their American citizenship.


Marlene Dietrich's father, Louis Erich Otto Dietrich, was a police lieutenant.


Marlene Dietrich had one sibling, Elisabeth, who was one year older.


Marlene Dietrich attended the Auguste-Viktoria Girls' School from 1907 to 1917 and graduated from the Victoria-Luise-Schule in Berlin-Wilmersdorf in 1918.


Marlene Dietrich studied the violin and became interested in theater and poetry as a teenager.


The earliest professional stage appearances by Marlene Dietrich 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, Marlene 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.


Marlene Dietrich's film debut was a small part in the film The Little Napoleon.


Marlene Dietrich met her future husband Rudolf Sieber on the set of Tragedy of Love in 1923.


Marlene Dietrich's only child, daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber, was born on 13 December 1924.


Marlene Dietrich continued to work on stage and in film both in Berlin and Vienna throughout the 1920s.


In 1929, Marlene Dietrich landed her breakthrough role of Lola-Lola, a cabaret singer who caused the downfall of a hitherto respectable schoolmaster, in the UFA production of The Blue Angel shot at Babelsberg film studios.


Marlene Dietrich 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 established in Hollywood, Marlene Dietrich moved to the United States under contract to Paramount Pictures, the US film distributor of The Blue Angel.


Marlene Dietrich starred in six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935.


Von Sternberg worked effectively with Marlene Dietrich to create the image of a glamorous and mysterious femme fatale.


Marlene Dietrich encouraged her to lose weight and coached her intensively as an actress.


Marlene Dietrich willingly followed his, sometimes imperious, direction in a way that a number of other performers resisted.


In Morocco with Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich was again cast as a cabaret singer.


Morocco was followed by Dishonored with Victor McLaglen, a major success with Marlene Dietrich cast as a Mata Hari-like spy.


Marlene Dietrich worked without von Sternberg for the first time in three years in the romantic drama Song of Songs, playing a naive German peasant, under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian.


Marlene Dietrich later remarked that she was at her most beautiful in The Devil Is a Woman.


Marlene Dietrich had a signature use of light and shadow, including the impact of light passed through a veil or slatted window blinds.


Marlene Dietrich refused their offers and applied for US citizenship in 1937.


Marlene Dietrich returned to Paramount to make Angel, another romantic comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch; the film was poorly received, leading Paramount to buy out the remainder of Dietrich's contract.


Marlene Dietrich played similar types in Seven Sinners and The Spoilers, both with John Wayne.


Marlene Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and the mind to speak them.


In December 1941, the US entered World War II, and Marlene Dietrich became one of the first public figures to help sell war bonds.


Marlene Dietrich toured the US from January 1942 to September 1943 and was reported to have sold more war bonds than any other star.


Marlene Dietrich would inform the audience that she could read minds and ask them to concentrate on whatever came into their minds.


At the war's end in Europe, Marlene Dietrich reunited with her sister Elisabeth and her sister's husband and son.


Marlene Dietrich's mother remained in Berlin during the war; her husband moved to a ranch in the San Fernando Valley of California.


Marlene Dietrich vouched for her sister and her sister's husband, sheltering them from possible prosecution as Nazi collaborators.


However, Marlene Dietrich later omitted 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.


Marlene Dietrich received the Medal of Freedom in November 1947, for her "extraordinary record entertaining troops overseas during the war".


Marlene Dietrich was awarded the Legion d'honneur by the French government for her wartime work.


Marlene Dietrich appeared in Orson Welles's Touch of Evil.


Marlene Dietrich had a kind of platonic love for Welles, whom she considered a genius.


Marlene Dietrich cut the ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of the Paris Theater in New York City in 1948.


In 1953, Marlene Dietrich was offered $30,000 per week to appear live at the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.


Marlene 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.


Marlene Dietrich's repertoire included songs from her films as well as popular songs of the day.


Marlene Dietrich had become so indispensable to me that, without him, I no longer took much joy in singing.


Marlene Dietrich often performed 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.


Marlene Dietrich was left emotionally drained by the hostility she encountered, and she left convinced never to visit again.


Marlene Dietrich 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.


Marlene Dietrich 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".


Marlene Dietrich performed on Broadway twice and received a Special Tony Award in 1968.


In November 1972, I Wish You Love, a version of Dietrich's Broadway show titled An Evening with Marlene Dietrich, was filmed in London.


Marlene Dietrich was paid $250,000 for her cooperation but was unhappy with the result.


Marlene Dietrich continued with a busy performance schedule until September 1975.


Marlene Dietrich's show business career largely ended on 29 September 1975, when she fell from the stage and broke a thigh bone during a performance in Sydney, Australia.


Marlene Dietrich's final on-camera film appearance was a brief appearance in Just a Gigolo, starring David Bowie and directed by David Hemmings, in which she sang the title song.


Marlene Dietrich's autobiography, was published in 1979.


In 1982, Dietrich agreed to participate in a documentary film about her life, Marlene, but refused to be filmed.


In 1988, Marlene Dietrich recorded spoken introductions to songs for a nostalgia album by Udo Lindenberg.


Marlene Dietrich kept in contact with world leaders by telephone, including Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Margaret Thatcher, running up a monthly bill of over US$3,000.


On 6 May 1992, Marlene Dietrich died of kidney failure at her flat in Paris at age 90.


Marlene Dietrich's funeral was a requiem mass conducted at the Roman Catholic church of in Paris on 14 May 1992.


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 Marlene Dietrich embodied in her career as an actress, and in her personal fight against Nazism.


Marlene Dietrich's body was flown there to fulfill her wish on 16 May 1992.


Marlene Dietrich was interred at the Stadtischer Friedhof III, Schoneberg, close by the grave of her mother Josefine von Losch, and near the house where she was born.


The Marlene Dietrich Collection was sold to the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek for US$5 million, by Dietrich's heirs.


Marlene Dietrich, who was bisexual, enjoyed the thriving gay bars and drag balls of 1920s Berlin.


Marlene Dietrich defied conventional gender roles through her boxing at Turkish trainer and prizefighter Sabri Mahir's boxing studio in Berlin, which opened to women in the late 1920s.


In May 1923 Marlene Dietrich married assistant director Rudolf Sieber, who later became an assistant director at Paramount Pictures in France, responsible for foreign language dubbing.


When Maria gave birth to a son in 1948, Marlene Dietrich was dubbed "the world's most glamorous grandmother".


When Marlene Dietrich arrived in Hollywood and filmed Morocco, she had an affair with Gary Cooper, even though he was having another affair with Mexican actress Lupe Velez.


In 1938, Marlene Dietrich met and began a relationship with writer Erich Maria Remarque, and in 1941, the French actor Jean Gabin.


In Paris, Marlene Dietrich had an affair with Suzanne Baule, known as Frede, a coach and cabaret hostess whom she met in 1936 at the Monocle, a women's nightclub on Boulevard Edgar-Quinet in Paris.


When Marlene Dietrich was in her 50s she had a relationship with actor Yul Brynner, which lasted more than a decade.


Marlene Dietrich's lovers included Errol Flynn, George Bernard Shaw, John F Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Frank Sinatra.


Marlene Dietrich maintained her husband and his mistress first in Europe and later on a ranch in the San Fernando Valley, near Hollywood.


Marlene Dietrich was raised in the German Lutheran tradition of Christianity, but she abandoned it as a result of her experiences as a teenager during World War I, after hearing preachers from both sides invoking God as their support.


Marlene Dietrich was an icon to fashion designers and screen stars.


Edith Head remarked that Marlene Dietrich knew more about fashion than any other actress.


The main-belt asteroid 1010 Marlene Dietrich, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg Observatory in 1923, was named in her honor.


For some Germans, Marlene Dietrich remained a controversial figure for having sided with the Allies during World War II.


Marlene Dietrich was made an honorary citizen of Berlin on 16 May 2002.


Marlene Dietrich has been quoted as saying this was the honor of which she was most proud in her life.


Marlene Dietrich is the inspiration for the song "Blue Heaven" from Public Service Broadcasting's 2021 album Bright Magic and the 2021 Black Midi album Cavalcade contains the song 'Marlene Dietrich'.


Marlene Dietrich made several appearances on Armed Forces Radio Services shows like The Army Hour and Command Performance during the war years.


Marlene Dietrich recorded 94 short inserts, "Dietrich Talks on Love and Life", for NBC's Monitor in 1958.


Marlene Dietrich gave many radio interviews worldwide on her concert tours.