Marlene (Dietrich) (1901 - 1992)

Marlene Marie Magdalene (Dietrich) Dietrich
1901 - 1992
updated April 13, 2020
Marlene Dietrich, mother to 1 child, was born on December 27, 1901 in Berlin, Berlin Germany. She was born into the Dietrich family and married into the Dietrich family. She had sibling Elisabeth. Marlene married Rudolf Sieber, and they gave birth to Maria Riva. She died on May 6, 1992 in Paris, Île-de-France France at age 90.

Born December 27, 1901 in Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died May 6, 1992 in Paris, France (kidney failure)
Birth Name Marie Magdalene Dietrich
Nickname Lili Marlene
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)
Mini Bio (2)
Her father was a police lieutenant and imbued in her a military attitude to life. Marlene was known in school for her "bedroom eyes" and her first affairs were at this stage in her life - a professor at the school was terminated. She entered the cabaret scene in 1920s Germany, first as a spectator then as a cabaret singer. In 1924, she married and, although she and Rudolf Sieber lived together only 5 years, they remained married until his death. She was in over a dozen silent films in increasingly important roles. In 1929, she was seen in a Berlin cabaret by Josef von Sternberg and, after a screen test, captured the role of the cabaret singer in The Blue Angel (1930) (and became von Sternberg's lover). With the success of this film, von Sternberg immediately took her to Hollywood, introducing her to the world in Morocco (1930), and signing an agreement to produce all her films. A series of successes followed, and Marlene became the highest paid actress of her time, but her later films in the mid-part of the decade were critical and popular failures. She returned to Europe at the end of the decade, with a series of affairs with former leading men (she had a reputation of romancing her co-stars), as well as other prominent artistic figures. In 1939, an offer came to star with James Stewart in a western and, after initial hesitation, she accepted. The film was Destry Rides Again (1939) - the siren of film could also be a comedienne and a remarkable comeback was reality. She toured extensively for the allied effort in WW II (she had become a United States citizen) and, after the war, limited her cinematic life. But a new career as a singer and performer appeared, with reviews and shows in Las Vegas, touring theatricals, and even Broadway. New success was accompanied by a too close acquaintance with alcohol, until falls in her performance eventually resulted in a compound fracture of the leg. Although the last 13 years of her life were spent in seclusion in her apartment in Paris, with the last 12 years in bed, she had withdrawn only from public life and maintained active telephone and correspondence contact with friends and associates.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bruce Cameron
Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch (aka Marlene) was born in Berlin, Germany on December 27, 1901. Her father was an army officer who had served in the Franco-Prussian War. Because of his constant absences from the family due to his army duties, Marlene and the rest had to rely on themselves. When he died, while she was 11, Marlene's mother married Eduard von Losch and he adopted the Dietrich children. Marlene enjoyed music and attended concerts. She was adept at playing the violin and piano. By the time she was in her mid-teens, Marlene had discovered the stage. Acting was to be her vocation. In 1921, Marlene applied for an acting school run by Max Reinhardt. She was accepted. She appeared in several stage production, but never had more than a couple of spoken lines. In short, she wasn't setting the stage world on fire. She attempted films for the first time in 1922 Her first film was The Little Napoleon (1923) which was followed by Love Tragedy (1923). On this last project, she met Rudolf Sieber and married him in 1924. The union lasted until his death in 1976 although they didn't live together that whole time. The remainder of her early film career was generally filled with bit roles that never amounted to a whole lot. After being seen in the German production of The Blue Angel (1930) in 1930, Marlene was given a crack at Hollywood. Her first US film was Morocco (1930) with Gary Cooper later that year followed, by Dishonored (1931) in 1931. This latter movie had her cast as a street walker who is appointed a spy. The film was a rather boring affair but was a success because of Marlene's presence. Movie goers were simply attracted to her. In 1932, Marlene filmed Shanghai Express (1932) which proved to be immensely popular raking in $3 million. Once again, she was cast as a prostitute. The next film was Blonde Venus (1932) which turned out to be a horrible production. Her co-star was Cary Grant and once again she was cast as a prostitute. Marlene seemed to be typecast as a woman of low morals and she wanted different parts. Some films such as Desire (1936) in 1936 didn't do that but she wanted to expand. Her chance came in 1939 in Destry Rides Again (1939) when she was cast as "Frenchy", a Western saloon hostess. This began a new direction for Marlene since it shed the typecasting which she was forced to endure during her career. All through the 1940s, she appeared in well-produced, well-directed films such as Manpower (1942), The Spoilers (1942), The Lady Is Willing (1942) and Pittsburgh (1942) all in 1942. Afterwards the roles came fewer, perhaps one to two films every year. In 1945, Marlene didn't appear in any. She only made seven productions in the 1950's. Her last role of any substance was Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) in 1961. Despite the lack of theatrical roles, Marlene still made appearances on the stage. However, by 1979, she was a shell of her former self. After breaking her leg in one performance, she never made a go of it in show business again. Spending the last 12 years of her life bed-ridden, Marlene died on May 6, 1992 in Paris, France of natural causes at the age of 90.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (1)
Rudolf Sieber (17 May 1924 - 24 June 1976) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Trade Mark (5)
Low and sensual voice
Wearing tuxedoes, men's hats, and men's tailored suits
Her legs
Aura of glamour and luxury
Her signature scent was Bandit by Robert Piguet
Trivia (42)
Received the U.S. War Department's 'Medal of Freedom', in 1947, for entertaining American troops in WWII and her strong stand against Naziism.
Was made a Chevaliere of the Legion by France.
Born at 9:15pm-CET
Her estate, consisting of about 300.000 pieces, was bid for 8 million German marks by the city of Berlin, Germany.
Interred at Friedhof III, Berlin-Friedenau, Germany.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#60). [1995]
Gave birth to her only child at age 22, a daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber (aka Maria Riva) on December 13, 1924. Child's father was her husband, Rudolf Sieber.
Marlene's father was Lt. Louis Erich Otto Dietrich, who died when she was very young. Her mother remarried to Colonel Eduard von Losch, who was killed in WWI.
Her father, a Berlin police lieutenant, died after he fell off a horse when she was ten years old.
She sucked lemon wedges between takes to keep her mouth muscles tight.
Never worked without a mirror on the set so she could constantly check her makeup and hair.
Her make-up man said she kissed so hard that she needed a new coat of lipstick after every kiss.
In a posthumous gift of forgiveness, she left her vast collection of memorabilia to the city of Berlin.
She demanded that Max Factor sprinkle half an ounce of real gold dust into her wigs to add glitter to her tresses during filming.
She prided herself on the fact that she had slept with three men of the Kennedy clan - Joseph P. Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and John F. Kennedy.
Marlene suffered from bacilophobia, the fear of germs.
Fell and broke her left leg at her last ever last stage appearance in Sydney, Australia, September 1975.
Became an American citizen on March 6, 1937.
Ten years after her death, Berlin - the city of Dietrich's birth which she shunned for most of her life - declared her an honorary citizen. On April 18, 2002, the city's legislature bestowed honor on her as "an ambassador for a democratic, freedom-loving and humane Germany." The declaration hoped this "would symbolize the city of Berlin's reconciliation with her."
Appears on the sleeve of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
She thought of feet to be the ugliest part of the human body, and therefore always tried to hide them in one way or another
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Marlene Marie Magdalene (Dietrich) Dietrich Biography

Vital facts & highlights of Marlene's life to share with the world.

Marlene Dietrich
Most commonly known name
Female
Gender
Marlene
First name
Marie Magdalene
Middle name
Dietrich
Maiden name
Dietrich
Last name(s)
Marlene Dietrich
Nickname(s) or aliases
Unknown. Did Marlene move a lot? Where was her last known location?
Last known residence
Marlene Dietrich was born on in Berlin, Berlin Germany
Birth
Marlene Dietrich died on in Paris, Paris County, Île-de-France France
Death
Marlene Dietrich was born on in Berlin, Berlin Germany
Marlene Dietrich died on in Paris, Paris County, Île-de-France France
Birth
Death
There is no cause of death listed for Marlene.
Cause of death
at Friedhof Stubenrauchstraße, in Berlin, Berlin Germany 12161
Burial / Funeral

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Nationality & Locations Lived

Unknown

Religion

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Education

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Professions

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Personal Life & Organizations

1. Marlene the Patriot
Dietrich had an impressive, lifelong career as an Academy Award-nominated actress, singer and entertainer. Although she began performing in small, vaudeville skits in Berlin, she would eventually move onto a career in the theater and later the silver screen.

After moving to Hollywood in 1930, she became incredibly popular in American films alongside famous actors such as James Stewart, John Wayne and Fred MacMurray. When the United States entered World War II, Dietrich was one of the first celebrities to join the American war effort. She quickly went on tour across the United States selling war bonds and campaigning for support of the troops among the people at home.

2. Marlene the Spy

Marlene Dietrich poses on a tank while in uniform. | Photo credit Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

In 1937, Dietrich – who was then a German citizen – was approached by Nazi representatives and asked to star in propaganda films for the Third Reich. Supposedly, Adolf Hitler himself personally requested that she support the cause. Dietrich, who was staunchly anti-Nazi, refused. Two years later, she renounced her German citizenship and applied for U.S. citizenship – and the Nazis branded her as a traitor. In British wartime radio broadcasts sent over German airwaves, Dietrich spoke directly to her former countrymen: “Hitler is an idiot.”

Dietrich also worked with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.), the predecessor of today’s CIA, to record a series of anti-Nazi albums, using propaganda to weaken the morale of Nazi troops. The broadcasts of these songs and interviews were meant to create tension between the Axis Powers. The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey “discovered that the programs were just as devastating to German morale as an air raid.” As these broadcasts continued, more and more Germans and Italians began to doubt Nazi and fascist propaganda, and despite Nazi efforts to outlaw the albums, Dietrich’s “Lili Marlene” song was a hit among Nazi

Military Service

She entertained the Allied Troops in dangerous places.
3. Marlene the USO Entertainer
Dietrich was determined to support American troops and was one of many women in World War II to do so on a USO tour. However, Marlene went above and beyond her peers, showing a true commitment to “her boys” by traveling right to the front lines to perform. Her fellow performers joked that “she was always trying to get us killed.”

Dietrich went on two USO tours during World War II, traveling first to North Africa and Italy, where she was the first entertainer to reach rescued Allied soldiers in Anzio, and then later to France and Germany, with this second tour lasting 11 months, beginning just on the heels of D-Day. Her performances in the now-famous USO Camp Shows involved singing, dancing and a comedy routine with a musical saw, and she usually left Allied troops in fits of laughter.
She fought off bouts of influenza, slept in tents and suffered from frostbite, but in the end, Dietrich put on more than 500 performances for Allied troops throughout the war, many of which were on the front lines. When asked why she risked her life to support American soldiers, she responded, “aus Anstand – Out of decency.”

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Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
Actress
Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German actress and singer who held both German and American citizenship.
Born: December 27, 1901, Schöneberg, Germany
Died: May 6, 1992, Paris, France
Height: 5′ 6″
Full name: Marie Magdalene Dietrich

Quotes
Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.
Most women set out to try to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.
The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong.
Jul 30, 2017 · Reply
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
The only show-business friend she ever had was Mae West. However, they never saw one another outside the Paramount lot.
Proficient on the musical saw.
She was voted the 43rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Won a Special Tony Award in 1968.
Was named #9 Actress on The AFI 50 Greatest Screen Legends
First German actress to be Oscar-nominated.
Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"
She spent her last decade in her apartment on the avenue Montaigne in Paris, during which time she was not seen in public but was a prolific letter-writer and phone-caller. In 1984, Academy Award winning actor Maximilian Schell persuaded her to be interviewed for a documentary, but she did not appear on screen.
According to daughter Maria Riva, Dietrich had a long-standing dislike of actress Loretta Young.
In Italian films, she was dubbed by either Lydia Simoneschi, Tina Lattanzi or Andreina Pagnani.
Interviewed in "Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember" by Stuart Oderman (BearManor Media).
Grandmother of production designer J. Michael Riva.
Lived out her life in apartment #12E at 993 Park Avenue in Manhattan where Jamie Lee Curtis had earlier stayed with then fiance J. Michael Riva (Dietrich's grandson) during the Trading Places (1983) shoot.
Was considered for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) after Claudette Colbert was forced to pull out of the project due to back injury. However the part was given to Bette Davis, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.
Campaigned for the role of Mama Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948) but Irene Dunne, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Berlin has a street, Marlene Dietrich Platz.
She turned down the role of Charlie in Station West (1948). The part went to Jane Greer.
Became pregnant in 1938 as a result of an affair with James Stewart during the filming of Destry Rides Again (1939) but she underwent an abortion. Stewart did not even know she was pregnant.
Noël Coward (1899-1973) and Marlene Dietrich (1904-1992), the German-born American film and cabaret star, had become, and remained, close friends since their first conversation - by transatlantic telephone - in 1935.
The original "One Touch of Venus" Broadway musical production opened at the Imperial Theatre on October 7, 1943, closed on February 10, 1945 after 567 performances. "One Touch of Venus" with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ogden Nash, directed by Ilia Kazan, featured choreography by Agnes de Mille, starred Mary Martin, Kenny Baker and Paula Laurence. The role of Venus was to have starred Marlene Dietrich. Reportedly Dietrich backed out of the title role during rehearsals, calling it "too sexy and profane," which gave Mary Martin the opportunity to establish herself as a Broadway star. The show satirizes contemporary American suburban values, artistic fads and romantic and sexual mores. Weill had been in America for eight years by the time he wrote this musical, and his music, though retaining his early haunting power, had evolved into a very different Broadway style. The book musical by S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash was based on the novella "The Tinted Venus" by Thomas Amstey Guthrie, and very loosely spoofing the Pygmalion myth.
Was in four Oscar Best Picture nominees: Shanghai Express (1932), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), with Around the World in 80 Days the only winner.
Personal Quotes (65)
[on The Blue Angel (1930), German-language version of The Blue Angel (1930)] I thought everything we were doing was awful. They kept a camera pointed here [at my groin]. I was so young and dumb.
I am not a myth.
I never enjoyed working in a film.
[in 1964] I had no desire to be a film actress, to always play somebody else, to be beautiful with somebody constantly straightening out your every eyelash. It was always a big bother to me.
In Europe, it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman - we make love with anyone we find attractive.
A country without bordellos is like a house without bathrooms.
To be completely a woman you need a master, and in him a compass for your life. You need a man you can look up to and respect. If you dethrone him it's no wonder that you are discontented, and discontented women are not loved for long.
The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong.
Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
I am at heart, a gentleman
When you're dead, you're dead. That's it.
Careful grooming may take twenty years off a woman's age, but you can't fool a flight of stairs.
I'm not an actress -- I'm a personality.
Sex is much better with a woman, but then one can't live with a woman!
[on Loretta Young] Every time she "sins", she builds a church. That's why there are so many Catholic churches in Hollywood.
Most women set out to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.
I have a child and I have made a few people happy. That is all.
The relationship between the make-up man and the film actor is that of accomplices in crime.
There is a lack of dignity to film stardom.
I never ever took my career seriously.
I was an actress. I made films. Finish.
Gary Cooper was neither intelligent nor cultured. Just like the other actors, he was chosen for his physique, which, after all, was more important than an active brain.
Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.
[on Anna Magnani] A force of nature.
[on Hildegard Knef] She's Mother Courage.
The legs aren't so beautiful. I just know what to do with them.
[on Cary Grant] The champion.
[In 1972, about Liza Minnelli] I'm annoyed when people keep comparing her to her mother [Judy Garland]. She's nothing to do with her mother. She's a completely different woman. The film Cabaret (1972) is a great hit for her and that's all one wants.
[on Orson Welles] You should cross yourself when you say his name.
The diaphragm is the greatest invention since Pan-Cake makeup.
Once a woman has forgiven a man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.
In America, sex is an obsession, in other parts of the world it's a fact.
If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.
]on Rock Hudson] He was one of the gentlest, kindest men in Hollywood--and all those journalists should burn in Hell for the bile they printed about him when he died.
[on reading] I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizedly wiser than oneself.
[when Paramount bought the rights to the book, 'Mommie Dearest'] I am shocked that Paramount bought that filthy book and made the frightful bitch who wrote it rich, and that rhymes. I did not know Joan Crawford but nobody deserves that kind of slaughter. Too bad she did not leave her where she found her, so she could now spit her poison in the slums of some big city. I hate her with a passion and I know the public will.
[on audiences at her nightclub performances] They spoil you. They love you. Of course, I do a different kind of show in Las Vegas. They want more emphasis on sex. In London and the rest of Europe I can sing French and German songs, as well as English. There's more scope for me. But I enjoy nightclub work, wherever it is.
[on Orson Welles] When I talk with him, I feel like a tree that has been watered.
[on her preference for trousers] They are so comfortable. It takes too much time to be a well-dressed woman. I have watched others. Bags, shoes, hats. They must think of them all the time. I cannot waste that time.
Ernest Hemingway is the most positive life force I have ever encountered. I hate anything negative, and I hate waste. In Hemingway, nothing is wasted.
[after returning to West Germany in 1960] The Germans and I no longer speak the same language.
[during the war] [Adolf Hitler] is an idiot.
[1969] Surely I'm anti-war. I don't think there's anybody that is for war - I mean women. Maybe generals are for war. Professional soldiers might be, I don't know. But I have never found a woman who is for war and naturally I'm against war. I think if you're being attacked you have to have answer back, you must defend yourself... I'm against war that goes and fights in some unknown land. I'm against that very much.
Magazines - the biggest myth creators of all! You must never, ever read American magazines. And if you're sitting in a waiting room and can't help it - don't believe a word of any of them.
[1969, when asked how she relaxes] I don't think I do. You see in our language, in German or in French, there is no such word as relax. This is an American invention. We don't have a feeling like the American has, now it's 07:00 or something and I have to have a drink and relax. It's not a necessity in Europe. He drinks because he likes to drink.
[1969, when asked if she thought the nature of love had changed over the years] I think the real love has not changed at all. If people call all sorts of relationships love, they know themselves it isn't so but they say it in order to make it valuable. In order to make it allowed. You know, when a girl says, but I love him, in order to say that's why I live with him. That's not necessarily so because the real love has not changed and the one great love that will never change is mother love.
[on her life as a star] Do you think this is glamorous? That this is a great life, and that I do it for my health? Well, it isn't. It's hard work. And who would work if they didn't have to? I work because I pay away in taxes to the American Government 88 cents out of each dollar I earn. Everybody in America works today. You have to. Oh - know, I could live tucked away out of sight in some Swiss chalet - but why should I? I am an American citizen, and proud to be so. I enjoy living in that country and one pays for one's pleasures. So I work. And as long as people want me, and I have them eating out of my hands, I shall continue to do so.
[1969] I have never used my body. I have played roles where the legs were used and the body was used but in life, I have never done that.
[on English audiences] They are marvelous and warm. People say the English are so unemotional, but this is untrue. At least I never find them so. To me, they are the most emotional, and also the most un-phoney people I know. And as I am that way too we get along just fine together. I think also the English like me because they know that I do not take myself seriously, and that the whole thing is a joke, and that I am laughing at myself all the time. And when I laugh, they laugh. This is fun. We understand each other so well.
[1969] I've always liked Texas because I met all the Texans in the war, 36th division. We always adored them because they were so terribly conceited being Texans. When they took a little village and set up school, they told everybody that Texas was the capital of the United States.
Stupid people annoy me. There are fans of mine who worship and idolize me, and who are in awe of me. They are stupid people. Who am I to be held in awe? What have I accomplished? If one is to be in awe of anyone, let it be a doctor or a brilliant scientist. Not a performer. I could never be friends with anyone who is stupid enough to worship me.
I am a unique performer and my audience realize this. I mean, who else is there doing what I am doing today?
[1960s, when asked if the tag "sex goddess" annoyed her] You mean like Marilyn Monroe? I'm no sex goddess and I never have been. Not in the '30s - and not now. And I don't get annoyed, no, simply because one comes to expect people to confuse glamour with sex, which is a different thing altogether. This is the price one pays for being famous.
[1963, when asked why, at age 61, she continued to act] For the money. What else for?
[1969, on attitude] I do think it's rather stupid to be nonchalant. I think one should be full of enthusiasm for everything that happens if one considers it to be worthy of enthusiasm.
[1960s, when asked what she would do if she inherited a couple of million pounds the following day] What would I do? I'd retire. On the spot. No more work. I have an awful lot of private life to catch up on, which, at this rate, I don't think will be possible. When you're in the public eye as conspicuously as I am, it is conceivable to maintain a private life - but the trouble is you can only devote half your time to it. My private life, which no one knows anything about, nor ever will, needs more than just half my time if it is to be a success.
I do not change my face for my public. I have not tried to create an image or a myth about myself; I am as quiet and placid off-stage as I am when the bright lights are on me. No temperaments, no periods of dark, gloomy despair and pessimism. I am easy-going and the only thing I cannot stand is stupidity - in any form.
[1969] This secret of all performing is that you have to be able to concentrate at such an extent that everybody who is listening to you has no other thoughts. It's particularly difficult with songs because I sing in many different languages and all the people don't understand what I'm saying. You still have to keep them in trance and I'm really happy that I'm able to do that.
[1969] America has a youth complex. In particular with me, they adore to make me older and I don't see why they should do that because it's bad enough as it is, but maybe it looks better in print if I'm a hundred and two and I still walk on the stage and I'm not on crutches. It becomes rather thick but youth cult is quite bad. You don't have that in Europe at all because I think it is because America still thinks that it's a young nation. I don't think it is. It should stop that. I think they have been young long enough. They should grow up.
You can be good in a play that is bad and the whole thing flops. It is just not worth the effort or the heartbreak. I am not a brave or courageous woman. I prefer to do what I know is safe.
[on her appeal among audiences] It is not nostalgia. Three-quarters of my audience are young people who cannot possibly be nostalgic simply because the mood I create is of a period most of them have not lived in. Besides, the songs that seem to go down best are the newer ones - that is, when I can find new songs good enough to sing.
[1969] I think if you have any sort of intelligence you can't succumb to adoration because people adore so many things. They also adore things that you think quite worthless so you can't take it too seriously.
[1960s, when asked about the secret of her success] Secret? No secret at all. I work hard, that is all. People say that I have some sort of "quality" - well, maybe I have. How am I to know that? All I know is that I walk onto a stage, stand still, and sing. I think it is Dietrich the woman they like - rather than Dietrich the singer. They pay to see me for what I am.
[1969] Success in America means a lot to a man and it means a lot to his wife and family. There is a general belief that success is synonymous with happiness. Well, it doesn't, as you know, they don't go together at all. The American is striving for success and works much too hard in order to get, whatever, a little more money or a raise or something. He loses out on all the pleasures of life because of that. In Europe they have a car, they have it 15 years and they polish it and they wash it and they love it but here people don't love their cars because they know next year they are going to get another one. And then everything is on credit. They don't own it and then you buy many more things than you need because it's on credit and it doesn't bring them happiness. It just doesn't. Possessions do not make you happy.
If I dressed for myself, I wouldn't bother at all. Clothes bore me. I'd wear jeans. I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.
Apr 30, 2018 · Reply
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.4k+ favorites
I met her several times. She was very kind and generous to me. I will love her and appreciate her until I die.
Apr 13 · Reply

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Berlin is marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Germany's first worldwide star Marlene Dietrich. The screen icon died ten years ago, hating her home town of Berlin because many there had treated her as a traitor. But the city has still pulled out all the stops to mark what would have been her 100th birthday today, December 27, 2001. Musical galas, film tributes and television documentaries all honor the sultry star who enchanted film, theatre and nightclub audiences in career spanning more than 40 years. Berlin's Film Museum is staging a special exhibition on the diva, titled "Forever Young" - and showing never-before-seen private films of the late star. The effort is echoed by other Dietrich shows at the Schoeneberg district hall and the city's Gay Museum. On Friday, stars including German chanteuse Ute Lemper will perform personal interpretations of Dietrich classics at the Friedrichstadtpalast show hall. Wreaths from President Johannes Rau and the city government were laid in a ceremony at Dietrich's grave in the Friedenau cemetery in the German capital, where she was born named Maria Magdalene von Losch in 1901. Rau sent a message stressing her commitment to "democracy and freedom in Germany" during the Nazi era. The Berlin mayor's chief of staff Andre Schmitz marked the anniversary by asking forgiveness for a hostile reception Dietrich received in 1960, reflecting bitterness at the star's support for the Allies during World War II and her failure to return home after the war. Bomb threats, picket signs reading "Marlene Go Home" and editorials calling her a "traitor" led the actress to swear she would never return to Germany. The actress began her career in the 1920s, singing in local theatres and performing as a small time actress, forming her style in Berlin's decadent pre-nazi film and theatre scene. Her breakthrough came in 1930 with Josef von Sternberg's film 'Der Blaue Engel' (The Blue Angel). The vampish role as cabaret singer Lola-Lola, shot in English and German, is considered her signature performance, and launched her career. A move to Hollywood followed, where her husky voice, high cheekbones and long legs made her famous and lit up cinema screens for decades. She became a worldwide star in the film 'Morocco', playing opposite Gary Cooper. Other films of her heydey include 'Shanghai Express', 'Blonde Venus', 'The Song of Songs', 'The Devil is a Woman', 'Desire' and 'Destry Rides Again' - all honing an exotic style now adored by drag acts and female impersonators. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in the late 1930s, and consistently refused urges by Hitler's Nazis to return to Germany. She sang for American troops as they fought her countrymen. "She didn't betray the real Germany by doing that," Schmitz said. Dietrich only went back to Germany twice after the war - once in 1947, then again in 1960 for a concert tour. On the second visit, she was met with scattered protests, with some demonstrators spitting at her, and calling her a slut. The star became a recluse in the last decades of her life, dying in Paris in 1992 aged 90. She was buried in Berlin next to the grave of her mother, Josefine. The ceremony was marked by controversy and an official civic ceremony was cancelled because of the lingering resentment. Dietrich's grave has been desecrated at times by vandals. Still, the bittersweet relationship between Dietrich and Berlin - whose tourist office now describes her as "perhaps the most famous Berliner" - didn't end with her death. Only after years of debate did city officials in 1997 approve a plan to name a square after her. The Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, in the new Potsdamer Platz complex, was named after the actress's native Schoeneberg neighborhood failed in a five-year struggle to agree on a suitable site. Some Schoeneberg residents, still bitter over Dietrich's support for the Allies in World War II, had opposed any recognition for her in Berlin. Businesses on the proposed street also didn't want the costs of changing their mailing address.

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1901 - 1992 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Marlene's lifetime

In 1901, in the year that Marlene Dietrich was born, Edward VII succeeded Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria of England had become Queen in 1837 and reigned until her death in 1901. Her 63 year reign was the longest in history prior to Elizabeth II who recently broke her record. The time during which she led the country was known as the Victorian era and she presided over great changes in the United Kingdom, including the expansion of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution.

In 1913, when she was only 12 years old, Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States in March. Previously the Governor of New Jersey and President of Princeton University, he was the first Southerner to serve as President since Zachary Taylor, over 60 years previous. A Democrat, he led the U.S. during World War I and championed the League of Nations.

In 1950, when she was 49 years old, in February, Joe McCarthy gave a speech alleging that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who worked in the State Department. He went on to chair a committee that investigated not only the State Department but also the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the U.S. Army for communist spies - until he was condemned by the U.S. Senate in 1954.

In 1964, at the age of 63 years old, Marlene was alive when on June 11th, activist Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa for conspiring to overthrow the state (because of his numerous anti-apartheid activities). He served 27 years in prison.

In 1992, in the year of Marlene Dietrich's passing, on February 1st, US President George Bush and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia jointly announced an end to the Cold War, proclaiming a new era of "friendship and partnership". At Camp David in Maryland, they reviewed ways to jointly reduce nuclear arms and support reforms in Russia but no agreement was reached at that meeting.

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Oct 31, 1963 - Feb 23, 2009
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Mar 30, 1850 - May 6, 1919
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May 23, 1897 - March 1985
Jun 18, 1930 - Dec 1, 1998
Jul 27, 1898 - September 1981
Mar 2, 1894 - February 1974
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c. 1825 - Sep 24, 1893
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