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Marlene Dietrich

Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich (December 27, 1901-May 6, 1992) was a German actress and singer.

Born in Berlin, Dietrich played the violin before joining an acting school 1921, making her film debut the following year. After playing in German movies only at first, she got her first role in a Hollywood movie in 1930, Morocco[?] (for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress), after her role in the German movie The Blue Angel.

Often playing a "femme fatale", Dietrich played in several successful movies until the 1950s, including Shanghai Express, Destry Rides Again, Foreign Affair[?], and Witness for the Prosecution.

Dietrich sang in several of her films (most famously in Josef von Sternberg[?]'s The Blue Angel, in which she sings "Falling In Love Again"), having made records in Germany in the 1920s. Following a slow-down in her film career, she made a number of records first for Decca and later for Columbia.

Dietrich was known to have a strong set of political convictions and a mind to speak them. She was a staunch anti-Nazi, seriously disliked Germany's anti-semitic policies of the time. Her singing helped here too, as she recorded a number of anti-Nazi records in German.

She's also famous for having recorded Lili Marleen during World War II, a curious example of song transcending the hatreds of war.

Dietrich was a model for which later stars would follow. Her public image and some of her movies included strong sexual undertones including bisexuality.

Despite all of this, she was reportedly offered a kings ransom to return to Germany, possibly due to her immense popularity. Which she declined. Other sources report that she quipped that she would return only when one of her Jewish friends (possibly Max Reinhardt) could accompany her.

Dietrich died at the age of 90 in Paris, of kidney failure. Her body was returned to Berlin, Germany where she was interred in the Freidenau Cemetery.


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