Marlene Dietrich

On this date in 1901, entertainer and actress Marlene Dietrich, nee Maria Magdalena Dietrich, was born in Schoneberg, Germany, near Berlin. She became a cabaret singer in the 1920s, worked in silent films, then was typecast as a cabaret singer in the memorable "Blue Angel" (1930), directed by Josef von Sternberg. She was invited to Hollywood, where her first role was opposite Gary Cooper in "Morocco" (1930). She played a prostitute in "Shanghai Express" (1932). For a time, she was Hollywood's most highly-paid actress, although unhappy over the casting. After several failed films, she returned to Europe to work. Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1937. Her comeback came in "Destry Rides Again" (1939) with Jimmy Stewart. A noted critic of Nazism, she toured in arduous conditions with the Allies during WWII and was awarded the U.S. War Department's Medal of Honor in 1947. She worked in nightclubs and Las Vegas, and periodically appeared in films, notably "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961). D. 1992.

"I lost my faith during the war and can't believe they are all up there, flying around or sitting at tables, all those I've lost."

—Marlene Dietrich, cited in Marlene Dietrich Life & Legendby Steven Bach

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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