Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

Additional Names: Marie Magdalene Dietrich (Geburtsname)
Darstellerin
*27.12.1901 Berlin; †06.05.1992 Paris, Frankreich

Biography

Maria Magdalena Dietrich was born on December 27, 1901 in Berlin-Schöneberg as the second daughter of a police officer. She learned to play the violin during her school time and studied at the Weimar music academy from 1919 to 1921 before she went to Berlin. But when carpal tunnel syndrome cut short her career as a musician, Dietrich started to work as a model and attended Max Reinhardt's drama school. She already performed in very small roles at several theatres during actor's training.

In 1922, Dietrich starred in her first film, "So sind die Männer" ("The Little Napoleon"), and became known to a wider public after playing a courtroom visitor heavily flirting with the proscutor in Joe May's four-part movie "Tragödie der Liebe" ("Tragedy of Love"). On May 17, 1923, Dietrich married Rudolf Emilian Sieber and gave birth to her daughter Maria in 1924.

In 1925, she returned back to work in the film business, starred in several comedies and revues in Berlin and flirted her way through several smaller roles in a number of silent movies. In "Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame" ("I Kiss Your Hand Madame"), the first sound film producton by Tobis, Dietrich appeared alongside Harry Liedtke. In Kurt Bernhardt's melodrama "Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt" ("The Woman Men Yearn For"), Dietrich finally starred in her first title role.

Dietrich then played in the successful revue "Zwei Krawatten" at Berliner Theater alongside main protagonist Hans Albers as waiter Jean. Director Josef von Sternberg, who at the time was looking for a leading actress for his adaptation of Heinrich Mann's novel, saw Dietrich in "Zwei Krawatten" and eventually cast her for the role of Lola Lola in "Der blaue Engel" ("The Blue Angel"). In February of 1930, Dietrich signed a contract with Paramount and left Berlin on the day of the premiere of "Der blaue Engel".

In Hollywood, Dietrich starred in six films directed by Josef von Sternberg and thus became an international movie star: the desert melodrama "Morocco", starring Gary Cooper, the spy film "Dishonored", the railroad adventure film "Shanghai Express", starring Clive Brook and Anna May Wong, "Blonde Venus", starring Herbert Marshall, "The Scarlet Empress", and "The Devil Is a Woman". "Desire" (1936), produced by Ernst Lubitsch, was Dietrich's last film to be shown in Nazi Germany.

But when an American newspaper article labeled her, Greta Garbo, and several other actresses, as "box office failures", Dietrich considered to leave Hollywood altogether - instead Josef von Sternberg persuaded her to take Joe Pasternak's offer to play the leading role in the turbulent western comedy "Destry Rides Again". The film's success helped to create a new image for Dietrich. She then consolidated this image with films such as "Seven Sinners", "The Spoilers" and "Pittsburgh".

In March 1943, Dietrich who had by now became an US citizen, started on a three-year tour to entertain US troops. Then, in the middle of 1945, she returned to Germany for the first time since 1932. After Hitler's advent to power, Dietrich had rejected even the most financially attracting offers to work for Nazi film productions. In the late 1940s, Dietrich hosted radio shows and wrote several newspaper articles besides her movie career. In 1953, Dietrich started a new career as a cabaret artist in Las Vegas and appeared less often in movies. Nevertheless, she starred as a procuress in "Touch of Evil" (1958) by Orson Welles as well as in Billy Wilder's "Witness for the Prosecution" (1958), and in Stanley Kramer’s "Judgement at Nuremberg" (1961).

In 1960, Dietrich returned to Germany for a tour that was dogged by controversy due to her engagement for the US troops during World War II. In 1975, Dietrich had to end her career as a cabaret artist after a stage accident in Australia. And in 1982/83, Maximilian Schell recorded several interviews with the actress and used them for a film portrait of her.

Marlene Dietrich died on May 6, 1992 in Paris. By her own request, she was buried on the Friedenau cemetary in Berlin.

Filmography

2001/2002 Marlene Dietrich - Her Own Song
Participation
 
1993/1994 Radio Star
Participation
 
1983/1984 Marlene
Participation
 
1977/1978 Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo
Cast
 
1963/1964 Zusammen in Paris
Cast
 
1961 Judgment at Nuremberg
Cast
 
1958 Touch of Evil
Cast
 
1957/1958 Das gab's nur einmal
Participation
 
1957/1958 Witness for the Prosecution
Cast
 
1956 Around the World in 80 Days
Cast
 
1951/1952 Rancho Notorious
Cast
 
1951 No Highway
Cast
 
1950 Stage Fright
Cast
 
1948/1949 Jigsaw
Cast
 
1947/1948 A Foreign Affair
Cast
 
1947 Golden Earrings
Cast
 
1946 Martin Roumagnac
Cast
 
1944 Kismet
Cast
 
1944 Follow the Boys
Cast
 
1942 The Spoilers
Cast
 
1941/1942 The Lady Is Willing
Cast
 
1941 Manpower
Cast
 
1941 The Flame of New Orleans
Cast
 
1940 Seven Sinners
Cast
 
1939 Destry Rides Again
Cast
 
1937 Angel
Cast
 
1937 Knight Without Armour
Cast
 
1936 The Garden of Allah
Cast
 
1936 Desire
Cast
 
1936 I Loved a Soldier
Cast
 
1935 The Devil is a Woman
Cast
 
1934 The Scarlett Empress
Cast
 
1933 The Song of Songs
Cast
 
1932 Blonde Venus
Cast
 
1932 Neuer Ufa-Kabarettfilm Nr. 7 - "Ufa-Bomben"
Cast
 
1931/1932 Shanghai Express
Cast
 
1930/1931 Dishonored
Cast
 
1930 Morocco
Cast
 
1929/1930 The Blue Angel
Cast
 
1929/1930 Der blaue Engel
Cast
 
1929 Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt
Cast
 
1929 Gefahren der Brautzeit
Cast
 
1929 Das Schiff der verlorenen Menschen
Cast
 
1928 Prinzessin Olala
Cast
 
1928 Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame
Cast
 
1927 Sein größter Bluff
Cast
 
1927 Café Electric
Cast
 
1926/1927 Eine Dubarry von heute
Cast
 
1926 Der Juxbaron
Cast
 
1926 Madame wünscht keine Kinder
Cast
 
1926 Kopf hoch, Charly!
Cast
 
1925/1926 Manon Lescaut
Cast
 
1923 Der Sprung ins Leben
Cast
 
1923 Der Mensch am Wege
Cast
 
1922/1923 Tragödie der Liebe. Teil 1
Cast
 
1922/1923 Tragödie der Liebe. Teil 4
Cast
 
1922/1923 Tragödie der Liebe. Teil 3
Cast
 
1922/1923 Tragödie der Liebe. Teil 2
Cast
 
1922/1923 Tragödie der Liebe
Cast
 
1922 So sind die Männer
Cast