Dietrich, Marlene

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Portrait of Marlene Dietrich (click to view image source)
Marlene Dietrich
(to view image author and license, click here)
Name
Dietrich, Marlene Gender: F
Marie Magdalena von Losch Dietrich
born on 27 December 1901 at 21:15 (= 9:15 PM )
Place Berlin, Germany, 52n29, 13e21
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: De Marre
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 05°25' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 07°07 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 04°07'



Biography

German-American actress and singer who achieved 62 years of international fame as an immortal screen goddess in German and American films. She received the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, and the Belgium Knight of the Order of Leopold for her war efforts in entertaining Allied troops in WWII. In 1954, she began her cabaret performances appearing on stages worldwide. Her private life was legendary for her love affairs with famous men and women of her time.

Her father, Louis Otto Dietrich, was a Prussian Calvary major who died in WW I when she was nine. Her mother, Josephine, was the daughter of wealthy watch merchant. Growing up in an upper middle class Prussian home in the Weimar Republic, Dietrich lived a privileged life of private schools, violin, dance and French lessons. She excelled at school with a love for poetry, literature and music. She became serious about her violin playing and considered a concert career. Her first job was playing in a small combo for silent movies. At 16, she had her first affair with her violin instructor.

A hand injury at 18 forced the young woman to change career paths and study drama. She enrolled at the Max Reinhardt acting school and appeared on stage in small roles. Her enthusiastic, lively personality attracted supporting and starring movie roles to the young beauty. She met and married a casting director, Rudolf Sieber on 5/17/1924 and her only child, Maria was born the following year.

It was as a young wife and mother she met the man who would change her life from German actress to international star. Film director Josef von Sternberg was casting for his movie "The Blue Angel" and he was captivated by the young Dietrich. He set out to present her on the screen as a movie goddess with expert lighting and camera angles. Before the premiere, Dietrich was already receiving invitations from Hollywood. On 4/01/1930, "Blue Angel" premiered in Berlin to standing ovations. Dietrich took her bows and left the theatre to the boat train to Bremen to set sail for America still wearing her premiere evening gown and leaving behind her husband and daughter.

In Hollywood, Dietrich's career flourished as the film industry's best directors such as Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Raoul Walsh, and Ernst Lubitsch clamored to work with her. She understood the technical side of movie-making and following her mentor, Josef von Sternberg's expertise by insisting on the best camera angles and lighting techniques to show off her beautiful face. She made 35 American films with "Witness for the Prosecution", 1958 and "Judgment at Nuremberg", 1961 considered to be her finest.

Her husband, Rudolf and six-year-old daughter, Maria joined Marlene in Hollywood in 1931. While Marlene was married to Rudolf all of her life, they stopped having sexual relations before Maria was born. They lived as a happily married couple for the Hollywood press but in reality they both sought other love partners. Marlene was visited by many of her Hollywood leading men and her daughter became used to her mother's revolving door of love relationships. Cary Grant, Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Jean Gabin, Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner; writers Mercedes de Acosta, Colette, Gertrude Stein; politicians Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy were a few of her many lovers. She was a free spirit, aggressively bi-sexual and one of the most famous cross-dressers of her time. Her love of couture filled her closets with the finest day and evening gowns plus her custom-made tuxedos, morning coat with white tails, gold-tipped walking cane, and fine tweed male suits and silk mufflers. She decorated her bedroom in exquisite silks and furs to heighten her lovers' passions. Dietrich wanted the public to adore her as a devoted mother, grandmother and haus-frau. Her daughter, Maria, saw her mother as self-absorbed and narcissistic. Her four grandsons loved their "Massie" and remember her expertise as a cook and nurturing presence in their lives. She lived in Beverly Hills, New York City and settled into a two-room apartment at 12 Avenue Montaigne in Paris in 1972.

Entertaining soldiers in WW II was one of her proudest accomplishments in her life. She was made an Honorary Colonel in the U.S. Army.

Because she refused Hitler's invitation to go back to Berlin and be the "queen" of German films on 4/01/1933, she became a U.S. citizen in 1939. She supported Allied troops in Europe performing in Italy, France, and Algeria, while Germans viewed her as a traitor to her country. Her films were banned during the war and it was with trepidation that she returned to Berlin in 1960 to perform her cabaret act. Her fears subsided as the audience welcomed her home.

Dietrich began to slow down in the 1970s. In 1972 at London's Queen's Theatre she fell and gashed her leg during a curtain call. She began to drink heavily and take pain killers to stop her leg pains. Another fall in 1975 in Australia was so serious that she had to retire from performing. Her last 13 years were spent reclusively in her Paris apartment overlooking a courtyard garden. She preferred not to see her friends, wishing them to remember her when she was beautiful. She kept in contact with people by telephone, talking to her daughter in New York City every day. Confined to bed the last five years of her life, she awoke at six and read the newspapers in three languages. Her lunch consisted of fish, vegetables and Earl Grey tea. Before dusk she would drink a glass of Dom Perignon and in the evening she remained informed on world news by watching CNN. She had a stroke in March 1992. Her grandson Peter Riva was with her and carried her to the living room sofa when she died at 90, still mentally alert, on 5/06/1992. She was buried 5/16/1992 in Berlin at the Friedenau Cemetery beside her mother.

Her estate was left to her daughter, Maria. In 1993, Berlin's German Film Archives Foundation acquired Dietrich's papers, props and personal belongings. On 11/01/1997 Dietrich's clothes and furnishings were auctioned off by Sotheby's.

Link to Wikipedia biography

Events

  • Relationship : First Sex 1917 (With her violin teacher)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1919 (Injured her hand, discontinued violin)
  • Relationship : Marriage 17 May 1924 (Rudolph Sieber)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities December 1924 (Daughter Maria Riva born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1 April 1930 (Release of "Blue Angel")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 1931 (Husband and daughter moved to Hollywood)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1954 (Started her cabaret stage performances)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1972 (Fell, gashed her leg)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1975 (Another serious fall)
  • Death by Disease 6 May 1992 in Paris (Stroke, age 90)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Luc de Marre

Categories

  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged (Affluent family)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Dad died in WW I)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Second girl)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (Since 1924)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Extramarital affairs
  • Family : Parenting : Extraordinarily nurturing (Devoted mother)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One daughter)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Germany and U.S.)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual
  • Passions : Sexuality : Extremes in quantity
  • Passions : Sexuality : Transvestite (Cross-dresser)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Western (Jewish)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 90)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Sex-symbol
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Legitimate theater)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Violin until age 18)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc.
  • Notable : Awards : Medals (U.S. Medal of Freedom, French Legion of Honor)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women

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