Real name: Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch
Birthdate: December 27, 1901
Partner: Rudolf Sieber
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Marlene Dietrich IPA: ; (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born American actress, singer, and entertainer. She is regarded as being the first German actress to become successful in Hollywood.
A 1933 Parisian recording session for Polydor produced several classic tracks, including Franz Waxman’s "Allein in Einer Grossen Stadt." She recorded "The Boys in the Back Room" from Destry Rides Again for Decca Records in 1939. In 1945, she recorded her version of "Lili Marleen".
Her return to Germany in 1960 for a concert tour elicited a mixed response. Many Germans felt she had betrayed her homeland by her actions during World War II. During her performances at Berlin's Titania Palast theatre, protesters chanted, "Marlene Go Home!" On the other hand, Dietrich was warmly welcomed by other Germans, including Berlin mayor Willy Brandt. The tour was an artistic triumph but a financial failure. She also undertook a tour of Israel around the same time, which was well-received; she sang some songs in German during her concerts, including a German version of Pete Seeger's anti-war anthem Where Have All the Flowers Gone, thus breaking the unofficial taboo against the use of German in Israel.
She spent her last decade mostly bed-ridden, in her apartment at no. 12 avenue Montaigne in Paris, during which time she was not seen in public but was a prolific letter-writer and phone-caller. Maximilian Schell persuaded Dietrich to be interviewed for his 1984 documentary Marlene, but she did not appear on screen. She began a close friendship with the biographer David Bret, one of the few people allowed inside her Paris apartment. Bret is thought to have been the last person outside her family that Dietrich spoke to, two days before her death: "I have called to say that I love you, and now I may die." She was in constant contact with her daughter, who came to Paris regularly to check on her. Her husband, Rudolf Sieber, had died of cancer on June 24, 1976.Marlene Dietrich's gravestone
Unlike her professional celebrity, which was carefully crafted and maintained, Dietrich's personal life was kept out of public view. She married once, to director's assistant Rudolf Sieber, a Roman Catholic who later became a director at Paramount Pictures in France.
Her only child, Maria Elisabeth Sieber, was born in Berlin on December 13, 1924. She would later become an actress, primarily working in television, known as Maria Riva. When Maria gave birth to a son in 1948, Dietrich was dubbed "the world's most glamorous grandmother". After Dietrich's death, Riva published a relatively critical memoir of her mother.
In 1992, a plaque was unveiled at Leberstraße 65 in Berlin-Schöneberg, the site of Dietrich's birth.
After some controversy, it was decided not to name a street after Dietrich in Berlin-Schöneberg, her birthplace. Rather, on November 8, 1997, the Marlene-Dietrich-Platz was unveiled in Berlin to honor Dietrich.
She made several appearances on AFRS shows like The Army Hour and Command Performance during the war years. In 1952, she had her own series on ABC entitled, Cafe Istanbul. During 1953 - 1954, she starred in 38 episodes of Time for Love on CBS. She recorded 94 short inserts, "Dietrich Talks on Love and Life", for NBC's Monitor in 1958.