Biography of Marlene Dietrich

December 27, 1901

Birth of Marie Magdalene Dietrich, second daughter of Louis Erich Otto Dietrich and his wife Elisabeth Josefine, née Felsing

 

1907–1919

Attends school in Berlin and Dessau

 

1920/21

Boarding school in Weimar; violin lessons from Professor Robert Reitz, musical director and teacher at the music school

 

October 1922

First roles in small studio theaters and at the Großes Schauspielhaus in Berlin; first parts in films, e.g. in SO SIND DIE MÄNNER (D 1922, Director: Georg Jacoby) and DER MENSCH AM WEGE (D 1923, Director: Wilhelm Dieterle); while shooting TRAGÖDIE DER LIEBE (D 1923, Director: Joe May) she meets Rudolf Sieber

 

May 17, 1923

Marriage to Rudolf Sieber

 

December 13, 1924

Birth of her daughter Maria

 

1927

Co-stars with Willi Forst in her first leading role in the Austrian film CAFÉ ELECTRIC (WENN EIN WEIB DEN WEG VERLIERT, Director: Gustav Ucicky)

 

October 1929

Screen tests and contract for DER BLAUE ENGEL (THE BLUE ANGEL, directed by Josef von Sternberg)

 

April 1, 1930

World premiere of DER BLAUE ENGEL at the Gloria Palast in Berlin

 

April 2, 1930

Departs for America on the SS Bremen

 

November 14, 1930

Premiere of her first American film, MOROCCO (USA 1930, Director: Josef von Sternberg)

 

December 6, 1930 - April 17, 1931

Visits Berlin; returns to Hollywood with her daughter Maria

 

1935

After working on seven films together, Josef von Sternberg and Marlene go separate ways

 

1937

Applies for US citizenship

 

June 9, 1939

Acquires US citizenship

 

1944/45

Performs for soldiers in U.S.O. camp shows in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany

 

September 1945

Visits her mother in Berlin

 

November 3, 1945

Death of her mother

 

November 18, 1947

Marlene Dietrich becomes the first woman to receive the US "Medal of Freedom", the highest American distinction for civilians, from Major General Maxwell D. Taylor

 

November 8, 1950

Marlene Dietrich is awarded the "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur"; in 1971 she is raised to "Officier" by President Georges Pompidou; in 1989, to "Commandeur" by President François Mitterand

 

1953

First solo shows at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas

 

1954

Performs at the Café de Paris in London

 

1960

Tours Europe: performs in the Federal Republic of Germany (e.g. in May, 1960, at the Titania Palast in Berlin)

 

December 14, 1961

World premiere of JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (USA 1961, Director: Stanley Kramer) at the Kongreßhalle in Berlin

 

1962

Publishes her first book: Marlene Dietrich's ABC (New York Doubleday 1962; Berlin, Blanvalet)

 

1975

Last tour through Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Canada, USA and Australia

 

1976

Withdraws to her Parisian apartment, Avenue Montaigne 12, and writes her autobiography. Although avoiding public appearances, she continues to work until her death in 1992.

 

June 24, 1976

Death of her husband Rudolf Sieber

 

1978

Last film appearance in SCHÖNER GIGOLO, ARMER GIGOLO (JUST A GIGOLO, D 1979, Director: David Hemmings)

 

1979

Publishes her autobiography Nehmt nur mein Leben (Berlelsmann, Gütersloh), later published as Marlene in the USA (Grove Press, 1989)

 

1984

MARLENE – a documentary by Maximilian Schell

 

May 6, 1992

Marlene Dietrich dies in her apartment in Paris

 

May 16, 1992

Buried in Berlin at the Friedenau Cemetery, Stubenrauchstraße 43, grave No. 34/16. A line from the poem “Abschied vom Leben” (Farewell from Life) by Theodor Körner is written on her gravestone: “Hier steh' ich an den Marken meiner Tage” (Here I stand at the marks of my days).

 

October 24, 1993

Maria Riva presents Marlene Dietrich’s estate to Berlin and the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek

 

1995

First presentation of her personal estate in the exhibition "Kino-Movie-Cinema" at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin

 

September 26, 2000

With the opening of the Filmmuseum Berlin, a start is made: in the Permanent Exhibition Film, an area of c. 300 m² is devoted entirely to Marlene Dietrich.

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