Marlene Dietrich (1901–1992)

No other German film personality would make such an impact through their acting career like that achieved by Marlene Dietrich. Her rise to world fame – both in Berlin and Hollywood – began in 1930. She starred in six Hollywood films directed by Josef von Sternberg. MOROCCO (1930) and SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932) were their greatest joint successes. Marlene Dietrich often spent long periods of time in Europe until 1939. She refused an offer by the German propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, to return to Germany. Marlene Dietrich actively supported the fight against National Socialism in 1944 and 1945. She performed in USO shows for American troops in Africa and Europe. In Billy Wilder’s 1948 satirical comedy A FOREIGN AFFAIR, she plays a German nightclub singer. The film is set in postwar Berlin.
Marlene Dietrich’s roles, her songs and her outfits breathed provocation. Her appearances in men’s clothing on the screen or at social events deftly overstepped the limits of traditional gender roles. Admired by men and woman alike, she would become a 20th century icon.

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