STYLE ICON SATURDAY: MARLENE DIETRICH

Marlene_Dietrich_in_Shanghai_Express_(1932)_by_Don_English

Marie MagdaleneMarleneDietrich (27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992) was a German-American actress and singer.

Dietrich maintained popularity throughout her unusually long show business career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In 1920s Berlin, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel(1930), directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame resulting in a contract with Paramount Pictures. Dietrich starred in Hollywood films such as Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932) and Desire (1936). Dietrich successfully traded on her glamorous persona and “exotic” (to Americans) looks, cementing her super-stardom and becoming one of the highest-paid actresses of the era.

Marlene_Dietrich_Caricature_by_Hans_Georg_Pfannmüller_(1954)

Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. Although she still made occasional films after World War II, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a marquee live-show performer. Dietrich was noted for her humanitarian efforts during the War, housing German and French exiles, providing financial support, and even advocating for their US citizenship. For her work improving morale on the front lines in WWII, she received honors from the US, France, Belgium, and Israel. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema.