Marlene Dietrich:  A silver screen icon

Marie Magdalene Dietrich -
Marie Magdalene Dietrich, nicknamed Lena, was born on December 27, 1901 in Berlin, Germany.

An early appreciation for music - Her first love was the violin, and in 1922 her first job in Berlin was as a violinist in a pit orchestra playing soundtracks for silent films. 

Stage and silent film roles -  She met her future husband, Rudolf Sieber, on the set of 'Tragedy of Love' in 1923.

Her signature song -
'The Blue Angel' also immortalized Dietrich in sound, with her performance of the song 'Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It),' which would go on to become her anthem.

Stardom with Josef von Sternberg - Dietrich moved to the US and continued her work with Austrian-Hungarian director Josef von Sternberg, who is credited with having discovered her. 

Androgynous glam -
Despite her film flops, she continued on with celebrity largely due to her unique androgynous yet glamorous look. 

Denouncing her German citizenship - Dietrich was staunchly anti-fascist, and when the Nazi Party approached her to perform in propaganda films, she turned them down with a fierce "NEIN."

Wartime efforts -
Throughout World War II she was known for her humanitarian efforts.

Her many notable lovers -
Over her career, Dietrich had many lovers, ranging from full affairs to erotic trysts, and including actors, directors, and producers, both men and women.

Her diary and her insatiable appetite - Dietrich's daughter reportedly has a collection of her mother's personal writings that detail her romantic appetite.

Her greatest love -
According to biographer Eva Gesine Baur, who wrote 'A class of her own - the life of Marlene Dietrich,' her greatest love was French actor Jean Gabin.

She later admitted the glamour was all for show - "I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men," Dietrich said in a 1960 interview with The Observer.

Financial struggles -
Despite all of her success, Dietrich reportedly had financial troubles throughout her life, which were especially prominent during the last two decades of her life. 

She suffered from bacillophobia - Perhaps contrary to her desire for physical touch, Dietrich was reportedly afflicted by bacillophobia, an intense fear of germs.

Retirement and isolation -
Dietrich had held extremely high standards for herself under the spotlight, and once said, "Glamour is assurance.

Death and return to Berlin -
Dietrich died of kidney failure on May 6, 1992, at her home in Paris. She was 90. After her funeral, she was buried next to her mother in Berlin. 

A legacy -
Marlene Dietrich's rebellion against fascism, gendered fashion, and sexual norms left a lasting legacy for many stars who came after.

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