Marlene Dietrich Poster

Trivia (46)

Received the U.S. War Department's 'Medal of Freedom', in 1947, for entertaining American troops in WWII and her strong stand against Naziism.

Was made a Chevaliere of the Legion by France.

Born at 9:15pm-CET

Her estate, consisting of about 300.000 pieces, was bid for 8 million German marks by the city of Berlin, Germany.

Interred at Friedhof III, Berlin-Friedenau, Germany.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#60). [1995]

Gave birth to her only child at age 22, a daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber (aka Maria Riva) on December 13, 1924. Child's father was her husband, Rudolf Sieber.

Marlene's father was Lt. Louis Erich Otto Dietrich, who died when she was very young. Her mother remarried to Colonel Eduard von Losch, who was killed in WWI.

Her father, a Berlin police lieutenant, died after he fell off a horse when she was ten years old.

She sucked lemon wedges between takes to keep her mouth muscles tight.

Never worked without a mirror on the set so she could constantly check her makeup and hair.

Her make-up man said she kissed so hard that she needed a new coat of lipstick after every kiss.

In a posthumous gift of forgiveness, she left her vast collection of memorabilia to the city of Berlin.

She demanded that Max Factor sprinkle half an ounce of real gold dust into her wigs to add glitter to her tresses during filming.

She prided herself on the fact that she had slept with three men of the Kennedy clan - Joseph P. Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and John F. Kennedy.

Marlene suffered from bacilophobia, the fear of germs.

Fell and broke her left leg at her last ever last stage appearance in Sydney, Australia, September 1975.

Became an American citizen on March 6, 1937.

Ten years after her death, Berlin - the city of Dietrich's birth which she shunned for most of her life - declared her an honorary citizen. On April 18, 2002, the city's legislature bestowed honor on her as "an ambassador for a democratic, freedom-loving and humane Germany." The declaration hoped this "would symbolize the city of Berlin's reconciliation with her."

Appears on the sleeve of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

She thought of feet to be the ugliest part of the human body, and therefore always tried to hide them in one way or another

The only show-business friend she ever had was Mae West. However, they never saw one another outside the Paramount lot.

Proficient on the musical saw.

She was voted the 43rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Won a Special Tony Award in 1968.

Was named #9 Actress on The AFI 50 Greatest Screen Legends

First German actress to be Oscar-nominated.

Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"

She spent her last decade in her apartment on the avenue Montaigne in Paris, during which time she was not seen in public but was a prolific letter-writer and phone-caller. In 1984, Academy Award winning actor Maximilian Schell persuaded her to be interviewed for a documentary, but she did not appear on screen.

According to daughter Maria Riva, Dietrich had a long-standing dislike of actress Loretta Young.

In Italian films, she was dubbed by either Lydia Simoneschi, Tina Lattanzi or Andreina Pagnani.

Interviewed in "Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember" by Stuart Oderman (BearManor Media).

Grandmother of production designer J. Michael Riva.

Lived out her life in apartment #12E at 993 Park Avenue in Manhattan where Jamie Lee Curtis had earlier stayed with then fiance J. Michael Riva (Dietrich's grandson) during the Trading Places (1983) shoot.

Was considered for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) after Claudette Colbert was forced to pull out of the project due to back injury. However the part was given to Bette Davis, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

Campaigned for the role of Mama Hanson in I Remember Mama (1948) but Irene Dunne, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.

Berlin has a street, Marlene Dietrich Platz.

She turned down the role of Charlie in Station West (1948). The part went to Jane Greer.

Became pregnant in 1938 as a result of an affair with James Stewart during the filming of Destry Rides Again (1939) but she underwent an abortion. Stewart did not even know she was pregnant.

Noël Coward and Dietrich became, and remained, close friends since their first conversation - by transatlantic telephone - in 1935.

The original "One Touch of Venus" Broadway musical production opened at the Imperial Theatre on October 7, 1943, closed on February 10, 1945 after 567 performances. "One Touch of Venus" with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ogden Nash, directed by Ilia Kazan, featured choreography by Agnes de Mille, starred Mary Martin, Kenny Baker and Paula Laurence. The role of Venus was to have starred Marlene Dietrich. Reportedly Dietrich backed out of the title role during rehearsals, calling it "too sexy and profane," which gave Mary Martin the opportunity to establish herself as a Broadway star. The show satirizes contemporary American suburban values, artistic fads and romantic and sexual mores. Weill had been in America for eight years by the time he wrote this musical, and his music, though retaining his early haunting power, had evolved into a very different Broadway style. The book musical by S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash was based on the novella "The Tinted Venus" by Thomas Amstey Guthrie, and very loosely spoofing the Pygmalion myth.

Was in four Oscar Best Picture nominees: Shanghai Express (1932), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), with Around the World in 80 Days the only winner.

In May 2018, she was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.

Almost immediately upon hearing of John Gilbert's status as an all-but-forgotten matinee idol now drinking himself to death, Dietrich devoted herself to the project of "rehabilitating" Gilbert. Although she failed to "save" Gilbert (who died in 1936) Marlene did become a lifelong "guardian angel" to Gilbert's young daughter, remembering the child with annual Christmas and birthday gifts until Dietrich died more than 60 years later.

Despite her status as one of Hollywood's most legendary sex symbols, Dietrich was known to be most comfortable indulging her fantasy of being a "typical hausfrau," cleaning house, cooking chicken soup and comforting those in need of consoling. Bette Davis, who co-founded the USO's Hollywood canteen, adored Dietrich for her devotion to the project, and remembered Dietrich as being equally likely to be dancing with U.S. servicemen or be found down on her knees avidly scrubbing the canteen's kitchen floors.

As stated in the Personal Quotes section below, Dietrich loved quotations and two of hers appear in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018): "Schwache limonade" (weak lemonade) and "Like all great talents, his inner richness protected him from pettiness" (referring to Orson Welles).