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LGBT People Of History Part Twenty Marlene Dietrich

Updated on April 3, 2012

Marlene Dietrich Singing Lili Marlene

Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich | Source
Marlene Dressed In Mens Clothing
Marlene Dressed In Mens Clothing | Source
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich | Source
Marlene's Grave In Berlin
Marlene's Grave In Berlin | Source

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich is quite simply a legend. We do not say was because legends do not die!

She was born in 1901 in Berlin. As a child, she was a violinist but as a she injured her hand she had to give it up. She spent a lot of the 1920s in the flourishing LGBT and club scene in Berlin and in film studios landing roles in various movies and theatres. She married her husband, Rudolf Sieber, in 1923 and they had a daughter, Maria, in 1924. Even at this point in her life she was developing her ‘androgynous’ look for which she would become famous – dressing often in men’s clothes.

She became the archetypal drag king.

Her big breakthrough came with ‘The Blue Angel’ in 1930. The film was directed by Josef von Sternberg and featured Dietrich as a sultry cabaret star with a deep voice singing her most famous song ‘Falling in Love Again.’ From there she moved to the US and many successful movies followed such as ‘Shanghai Express.’ Von Sternberg was strict director and a master of lighting which enhanced Dietrich’s mysterious reputation. Whilst in England around 1936, some Nazi officials approached her with lucrative offers to return to Germany. She refused and became an American Citizen in 1939.

She became ‘box office poison’ and her comeback movie was ‘Destry Rides Again’ with James Stewart. She then had other roles in movies for the likes of Hitchcock and Welles.

A staunch anti-Nazi, she spent WW2 raising money for war bonds and entertaining the Allied troops. She also recorded some of her most famous songs (eg ‘Lili Marleen’) in order to demoralise the enemy soldiers. She was awarded both the US Medal of Freedom and the French Legion d’honneur. She appeared in the powerful movie ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ along with many other movie legends.

After the war she had many dates and concerts throughout the world. Many said her persona and charisma transcended her music. Her return to Germany in 1960 divided the country – some loved her for it, some didn’t. She survived cervical cancer but became addicted to painkillers and alcohol.

Marlene was bisexual and behind the carefully cultivated image had many affairs with men and with women. James Stewart, Jean Gabin, Mercedes de Acosta and Yul Brynner were amongst her lovers. It was said she had flings with Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Edith Piaf, George Bernard Shaw and John F Kennedy.

She died in 1992 in Paris and is interred in Berlin, where her grave is a place of homage.

A legend.

Callum and Ian.

With Thanks To Wikipedia and Allabouthistory.com

We Have Written Twenty Hubs Together Lets Celebrate :)
We Have Written Twenty Hubs Together Lets Celebrate :) | Source
Alian346
Alian346 | Source
Calpol25
Calpol25 | Source

The Twentieth In The Series

To Mark our 'Twentieth LGBT People Of History Hub' Both Ian and I decided that we were going to do Marlene at some point, but we knew that we had to bring you some one really special to commemorate number twenty. so we have brought you an icon and diva of the twentieth century 'Marlene Dietrich' to round off the first twenty hubs that Ian and I have both wrote together.

We wish to thank all of you who have read the first twenty and are following our series and hope that you enjoy reading our future ones that will soon be coming your way, as much as we have enjoyed writing them.

Thank you so much to all of you, and we hope you have enjoyed reading Marlene.

Callum (Calpol25) & Ian (Alian346)



LGBT People Of History Archive
LGBT People Of History Archive | Source
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde | Source
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky | Source
Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust | Source
Diaghilev
Diaghilev | Source
W.H.Auden
W.H.Auden | Source
Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau | Source
Jane Addams
Jane Addams | Source
Marguerite Radclyffe Hall
Marguerite Radclyffe Hall | Source
Sappho Of Lesbos
Sappho Of Lesbos | Source
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein | Source

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    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Utterly brilliant, Callum - thank you so much for the surprise!

      Ian.

    • calpol25 profile image
      Author

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Your so welcome Ian :)

      A whole twenty we have done so far my goodness and we have another twenty at least in the pipeline this is utterly amazing :)

      We are the best!!! :)

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 5 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Great hub about Marlena! Lots of great photos too. Voted up!

    • calpol25 profile image
      Author

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you carolinemd21 we have lots more to come :)

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      All thanks to the two of you for educating and edifying us with great information. Bravo! Bravo!

    • calpol25 profile image
      Author

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you Dexter we are both so very glad that you enjoy our work x :)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Callum did a grand job with the pics and vid, carolinemd21! Thank you for your kind comment.

      Thank you too, Dexter - we feel as if we're on stage!!

      Ian.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      You are writing the best hubs. By the way, I am clicking on the favorites now, so I can read some later. Hope that is ok.

    • calpol25 profile image
      Author

      Callum 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you again Michel, of course that is okay and thank you for letting us know and there is alot more to come x

      We look forward to your comments and we both hope that you enjoy reading thank you again xx

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Good I am looking forward to that :)

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