You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Marlene Dietrich

Icons of the Century

At 28, Dietrich still had some baby fat when she served notice in Europe’s first talkie, “The Blue Angel.” But as a teenager she’d lived through the ghastliest war in human history.

She made some good and important American movies — “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Witness for the Prosecution” — but was never fully a part of Hollywood.

She was too international, and looked as glamorous in men’s clothes as she did in slinky gowns, which didn’t sit well with the heartland.

Where most serious modern artists like to shatter illusions, she insisted on maintaining them, taking her impeccably radiant image to the Allied front during WWII and to the concert hall thereafter.

She never appeared in her last film, a Maximilan Schell documentary, lending only her voice instead. The illusion remained intact.

More Scene

  • GLSEN Respect Awards

    Gay Actors Talk Sexual Harassment at GLSEN Awards: 'It Definitely Happens'

    At 28, Dietrich still had some baby fat when she served notice in Europe’s first talkie, “The Blue Angel.” But as a teenager she’d lived through the ghastliest war in human history. She made some good and important American movies — “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Witness for the Prosecution” — but was never fully a part […]

  • Made By Google

    Rashida Jones, Jaden Smith and More Stars Party at Made by Google Opening Night

    At 28, Dietrich still had some baby fat when she served notice in Europe’s first talkie, “The Blue Angel.” But as a teenager she’d lived through the ghastliest war in human history. She made some good and important American movies — “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Witness for the Prosecution” — but was never fully a part […]

  • 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' film

    Tyler Perry Hopes 'Boo 2!' Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation's 'Darkness'

    At 28, Dietrich still had some baby fat when she served notice in Europe’s first talkie, “The Blue Angel.” But as a teenager she’d lived through the ghastliest war in human history. She made some good and important American movies — “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Witness for the Prosecution” — but was never fully a part […]

  • 'Geostorm' film premiere

    'Geostorm' Director Hopes Harvey Weinstein Scandal Signals 'Sea Change' for Hollywood

    At 28, Dietrich still had some baby fat when she served notice in Europe’s first talkie, “The Blue Angel.” But as a teenager she’d lived through the ghastliest war in human history. She made some good and important American movies — “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Witness for the Prosecution” — but was never fully a part […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content