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Marlene Dietrich

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Schöneberg bei Berlin, Germany (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992)

Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch (aka Marlene) was born in Schöneberg bei Berlin, Germany on December 27, 1901. Her father was an army officer who had served in the Franco-Prussian War. Because of his constant absences due to his army duties, Marlene and the family had to rely on themselves. After he died, while she was 11, Marlene’s mother married Eduard von Losch and he adopted the Dietrich children.

Marlene was known in school for her “bedroom eyes” and her first affairs were at this stage in her life - a professor at the school was terminated.

Marlene enjoyed music and attended concerts. She was adept at playing the violin and piano. By the time she was in her mid-teens, Marlene had discovered the stage. Acting was to be her vocation. In 1921, Marlene applied for an acting school run by Max Reinhardt. She was accepted. She appeared in several stage productions, but never had more than a couple of spoken lines. In short, she wasn’t setting the stage world on fire.

She attempted films for the first time in 1922 Her first film was So sind die Männer (The Little Napoleon) (1923) which was followed by Tragödie der Liebe (Love Tragedy) (1923). On this last project, she met Rudolf Sieber and married him in 1924. The union lasted until his death in 1976 although they didn’t live together the whole time.

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