Marlene Dietrich was born Marie Magdalena von Losch Dietrich on December 27, 1901, in Berlin, Germany. She was a German-American actress and singer, whose career flourished in Hollywood under the guidance of the industry’s best directors. Dietrich achieved 62 years of international fame as an immortal screen goddess in German and American films.
MARLENE AND THE BOYS!
During World War II, Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to raise war bonds. She toured the United States from January 1942 to September 1943 (appearing before 250,000 troops on the Pacific Coast leg of her tour alone). It is rumored that she sold more war bonds than any other star.
Dietrich enjoyed entertaining for USO soldiers during World War II, and was made an Honorary Colonel in the United States Army. She was awarded several medals for her war efforts (the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, and the Belgium Knight of the Order of Leopold) for entertaining Allied troops on the front lines in Algeria, Italy, Britain and France, and traveled to Germany to entertain Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton.
She was legendary for her love affairs with famous men and women, as well as soldiers. Dietrich made 500 USO appearances during the European war. In 1954, she began her cabaret performances appearing on stages worldwide. Her show business career ended on September 29, 1975, when she fell off the stage and broke her thigh.
Dietrich died of renal failure on May 6, 1992, at the age of 90 in Paris, France. She was interred near her mother and childhood home in Berlin.