22 January 2014

Marlene Dietrich: Two Legs, To Stand On.

What do you do for your legs to keep them looking so lovely?
Nothing. I was born with them.

What do you do to exercise them?
I just walk on them.

Why don't you want to show them anymore?
I have nothing new to show the world.

[Courtesy Crees Collection]

19 January 2014

50 Years Ago: Marlene Dietrich in Warsaw, 1964

Marlene made her debut in Warsaw 50 years ago this month. We covered this visit in depth earlier:

Marlene's first visit to Warsaw, 16th January 1964.

Marlene brings lilacs to the Ghetto Heroes Monument.

In performance at Warsaw's Sala Kongresowa.

16 January 2014

Earl Wilson's Vintage Gossip Bites: The Great Granny

Excerpts from syndicated gossip columnist, Earl Wilson's 1970s items about Marlene. (Also see his earlier Broadway Bytes!)

  • Marlene Dietrich was enthusiastic about Katharine Hepburn's performance in Coco. "She's lengthening the career of all us ingenues,"  Marlene laughed... (11 March 1970)

  • Marlene Dietrich now anticipates becoming a great-grandmother... (3 August 1970)

  • Marlene Dietrich, opening at the Playboy Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach, noticed the young people in the audience and cracked, "I wish I'd memorized a medley from Hair". (22 February 1971)

  • Marlene Dietrich's slenderizing lunch at Inn of the Clock: Asparagus in vinegar, plus a vitamin pill. (21 March 1971)

  • Marlene Dietrich is reported receptive of offers to do TV commercials. Agent Ken Greengrass says everybody wants her. (5 June 1972)

  • Marlene Dietrich and the Richard Burtons are angeling Alexander Cohen's Broadway play 6 Rms Riv Vu... (16 August 1972)

  • Marlene Dietrich and Rudolf Sieber will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary May 13 (that's 50, honey). (17 April 1974)

  • Marlene Dietrich goes into court in England this month in the big legal entanglement with producer Alexander H. Cohen over their TV special. Cohen asks big damages from the glamorous grandmother over things she allegedly said. If Marlene arrives in court looking ill from a recent fall, it could be a scene from Camille and a field day for the press. (2 April 1976)

  • Marlene Dietrich's doctor said she's ill and she got a postponement in the lawsuit brought by producer Alexander H. Cohen in London against remarks attributed to her about her TV show he produced. (26 April 1976)

14 January 2014

Photorama: Marlene and Tamara Matul in Berlin

Marlene Dietrich and Tamara Matul model for Berlin’s illustrated magazines (1928 and 1929):

10 January 2014

Jean Marais reads Jean Cocteau's Salutation to Marlene Dietrich (1954) [...

Jean Marais reads Jean Cocteau's Salutation to Marlene Dietrich, written in 1954 when Marlene appeared in Monte Carlo for a Polio benefit. (The recording, and Marlene's speech at the end, were likely done later).

Photos show Marlene at the benefit performance in Monaco, in Paris and London; with Marais and Cocteau (between 1954 - 1959); receiving the Legion d'honneur (1951); and at the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Paris.


Marlene Dietrich! ... Your name, at first the sound of a caress, becomes the crack of a whip. When you wear feathers, and furs, and plumes, you wear them as the birds and animals wear them, as though they belong to your body.

In your voice we hear the voice of the Lorelei: in your look, the Lorelei turns to us. But the Lorelei was a danger, to be feared. You are not: because the secret of your beauty lies in the care of your loving kindness of the heart. This care of heart is what holds you higher than elegance, fashion or style, higher even than your fame, your courage, your bearing, your films, your songs.

Your beauty is its own poet, its own praise. There is no need for us to speak of it, and so I salute, not your beauty but your goodness. It shines in you, as light shines in the moving wave of the sea: a transparent wave coming out of the far distance, and carrying like a gift, its light, its voice, and the plumes of foam, to the shore where we stand.
From the sequins of the "Blue Angel" to the dinner-jacket of "Morocco", from the shabby black dress of "Dishonored" to the cockfeathers of "Shanghai Express": for the diamonds of "Desire" to the American uniform: from port to port, from reef to reef, from crest to crest, from breakwater to breakwater, there comes to us (all sails flying) a frigate, figurehead, a Chinese fish, a lyre-bird, a legend, a wonder: Marlene Dietrich!

(Translated by Christoper Fry)

Written as introduction for Miss Dietrich's appearance at the French Polio Benefit in Monte Carlo (Monaco

06 January 2014

Marlene Dietrich, Mad Hatter! 1936 - 1937 Edition

(Costumes from: DesireAngel and A Knight Without Armour. Candids show Marlene in  Los Angeles, New York, London and Salzburg.)