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Marlene Dietrich

Dietrich, Marlene (märlāˈnə dēˈtrĭkh) [key], 1901–92, German-American film actress and singer, b. Berlin. Dietrich began her career as a violinist. She then studied drama, appearing on the stage in Vienna and Berlin before her great film success as the femme fatale Lola in The Blue Angel (1930). In the late 1930s, she modified her image to play more light-hearted characters and proved herself an excellent farceur. Her other films included Shanghai Express (1932), Destry Rides Again (1939), Foreign Affair (1948), and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). After World War II she appeared internationally in concerts, in cabarets, and on television.

See biographies by S. Bach (1992) and D. Spoto (1992).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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