Marlene Dietrich

December 27, 1901 - May 06, 1992
Marlene Dietrich Marlene Dietrich 

Marlene Dietrich was born in Berlin and initially began training as a violinist after completing her schooling. In the early 1920s, however, she turned to acting and gained her first theater and film roles. The 1930 movie The Blue Angel brought her international fame. Shortly after the film premiered in Berlin, she moved to the United States, and after 1933 she and the director Ernst Lubitsch helped German Jewish emigrants and victims of political persecution. In the mid-1930s she turned down attractive movie offers from Germany. She said she would only return once Hitler was gone. In June 1939 Marlene Dietrich took American citizenship. After Germany declared war on the United States at the end of 1941, she collected donations to finance the war against Hitler. From 1944 on, she was involved in the United Service Organization (U.S.O.), entertaining troops for the U.S. Army. She performed for American soldiers and German prisoners of war at military hospitals in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium, and then also Germany. After 1945, Marlene Dietrich was awarded the American Medal of Freedom and the chevalier medal of the French Legion d'honneur for her work.