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DIETRICH von Losch, Marlene, (1901-92)

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DIETRICH, Marlene, professional name of Maria Magdalene Dietrich von Losch (1901-92) , American actor, born in Berlin, and trained for the stage at the school of the noted theatrical director Max Reinhardt. During the 1920s she became an important performer in the Berlin theater and in silent films. In 1924 she married the German film casting director Rudolf Sieber (d. 1975). The American film director Josef von Sternberg (1894-1969) cast her in the leading female role of The Blue Angel, filmed in Berlin during 1929-30, in both German and English versions. Her haunting and sensuous singing and acting in this film created a sensation. As a result, Dietrich was brought to the U.S., where she starred in a series of films under von Sternberg's direction, including Morocco (1930) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935). For other directors she appeared in Desire (1936) and Destry Rides Again (1939). Denouncing the nationalism of post-World War I Germany, she became an American citizen in 1939. During World War II she made more than 500 appearances before American troops overseas. Her postwar films include Witness for the Prosecution (1958) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). In 1954 she made her American cabaret debut in Las Vegas, Nev., and in 1967 her New York City theater debut in a musical engagement that was internationally acclaimed. Dietrich made a concert tour of the U.S. in 1973.

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