I only met MARLENE once in my life, but my impression was overwhelming. I saw her in Paris in the seventies. I got home and started to write to her, she answered, thank God, signed and autographed my letters, pictures and paintings through all the years.Shanghai Express (1932)

I started to read all about 'lovely MARLENE' and was so pleased to know the living legend, MARLENE DIETRICH.

Since that time I have been under her spell. I began to collect her autographs, vintage photos, films, records, CDs, books, postcards, magazines, posters, lobby cards, press pictures, simply everything I could get. In more than four decades, I have built up a interesting collection, including super rare recorded songs, unpublished photographs of stage and private moments Shanghai Express (1932)and even some of MARLENE's private wardrobe.
So much has been written about MARLENE, but she herself commented: "Quatsch! What's true is, that what you read is untrue...". I have indeed read so many nonsense in those clippings and books I hoarded in my shelves. Even the book by her own daughter couldn't scratch the icon, the legend MARLENE DIETRICH goes on flourishing forever.
Song of Songs (1933)So I will not dare start another fiction about her fascinating, interesting life. Some facts about her career, films and records can be found on my detailed MARLENE DIETRICH COLLECTOR'S page. All books, picture books, and even the pages in the net, mostly show stills from her movies. Well, I do love those still shots out of her over fifty gorgeous films, but besides to her glistening phenomenon on the silverscreen, my main interest is in MARLENE as an entertainer, the daughter of Berlin out there alone upon the stages of the world.
These one-woman shows, often copied but never equaled, was frequently conducted by Burt Bacharach. Decades later, I visited a few theaters where she had performed in Germany and some of the 'rest' of her world tour. Success everywere, from Las Vegas to Broadway; Australia; England; Germany; Poland; Sweden; Danmark; Holland; France; Monaco; Italy; Japan; Hawaii; Russia; Argentina and Brasil, where she recorded one of her best album, 'DIETRICH IN RIO' 1959 by Bras.CBS/Columbia.
MARLENE started this second career in December 1953 at the Saraha Hotel in Las Vegas at the age of 51. She kept on touring for 22 years and enchanted the whole wide world with her unforgettable songs. Many were already familiar from her films, Lili Marleen, The Boys in the Backroom, I Wish You Love, Where have all the Flowers gone and Falling in Love Again became her trade mark. She appeared alternately in black or white tuxedos, with her top hat always at a cheeky angel and in her legendary, buglebeaded Jean Louis gowns. This glory is topped by furs, feathers and of course her famous swan coat: breathtaking !Judgement at Nuremberg (1961)
In 1972 MARLENE gave permission for two performances of her show in the New London Theatre to be recorded for television. Even in 1960, when she made her first ever TV recording for Swedish television, she was skeptical of this medium. She was also unhappy with the result of the London recording. She would like to have engaged Orson Welles as the director, as she never wished to leave anything to chance.

MARLENE retired to her Paris domicile after a bad accident in Sydney in 1975 and never dared take a step on stage again. Interview for the schwedish television (1970) She packed her 68 show costumes away and then they disappeared into one of her warehouses in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Geneva.
All these works of art, together with her gigantic estate will be on exhibition at the Filmmuseum MARLENE DIETRICH COLLECTION BERLIN (MDCB).

In 1979 MARLENE was persuaded to play a cameo role in a her last film Just a Gigolo with David Bowie in the leading part. They never met, as her scences were filmed near her home in Paris. The Swedish designer Mago, a friend and companion in her last years in the entertainment business, designed her last film wardrobe which was made by none other then House of Chanel. After filming had ended, the divaPress picture 'Just a Gigolo'1979 took it for granted that she could keep these costumes without asking, a typically DIETRICH idiosyncrasy. This is why there are now over 50 film costumes in her estate.
In 1984 Maximilian Schell made a very moving documentary film about her life; 'MARLENE'. For about 223 000 dollars she spoke on tape, but never allowed a picture shot nor film. "No thank you, I've been photographed to death !" The years passed by in her own chosen solitude. She often changed her telephone number, so that only a chosen few could get in touch with her. Most of her contemporaries and trusted friends had already passed away.
  Her telephone out of the Paris Apartment, klick to hear her voice (1984)
Outside the Ave. Montaigne 12 paparazzi still hunted the diva. Even to the extent of mounting cameras on a mobile crane to take a snapshot of the legend. A destruction of the myth ? Very few were allowed to enter her dark sacred chambers. Due to her age she was weak, tired and bedridden. On the sunny spring morning of May 6, 1992, MARLENE DIETRICH entered immortality.


She is indeed immortal; as if to prove this, 5 years after her 'death' I got an autographed letter back. It had been found in her estate and kindly sent to me.
You see, she's still with us.
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 created by UL! fright.night; January '97 /update December 2008
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