Marlena Dietrich was a Real Movie Star

Marlena Dietrich was a German actress and dancer who appeared in several Hollywood films during the 1930s and 1940s. She got her to start dancing in music halls throughout Europe before moving to New York City to pursue acting. Her first film role came in 1925 when she played a small part in the movie “The Catacombs.” She continued to act on stage and screen, working with some of Hollywood’s most prominent actors while also appearing as a dancer or performer at various events and clubs. While Marlena Dietrich did not have an extensive film career, she left an impressive mark on Hollywood. The actress has been frequently mentioned as one of the great blonde bombshells from the Golden Age of Hollywood, often alongside other famous actresses such as Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn. Here are five things you should know about Marlena Dietrich:

A brief overview of Marlena’s life and career

Marlene Dietrich was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich in Schöneberg, Berlin on December 27, 1901. Dietrich’s mother, Margarethe, was a 22-year-old former dressmaker and aspiring actress. Her father, Rudolf Dietrich, was 37 years old when she was born. He was a German military contractor and a relative of the famous composer Franz Dietrich. Marlene was the couple’s third child, but the eldest daughter. Dietrich’s two younger brothers, John and Rudi, were born in 1904 and 1908, respectively. Dietrich’s mother left Berlin two years after Marlene was born, taking the two younger boys with her. Dietrich’s father remained in Berlin, where he worked as a contractor for the German army. Dietrich, meanwhile, remained in Berlin with her paternal grandmother, Auguste. At the age of seven, Dietrich’s father was killed during the Battle of the Somme. Auguste took Dietrich to be raised by her paternal uncle, Eduard Dietrich, who lived in the German city of Darmstadt. Dietrich attended a French-language school in Darmstadt for several years before dropping out at the age of 14. She took up stenography and began working as a secretary to earn a living.

Why you should care

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, many influential actresses and actors were famous not just for their work, but also for their unique looks. In many cases, their image was so important that it eclipsed their actual skills, which is why we often forget that they had any. Marlena Dietrich falls into this category, but not by choice. Dietrich was a true artist, who, unfortunately, was not around long enough to see her work recognized and appreciated. Her look was so unique and memorable that it helped her stand out from her contemporaries even when she was not in front of the camera. There are many reasons why you should care about Marlena Dietrich, but one of the most important ones is to remember that not all actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age were “dumb blondes.” While many female stars during this time were, in fact, classic blondes, Dietrich was not. It was the opposite. Many remember Dietrich for the black wig she wore in many of her most famous roles. Dietrich was a true artist, and she deserves better than to be remembered as just another blonde.

She inspired many other actresses with her unique look

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, many actresses were famous for their unique look, and most often, that look was blonde. This was especially true when it came to movie stars such as Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, and Greta Garbo. Dietrich, however, was not a classic blonde, and she even wore a black wig in many of her films. This led many actresses to follow her example by dying their hair black or wearing dark wigs to avoid being typecast as a classic blonde. Some of the actresses who followed Dietrich’s example included Jean Arthur, Judith Anderson, and Mary Pickford. Many of these actresses, however, did not go so far as to dye their hair black, choosing instead to wear a brunette wig. When Dietrich first started acting in Hollywood, many of the studios requested that she dye her hair blonde. Dietrich refused, though, and she also refused to wear a blonde wig. Instead, she dyed her hair black and asked the studios to simply paint her hair blonde. While some studios refused, most complied, and soon, many other actresses were following in Dietrich’s footsteps.


Marlena Dietrich was not a classic blonde Hollywood bombshell. She was a German actress who used her position to speak out for women who were being manipulated and abused by the men in Hollywood. She was also a fantastic dancer, and she refused to let the studios paint her hair blonde, instead dying her hair black. Dietrich also inspired many other actresses with her unique look, as they chose to follow in her footsteps and wear dark wigs or dye their hair black. While Dietrich may not have been a classic blonde Hollywood bombshell, she was far more than that.