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Marlene Dietrich, A Personal Biography

By Charlotte Chandler

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Marlene Dietrich, A Personal Biography. Applause Books. Softcover. 304 pages. Published by Applause Books (HL.314911).

Item Number: HL.314911

ISBN 1557838380. 6x9 inches.

In Marlene, Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich is vividly brought to life. In the mid-1970s Charlotte Chandler interviewed the reclusive actress in Dietrich's Paris apartment. The star's career was all but over, but she agreed to meet because Chandler hadn't known her earlier, “when [Dietrich] was young and very beautiful.” Marlene is further enriched by Chandler's interviews with others who knew Dietrich well, including Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Burt Bacharach.

Chandler relates how Dietrich began her career in her native Berlin as a model, then a stage and screen actress during the silent era, becoming a star with The Blue Angel, then moving on to become one of the brightest lights in Hollywood. Prior to World War II, the fiercely anti-Nazi Dietrich resisted Hitler's flattering invitations to return to Germany and became an American citizen instead, later entertaining Allied troops on the front lines. After the war, she embarked on a new, outstanding second career as a stage performer.

Dietrich had a strict Prussian upbringing, but she refused to be constrained by society's expectations. She spoke candidly with Chandler about her unconventional marriage; she and her husband both had affairs, each with the other's consent. She even expressed warm feelings toward her husband's mistress.

Marlene Dietrich lived an extraordinary life, and Marlene relies extensively on the star's own words to reveal how intriguing and fascinating that life really was.