Diva among the divas, Marlene Dietrich She displayed her erotic power thanks to her languid eyes, her hoarse voice, her sunken cheeks and her beautiful legs in a long run.
This was catapulted after her success as Lola Lola in Josef von Sternberg’s classic, “The blue angel” (1930). In the film, she was a seductive cabaret singer who ends up dragging an honest professor into depravity.
The German actress and singer starred in more than fifty films and worked with the greatest filmmakers.
Among them, Hitchcock (Panic on the scene) Billy Wilder (West Berlin; Witness for the Prosecution), Lubitsch (Angel), Fritz Lang (Cover-up), u Orson Welles in Thirst for evil.
A movie life
Born December 27, 1901, María Magdalene Dietrich von Losch He grew up in a military family in Berlin, so he quickly got used to the discipline.
At the age of seven, the family patriarch died and the mother had to clean houses to support her two daughters. “The respect that I had for my mother did not end with her death. She was a good general, ”Dietrich herself explained years later.
Dietrich worked with the best directors of his time. Photo: Corbis Sygma
He enrolled in the theatrical school of the prestigious Max Reinhardt and at the age of 23 she married the assistant director Rudolph Sieber, with whom she had her only daughter, Maria.
They were never divorced, but Marlene was not the woman of one man or one woman and collected an endless list of lovers throughout his life.
Among them, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Piaf, James Stewart O Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
The king he never saw
The latter, son of the mythical actor Douglas Fairbanks, served as a confidant of some plans that the German artist tried to carry out and that could have changed the course of history.
One of them had to do with the decision of the King Edward VIII to abdicate for love.
Worried about the monarch’s plans, Dietrich devised a meeting with him “To show him that his beloved Wallis Simpson was not the only woman in this world,” according to the actor told the journalist Charlotte Chandler and who collects the book Marlene.
The issue also includes a series of interviews that Chandler made to the interpreter and several of his acquaintances in the mid-1970s and that he did not publish until 2011.
Fairbanks assured that Marlene told him: “I will make him forget her. I have to take a bath and the right perfume ”.
A staunch enemy of Nazism, the actress helped some fellow Jews to leave Germany. Photo: Corbis Sygma
When he expressed his reservations, Dietrich replied: “Oh, darling, don’t be so old-fashioned. We are doing it for England, which we both love. You have to make some sacrifices ”.
In the end, it took her so long to groom herself for the occasion that when she arrived at the palace, the king was out, or so they told him.
An unusual plan
However that crazy plan He was not the only one he devised throughout his life.
Staunch enemy of Nazism, the actress helped some Jewish compatriots to leave Germany when she was already installed in the United States.
Hitler, it was a big admirer of the divaHe wanted him to return to his country at all costs to work as the main star of the Third Reich.
She refused. “When I left Germany I heard a Hitler speech on the radio and I went prey to a great discomfort. No, I could never return to my country while such a man fanaticizes the masses ”, he declared.
Hitler was a great admirer of Dietrich and wanted her to return to Germany. Photo: Zuma Press
The German, who did not deny her origin, became a US citizen and worked for the army of her adopted country, where took serious risks to entertain troops during WWII.
But, faced with such an explosive situation in Germany, Dietrich did not hesitate to use his charms to end the life of the dictator.
It was thus that he had the controversial idea of returning to Germany to shoot a film with the intention of matar al Führer en 1936.
“I will show him how I feel about him, making him believe that I’m in love with him”He told Fairbanks.
With the assurance that she knew that Hitler admired her, the actress was confident that it would not be difficult to maintain a intimate meeting.
Realizing that she would be searched before the meeting, Marlene was prepared to even enter Hitler’s room. naked if necessary so as not to raise suspicions.
The only detail I couldn’t resolve was how to carry a gun to execute the murder.
According to Fairbanks’ statements, Dietrich considered a poisoned hair clip, but the actor refused to help her.
“Fortunately, could not carry out the plan because he did not know how to complete the strategy“Chandler writes in the mouth of Fairbanks, who did not doubt that the actress” would have risked her life if she had known that she had any chance of success.
Astrid Meseguer, La Vanguardia.