“See what the boys in the backroom will have And tell them I’m having the same.”*
On this day in 1992 Marlene Dietrich died. She was 91 and had lived quite a life.
[Dietrich’s gravestone in Berlin. The inscription reads “Hier steh ich an den Marken meiner Tage“–“Here I stand at the milestone of my days”.]
Marlene Dietrich stands out in the history of film as one of the few German actresses who attained international significance. I just watched her recently in the 1942 version of The Spoliers with John Wayne and Randolph Scott. She really steals the show, even with John Wayne opposite. She is exotic, beautiful, smart, and likable–not always the case with the femme fatale type.
Dietrich, a staunch anti-Nazi, became an American citizen in 1939. The U.S. Government awarded Dietrich the Medal of Freedom for her war work. Dietrich has been quoted as saying this was the honor of which she was most proud in her life. They also awarded her the Operation Entertainment Medal. The French Government made her a Chevalier (later upgraded to Commandeur) of the Legion d’Honneur and a Commandeur of the Ordre des Artes et des Lettres. Her other awards include the Medallion of Honor of the State of Israel, the Fashion Foundation of America award and a Chevalier de L’ordre de Leopold.
Yes, she was quite a gal and deserves a toast tonight. Here she is singing “Lili Marlene” in german. I seem to recall my pater getting weepy over this one.
*See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have by Frank Loesser from Destry Rides Again