Marlene Dietrich in Knight Without Armour
Marlene Dietrich was born on this day (December 27) in 1901 in Berlin, Germany. She became an American citizen on March 6, 1937 and became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Marlene lived to the wonderful age of 90, dying in Paris in 1992.
While I admire Marlene’s talent and films a great deal, I admire EVEN MORE her generous and compassionate nature.
A few fast facts about this special lady’s compassion:
- She received the U.S. War Department’s ‘Medal of Freedom’, in 1947, for entertaining American troops in WWII.
When she heard of actor John Gilbert’s fall from fame and subsequent drinking problem, she devoted herself to doing all she could to save him. After he died (in 1936), she stayed in contact with Gilbert’s young daughter, sending her annual Christmas and birthday gifts until Dietrich died more than 60 years later.
She earned a reputation around Hollywood for her “jump in and do what needs to be done!” nature. Bette Davis, who co-founded the USO’s Hollywood canteen, applauded Dietrich for her devotion to the project. She remembered Dietrich as being equally likely to be dancing with U.S. servicemen or found down on her knees avidly scrubbing the canteen’s kitchen floors.
Happy birthday, Marlene, and thanks for the films, the memories, and all you did to improve the lives of others!