Marlene Dietrich, Bisexual Movie Star

Marlene Dietrich
Silverscreen Collection/Getty Images 

Marlene Dietrich, the famous bisexual movie actress from the 1930s was best known for her roles in films Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932) and Desire (1936). 

Facts About the Life of Marlene Dietrich

Here are a few tidbits of information about Marlene Dietrich's life, career, and loves.

Her First Love Was Violin

Marlene Dietrich was born Maria Magdalene von Losch in 1901 in Berlin, Germany. She was a promising violin student until she injured her hand and had to give up playing.

Movie Career

Marlene Dietrich began acting in films in 1923, but it was her role as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel that catapulted her to fame in 1929. Deitrich's first American film, Morocco earned Dietrich an Oscar nomination.

Between 1930 and 1935 Marlene Dietrich starred in six films: Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, and The Devil is a Woman.

Her Role as Drag King

Marlene Dietrich recognized that her androgynous look was part of her appeal. She cross-dressed to appeal to both men and women. She was sexy in an era of sexual repression. In the film Morocco, she wears a tuxedo as well as flirts with and kisses a woman. Although it was part of the movie, it was pretty risque for 1930.

Involvement with USO

Marlene Dietrich became a US citizen in 1939. In 1941, the U.S. entered World War II. Dietrich was one of the first to entertain the troops on the front line. She spoke out against the Nazis, fascism, and racism.


Marlene Dietrich married director Rudolf Sieber in 1923, and they had an open relationship. They had one child Maria Elisabeth Sieber in 1924. Marlene also had relationships with actor Jean Gabin and writer Mercedes de Acosta. Rumors claimed that she had affairs with Frank Sinatra, John Kennedy, and Edith Piaf.

A Life Well Lived

Marlene Dietrich lived a long life filled with travel, adventure, films, one-woman shows and a very successful career. She died in Paris on May 6, 1992.


Marlene Dietrich Museum,, Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay and Lesbian by William J. Mann

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