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Friday, October 31, 1997 Published at 17:41 GMT

World: Americas

German screen idol hated the Nazis

Marlene Dietrich at the height of her fame

Marlene Dietrich was a 1930s screen idol and singing star who is perhaps best remembered for her husky renditions of Falling in Love Again and Lili Marleen.

She was born Maria Magdalene Dietrich in Berlin in 1901 and by the age of 21 was taking on her first stage roles in Berlin theatres and small parts in silent movies.

She married Rudolf Sieber in 1923 and their daughter Maria Elizabeth was born a year later.

She was discovered by Josef von Sternberg in 1929 and given a contract to star as Lola Lola in The Blue Angel. It became one of her most famous films.

The Blue Angel was premiered on April 1, 1930. She then left for America where she made six films for Paramount . In all, seven of her films were directed by von Sternberg.

She became an American citizen in 1937 and entertained the allied troops in North Africa and Europe during World War II.

She hated the Nazis and participated in radio broadcasts denouncing them. The Americans, French and Israelis later awarded her medals for her efforts.

She made her last stage appearance in 1974 and her last film was the 1979 film Just a Gigolo.

He autobiography Nehmt Nur Mein Leben (Only Take My Life) was published in 1979 and a biographical film called Marlene by Maximilian Schell was made in 1983.

She died in Paris in 1992 and is buried in Berlin.

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