1950s, 1960s, Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey-Hepburn-Portrait-Everything-Audrey-40

According to an interview by Vanity Fair. Audrey’s son, Lucca Dotti, had expressed that his mother didn’t know why people thought she was beautiful.  Lucca says,  “She thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast. She would look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful.’ ”

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1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1960s, Fashion, Musical, Silent Era

Lili Marlene

I am at heart, a gentleman

Marlene Dietrich, 20th century film and fashion icon most famously known for her provocative, often-times androgynous film roles. She remained enormously popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself.:

Marlene Dietrich the Berlin born actress is remembered for many things one being her trademark suits and how she would wear masculine clothing of course this is nothing new the fashion began in the 1920’s that some young women pushed aside the tradition of wearing a dress simply because they were a woman and Marlene fully embraced this, one could argue if we were to give her a modern label that she was almost gender fluid.

Dietrich:

Marlene Dietrich as the cabaret singer Amy Jolly in the film Morocco (1930):

Openly bisexual Marlene married Rudolf Sieber on May 17th 1926 he was a Bohemia born assistant director their marriage would last until his death in 1976 but after five years of marriage and one daughter together the couple split, she never remarried but did conduct affairs with both men and women by her own admission we can assume that she actually preferred women to men but I also assume that Marlene wouldn’t have labelled herself as Lesbian or even Bi.

Sex is much better with a woman, but then one can’t live with a woman!

Damn, but Dietrich had style... Cross-dressing with effortless panache, leaving a trail of guys and gals panting in her wake.:

She became pregnant in 1938 as a result of an affair with James Stewart during the filming of Destry Rides Again (1939) but she underwent an abortion. Stewart did not even know she was pregnant another of her acting conquests was Gary Cooper, despite the constant presence on the set of the temperamental Mexican actress Lupe Vélez, with whom Cooper was having a romance. Vélez once said: “If I had the opportunity to do so, I would tear out Marlene Dietrich’s eyes.”.In 1938, Dietrich met and began a relationship with the writer Erich Maria Remarque, and in 1941, the French actor and military hero Jean Gabin. Their relationship ended in the mid-1940s. She also had an affair with the Cuban-American writer Mercedes de Acosta, who was Greta Garbo’s periodic lover. Her last great passion, when Dietrich was in her 50s, appears to have been for the actor Yul Brynner, with whom she had an affair that lasted more than a decade; still, her love life continued well into her 70s. She counted George Bernard Shaw, John F. Kennedy and John Wayne among her conquests. Dietrich maintained her husband and his mistress first in Europe and later on a ranch in San Fernando Valley, California.

Marlene Dietrich:

Gary Cooper was neither intelligent nor cultured. Just like the other actors, he was chosen for his physique, which, after all, was more important than an active brain.

Dietrich on her one time lover Gary Cooper

Marlene Dietrich: Effortlessly blended glamour and menswear in a time when women rarely wore pants. #benefitglam:

From the early 1950s until the mid-1970s, Dietrich worked almost exclusively as a highly paid cabaret artist, performing live in large theatres in major cities worldwide.

In 1953, Dietrich was offered a then-substantial $30,000 per week to appear live at the Sahara Hotel  on the Las Vegas Strip. The show was short, consisting only of a few songs associated with her. Her daringly sheer “nude dress”—a heavily beaded evening gown of silk soufflé, which gave the illusion of transparency—designed by Jean Louis, attracted a lot of publicity. This engagement was so successful that she was signed to appear at the Café de Paris in London the following year; her Las Vegas contracts were also renewed.

Marlene Dietrich: another iconic tomboy of yesteryear--when this was much harder to get away with.:

he would often perform the first part of her show in one of her body-hugging dresses and a swansdown coat, and change to top hat and tails for the second half of the performance. This allowed her to sing songs usually associated with male singers, like “One for My Baby” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”.

“She … transcends her material,” according to Peter Bogdanovich. “Whether it’s a flighty old tune like ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby’ … a schmaltzy German love song, ‘Das Lied ist Aus’ or a French one ‘La Vie en Rose’, she lends each an air of the aristocrat, yet she never patronises … A folk song, ‘Go ‘Way From My Window’ has never been sung with such passion, and in her hands ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’ is not just another anti-war lament but a tragic accusation against us all.”

Francis Wyndham offered a more critical appraisal of the phenomenon of Dietrich in concert. He wrote in 1964: “What she does is neither difficult nor diverting, but the fact that she does it at all fills the onlookers with wonder … It takes two to make a conjuring trick: the illusionist’s sleight of hand and the stooge’s desire to be deceived. To these necessary elements (her own technical competence and her audience’s sentimentality) Marlene Dietrich adds a third—the mysterious force of her belief in her own magic. Those who find themselves unable to share this belief tend to blame themselves rather than her.”

Marlena Dietrich:

Marlene Dietrich with her husband, Rudolf Sieber, at a train station in Paris. Both arrived from Hollywood, May 20th, 1930: gdfalksen.com:

[after returning to West Germany in 1960] The Germans and I no longer speak the same language.

MARLENE DIETRICH "You can bet your life the man's in the navy" Seven Sinners 1940. Directed by Tay Garnett. From a 2001 Marlene Dietrich German calendar. (follow minkshmink on pinterest):

I have a child and I have made a few people happy. That is all.

Dietrich in Disguise:

Marlene-Dietrich:

Dietrich was made an honorary citizen of Berlin on 16 May 2002. Translated from German, her memorial plaque reads

Berlin Memorial Plaque

“Tell me, where have all the flowers gone”
Marlene Dietrich
27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992
Actress and Singer
She was one of the few German actresses that attained international significance.
Despite tempting offers by the Nazi regime, she emigrated to the USA and became an American citizen.
In 2002, the city of Berlin posthumously made her an honorary citizen.

“I am, thank God, a Berliner.”

Marlene Dietrich wearing white tail and top hat at ball for foreign press, photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Berlin, Germany, 1929:

 

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1930s, 1960s

The One And Only Dorothy Dandridge.

Dorothy Jean Dandridge born on November 9th 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio to aspiring entertainer Ruby Dandridge (née Butler)(March 3, 1900 – October 17, 1987) and Cyril Dandridge (October 25, 1895 – July 9, 1989), a cabinet maker and minister, who had separated just before her birth.Ruby created a song-and-dance act for her two young daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name The Wonder Children, that was managed by Geneva Williams. The sisters toured the Southern United States almost nonstop for five years (rarely attending school), while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland.

dorothy dandridge | Dorothy Dandrige Signed Photograph:

During the Great Depression, work virtually dried up for the Dandridges, as it did for many Chitlin’ circuit performers. Ruby moved to Hollywood, California, where she found steady work on radio and film in small domestic-servant parts. The Wonder Children were renamed The Dandridge Sisters in 1934, and Dandridge and her sister were teamed with dance schoolmate Etta Jones.

The Dandridge Sisters continued strong for several years, and were booked in several high-profile nightclubs, including the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.Dandridge’s first screen appearance was a bit part in an Our Gang comedy short, Teacher’s Beau in 1935. As a part of The Dandridge Sisters, she appeared in The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1936) with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, A Day at the Races with the Marx Brothers, and It Can’t Last Forever (both 1937) with the Jackson Brothers.Although these appearances were relatively minor, Dandridge continued to earn recognition through continuing nightclub performances nationwide.

Dandridge’s first credited film role was in Four Shall Die (1940). The race film cast her as a murderer; it did little for her film career. She had small roles in Lady from Louisiana with John Wayne and Sundown (both 1941) with Gene Tierney. Dandridge appeared as part of a “Specialty Number” in the hit 1941 musical film, Sun Valley Serenade for 20th Century-Fox. The film marked the first time she performed with the Nicholas Brothers.Aside from her film appearances, Dandridge appeared in a succession of “soundies”–film clips designed to be displayed on juke boxes including “Paper Doll” by the Mills Brothers, “Cow, Cow Boogie”, “Jig in the Jungle”, and “Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter’s Rent Party” among others. These films were noted not only for showcasing Dandridge’s singing and acting abilities, but also for featuring strong emphasis on her physical attributes.

In 1957, after a three-year absence from film acting, she agreed to appear in the film version of Island in the Sun opposite an ensemble cast, including James Mason, Harry Belafonte, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins, and Stephen Boyd. Dandridge portrayed a local Indian shop clerk who has an interracial love affair with white man, played by John Justin. The film was controversial for its time period, and the script was revised numerous times to accommodate the Production Code requirements about interracial relationships. There occurred, however, an extremely intimate loving embrace between Dandridge and Justin that succeeded in not breaching the code. Despite the behind-the-scenes controversy and unfavorable critical reviews, the film was one of the year’s biggest successes.

On September 8, 1965, Dandridge spoke by telephone with friend and former sister-in-law Geraldine “Geri” Branton. Dandridge was scheduled to fly to New York the next day to prepare for her nightclub engagement at Basin Street East. Several hours after her conversation with Branton ended, Dandridge was found dead and naked by her manager, Earl Mills.Two months later, a Los Angeles pathology institute determined the cause to be an accidental overdose of Imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. Yet the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office came to a different conclusion: “Miss Dandridge died of a rare embolism—blockage of the blood passages at the lungs and brain by tiny pieces of fat flaking off from bone marrow in a fractured right foot she sustained in a Hollywood gymnasium five days before she died.” She was 42 years old.

On September 12, 1965, a private funeral service was held for Dandridge at the Little Chapel of the Flowers;she was then cremated and her ashes interred in the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

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