The glamorous Marlene
Dietrich (1901-1992) is one of the most enduring female icons of the
twentieth century. Singing, dancing, acting, and, most importantly,
being her own mysterious self, the Berlin born star captivated the
imagination of everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Jacques Chirac.
Throughout her career as an
actress, whether singing or simply speaking, Dietrich continued to use
her voice as an instrument of enchantment. But it was on stage, with a
song, that Dietrich's voice, and Dietrich herself, worked their most
effective magic. Like the Lola whom she portrayed so memorably, Dietrich was two parts
ice-queen and one part vamp, and she seemed to love to be in front of
a crowd, seemingly in touch, and yet so distantly removed. Singing in
a Paris nightclub, entertaining battle-weary soldiers, or performing
at a Las Vegas cabaret--that is where, when one thinks of Dietrich,
one imagines her to be.