Now Available in Paperback: Books by Legendary Film Star Marlene Dietrich

From the wonderfully varied and witty mind of Marlene Dietrich comes an alphabetized collection of zany, honest, and heartfelt thoughts. Offering Dietrich’s take on a range of ideas, people, culinary trends, and fashions, Marlene Dietrich’s ABCs is an unprecedented glimpse into one of history’s brightest and most enigmatic stars. Nothing is too small or too grand for Dietrich’s unique eye. From her entry for hardware store—”I’d rather go to a hardware store than to the opera”—to her entry for egocentric—”If he is a creative artist, forgive him”—she transforms both the mundane and the mysterious with her lively spirit.

 In this edition, Marlene offers her unique blend of wit, mordant humor, sensitivity, and acute observations of the world she has known and, to some extent, shaped. By blending the absolutely practical with whimsical, poetic, and sometimes moving observations, Dietrich again conjures that special magic with which she held the world enthralled for decades.

Film star. Cabaret sensation. Recording artist. Writer. Marlene Dietrich was nothing short of enchanting—and remains so as she chronicles her fabulous rise to stardom in Marlene. From her early career in Germany as a chorus girl to her breakout role as Lola in The Blue Angel (1930) to her courageous wartime tours, Dietrich recounts a life that captivates on the page just as she smoldered on the screen. She writes passionately of her friends, including Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Edith Piaf, among many others, and shares memories of what she considers her greatest accomplishment: entertaining the Allied troops during World War II. A sustained expression of her bold, sophisticated style, Marlene reminds us why Dietrich remains an international icon and a true Hollywood legend.

Marlene Dietrich never threw anything away. She kept her good-luck rag doll (it appeared with her in The Blue Angel and followed her to dressing tables on every movie set). She kept the letters she received from, friends, colleagues, lovers, and her husband of fifty-three years. She kept every article of clothing made for her by the great French couturiers and many from legendary Hollywood costume designers. She kept everything.

After Dietrich’s death, all of the memorabilia were cataloged—25,000 objects and 18,000 images. Marlene Dietrich: Photographs and Memories brings together her treasures as depicted in 289 photographs from her own collection and features extended captions by her daughter and sole biographer, Maria Riva. We see Dietrich across the years and roles of her life: a child, a young actress in Berlin, a newlywed, a devoted American, a mother, and of course, a glamorous Hollywood legend.

An intimate look into the life of an unforgettable star, this collection offers fans more than just photos and memorabilia—it shares perspective from Marlene herself.

Marlene Dietrich (1901–1992) was a German American actress best known for her performances in The Blue Angel (1930), Shanghai Express (1932), I Love a Soldier (1936), Manpower (1941), and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). During World War II, Dietrich toured domestically to sell war bonds and became well-known for her front-line efforts to support Allied troops. After the war, she received recognition both domestically and internationally for her efforts and was awarded the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (France, 3 ranks), the Medal of Valor (Israel), and the Medal of Freedom (USA) among many others.