Marlene Dietrich celebrated by Google Doodle – here’s why the German singer and actress’ 116th birthday is being marked

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AP:Associated Press Marlene Dietrich was known for her fearless style

Who was Marlene Dietrich?

Born in Berlin on December 27, 1901, Dietrich's full name was Maria Magdalene Dietrich but at the age of 11 she decided to join her first two names together to form Marlene.

From an early age, she showed a keen interest in music and theatre and began working as a chorus girl, performing both in Berlin and on the road around Germany.

This gave her a way into the entertainment world and in 1923 she made her film debut in Little Napolean – the same year she met her future husband Rudolf Sieber.

In 1924 Marlene gave birth to her only child, Maria Elisabeth.

Her breakthrough role came in 1929 when she landed the part of Lola Lola – a cabaret singer in The Blue Angel.

She later moved to America where she helped Jews and other at-risk people escape Nazi Germany as the Second World War began.

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Dietrich performed for Allied troops across Europe and later returned to Germany and reunited with her sister.

She continued to work but her health began to deteriorate and in 1975 she fell off a stage and broke her thigh – ending her performing career.

The next year her husband Rudolf died of cancer. On May 6, 1992, she passed away as a result of renal failure at her Paris flat at the age of 90.

Such was her status, over 1,500 mourners attended her funeral – including ambassadors from the US, UK, Russia and France.

She was buried in Berlin, near her family following a request she made after the Berlin Wall fell and East and West Germany were reunited.

cd3ce14e2f3b29bc4b92fc08f1551dec Marlene Dietrich celebrated by Google Doodle – here’s why the German singer and actress’ 116th birthday is being marked

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