Биографии, мемуары

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Marlene Dietrich: By Her Daughter

Автор: Riva, Maria
Год: 1992
Издание: NY: Random House
Страниц: 1500
ISBN: [не указан]
In this astonishingly honest biography of Marlene Dietrich from birth to age 73, her daughter Maria Riva reveals the truth about her mother as it contrasts with the sometimes embellished stories of the Dietrich legend. She does this with love, a sense of understanding of the needs of this complex woman, and with a surprising humor which is never deprecating. The resulting biography shows Dietrich in an almost heroic light--but not for the actions which have become part of her show-biz mystique. Her real life and her real commitments, many of which are far less celebrated, often prove to be more remarkable than the stories promulgated by the press. Dietrich began keeping diaries and journals at age ten, and her daughter uses these and her personal knowledge to show Dietrich's life in three phases. The first part includes her family background, childhood, acting studies, early career, and decision to pursue a film career in Hollywood, and also incorporates her marriage to Rudolf Sieber (which lasted fifty years) and the birth of her daughter. In Part II, her decision to become an American citizen, help actively with the American war effort, and work tirelessly for the USO in America, Europe, and Africa shows a commitment to helping others that belies her cold, sexy image. In Part III, her postwar career in Las Vegas and on tour, despite her undiagnosed health problems, reveal her dedication to remaining a goddess' on stage and in the public imagination. Throughout the biography, Riva's honesty, including her awareness of her mother's faults, is always tempered by her respect for Dietrich's integrity and her commitment to entertaining--Dietrich, she says, was 'the embodiment of other people's dreams.' She details Dietrich's long love affairs with director Josef von Sternberg, with whom she made seven films, with French actor Jean Gabin during the war, and with Yul Brynner in the 1950s, along with shorter relationships with many other show business personalities, generals during the war, and composers and directors. Though Kenneth Tynan once referred to the fact that Dietrich oozed 'sex without gender,' Riva pays little attention to the interest Dietrich may have had in other women, and to Dietrich's boast that she had slept with three members of the Kennedy clan. Her 'inside look' at Dietrich as she grows older and keeps performing despite serious circulatory and cardiac problems, and her ability to share the 'secrets' Dietrich used to enhance her image and hide her flaws, make Dietrich-the-Legend come to life. Written in an informal, straightforward style, Riva continues the legend despite her revelations--she just revises it a bit and makes it more realistic.'
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