Marlene Dietrich was not a traditional beauty. She had a naturally dramatic face with razor-sharp cheekbones, eternally sleepy eyelids, and a penetrating, sometimes discomfiting gaze. Nor was Dietrich a traditionally good singer; her voice was more husky and baritone than those of similar figures like Judy Garland.
Despite all this, Dietrich was a star. She ruled the stage and screen for over five decades with her distinctive personality and affinity for playing bold, empowered characters. Every one of Dietrich's performances – from Lola Lola in The Blue Angel to the Baroness in Just a Gigolo – drips with her signature style: beguiling, biting, and sexually provocative.
While cultivating a carefully thought-out public persona, Dietrich was privately one of the most progressive actresses in the business, a true old Hollywood rebel.