The Secret in Her Soul

Sexy, elusive, contradictory, Marlene Dietrich transcended her screen roles to create an indelible image of femininity and one of the century's enduring enigmas

SHE CREATED, DURING 62 YEARS OF international fame, one of the century's most indelible (if ambiguous) images. Yet she passed the last 13 years of her life as a virtual recluse -- cranky, litigious and, considering the length and strength of her celebrity, by no means wealthy. She was, by common critical consent, one of the great stars of the movies' Golden Age. But she was never wildly popular with the mass audience and was once dubbed box-office "poison" in an exhibitors' poll.

It was artists and intellectuals, trying to explicate her mystery, who did the most to propagate her legend....

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