Caroline Weber


    “Even when you are dead,” Marlene Dietrich once wrote to Orson Welles, “you are not safe, not out of reach.” Although a recluse for the last decade of her life, she never quite eluded the intense fascination that dogged her during her seventy years in the limelight, nor did her death, in 1992, at age ninety, succeed in breaking the spell. As Gerd Gemünden and Mary R. Desjardins note in the introduction to their scholarly anthology Dietrich Icon, the Berlin-born actress still provokes, puzzles, and intrigues—and for a variety of reasons. Obviously, in the words of one of the volume’s contributors,