Dietrich worried about competition from other women, letters reveal

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 03 2001 1:00 AM ET

Before attaining worldwide stardom, bisexual screen icon Marlene Dietrich wrote to her boyfriend in the early 1920s fretting that he had found a more attractive girl, revealed a love letter made public in Germany Friday. “Have you already found beautiful women? And someone prettier than me?” Dietrich, then 19, wrote to Willy Michel, a baker. “I feel so empty.… Now I am crying.” Dietrich met Michel when she was a music student in Weimar from 1919 to 1921. Dietrich went on to court some of the most famous people in the world: She has been romantically linked with Greta Garbo, President John F. Kennedy, and Frank Sinatra, among others. A Hanover auction house disclosed a series of eight letters ahead of their planned sale at an auction later this month. “I’m very unhappy, can you believe it,” Dietrich wrote in the last letter of the series. “I am crying so much, my little Michel, much too much. And it is not helping.” Soon after this 1922 letter, Dietrich appeared in her first film and two years later married director Rudolph Sieber. She gained fame by starring in The Blue Angel, the first German talking film in 1929. Dietrich later moved to Hollywood, where she gained her femme fatale status.