Marlene Dietrich gained success in Germany during the 1930s, and was in Germany’s first talking picture, Der Blaue Engel, according to Google. Dietrich was later in the English version The Blue Angel.
Marlene Dietrich also found success in the United States, starring in notable films including Morocco, Shanghai Express and The Devil Is a Woman. Dietrich also performed as a USO entertainer during World War II and was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom and France’s Légion d’Honneur.
The illustrator behind Wednesday’s Google Doodle has a performance background as well. Sasha Steinberg performs drag under the name Sasha Velour, and won season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Steinberg said she took inspiration from Dietrich, who wore a tuxedo and top hat while acting as a nightclub dancer in Morocco, a role for which Dietrich earned an Academy Award nomination for best actress. Dietrich was known for donning men’s silk suits off the silver screen as well.
“She was a wild original! Despite the pressures of the time, she followed her own course, especially in terms of politics and gender. As a drag queen, that’s particularly inspiring to me. Plus, she just had this power to her . . . in every role she’s mysterious and strong, brilliant. That’s what I aspire to be when I step on the stage,” Velour said in a release from Google.