Marlene Dietrich was a German actress and singer, who later gained American citizenship. Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself. In 1920s Berlin, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest paid actresses of the era. Dietrich became a US citizen in 1939; during World War II, she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a successful show performer. In 1999 the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth greatest female star of all time. Dietrich was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich on 27 December 1901 in Schöneberg, a district of Berlin, Germany. She was the younger of two daughters of Louis Dietrich and Wilhelmina Dietrich .Dietrich's mother was from a well-to-do Berlin family who owned a clockmaking firm and her father was a police lieutenant. Her father died in 1911. She was nicknamed "Lene" within the family. Around the age of 11, she contracted her two first names to form the then-unusual name, Marlene. Dietrich attended the Auguste Victoria School for Girls from 1906 to 1918. She studied the violin and became interested in theatre and poetry as a teenager. Her dreams of becoming a concert violinist were cut short when she injured her wrist