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Gwyneth Paltrow to play Marlene Dietrich

May 28, 2004

Marl�ne Dietrich and Cary Grant in the 1932 movie Blonde V�nus
Photo - AFP
LOS ANGELES — Oscar-winning US actress Gwyneth Paltrow will take on the legendary persona of German-born movie icon Marlene Dietrich in a new big-budget Hollywood film, the industry press said Thursday.

Tinseltown studio DreamWorks is to bring the life story of the very private Blue Angel star to the silver screen in an adaptation of her daughter Maria Riva's book, Marlene Dietrich, Daily Variety said.

The studio signed Paltrow to the role after securing rights to the tell-all memoir and has also won the cooperation of the estate of the late Dietrich, who died alone in her Paris apartment in 1992.

Paltrow will also co-produce the film, the script of which will be written by Jess Money, after successfully persuading Dreamworks executives including director Steven Spielberg to back the project, the entertainment industry bible said.

Dietrich's grandson Peter Riva was quoted by Variety as saying that Paltrow was one of few contemporary actresses who could do justice to his proud grandmother who took care to make sure the ravages of time never tarnished her glamorous image.

"When she realized that age caught up to her at 76, she made sure that she did not undermine her memory by being seen getting old," he said. "She stayed in bed for her final 11 years." But production on the new film is not expected to get underway anytime soon as the blonde siren Paltrow, 31, has taken a sabbatical from acting following the birth this month of her first child with her new husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

Dietrich, a former Berlin cabaret singer who fled from Germany during a massive economic depression in 1930 to Hollywood to work with fellow German director Josef von Sternberg, became one of Tinseltowm's great luminaries.

Apart from her wrenching leading role in von Sternberg's The Blue Angel (1930), the actress and singer is remembered for her colourful personal life and romances with famous men and women.

"In the cabaret scene in Berlin, girls dated girls as much as men, and nobody wanted to settle down because they were so affected by the horrors of war," Peter Riva said.

"She would fall in love with a song, with Paris, or a beautiful woman or a powerful man, and she would pour all her passion in that direction for as long as she wanted to." Sapa-AFP

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