Dietrich Was Camelot's Other Woman

Sex siren enjoyed long-running affair with Kennedys
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2009 12:33 PM CST
Marlene Dietrich portrays Lola Lola, left, and Emil Jannings portrays Professor Immanuel Rath in a scene from the 1930 German film, "The Blue Angel."   (AP Photo/PBS, The Museum of Film and Television, Berlin)
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(Newser) – Marlene Dietrich had a peculiar effect on many of the world’s most accomplished and respected men: She turned them into bumbling adolescents. But the German screen siren, who entranced everyone from Frank Sinatra to Adlai Stevenson, enjoyed a special relationship with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy when their families summered together in the French Riviera, Cari Beauchamp writes in Vanity Fair.

While Rose Kennedy acted aloof, Dietrich told all to her husband, who had his own mistress. The bisexual actress, who loathed condoms and rejected Hitler’s overtures, saw herself in “Papa Joe,” and even bedded son JFK in the White House. “Onscreen and off, Dietrich was a chameleon who became whatever her lover or director wanted her to be,” Beauchamp says.