Google Doodle puts Marlene Dietrich in the spotlight

Marking what would have been her 116th birthday, the doodle offers a glimpse of Dietrich's film career and her fashion followers.

Nobody wears a top hat and tux quite like Marlene Dietrich.

It could be the picture in the dictionary next to the term "femme fatale."

But today, it's the picture atop Google's search page in roughly two dozen countries, from North America and much of Europe to Japan and New Zealand: the movie star Marlene Dietrich, in top hat and tux, with those famously heavy-lidded eyes.

Marking what would have been her 116th birthday, the Google Doodle for Dec. 27 offers a glimpse of Dietrich's film career. Born in Berlin, she got her start in Germany's young film industry, and her breakout role, in 1930, was that country's first talking picture, "Der Blaue Engel." Then it was on to Hollywood and roles in movies including "Shanghai Express," "Blonde Venus," "The Devil Is a Woman" and, the one that created her tux look, "Morocco." Later in her career, she appeared in "Around the World in 80 Days" and Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil."

The Google Doodle also pays tribute to Dietrich, who died in Paris in 1992, as an inspiration to drag performers, including the doodle's artist, Sasha Steinberg, aka Sasha Velour.

"Dietrich was more than a femme fatale with an unforgettable voice," the doodle write-up says. "Ever the risk-taker, she turned pat notions about femininity upside down."

Or as Steinberg/Velour puts it: "She was a wild original!"

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