Dykonography 101: Billie

December 9, 2008 at 9:18 pm (Dykonography 101) (, , , , , )

Billie "Lady Day" Holiday

Billie "Lady Day" Holiday

Billie Holiday was a jazz diva who became the stereotypical victim—unlucky in life, unlucky in love, and dead from drink and drugs at the age of only 44. Billie lived it up with a vengeance, and had a huge appetite for drink, drugs, men and women. She had an affair with actor and director Orson Welles, and also had a number of lesbian affairs—including one with Tallulah Bankhead.

-excerpted from notes on “Reputations: Billie Holiday”, a BBC-TV production (read the rest)

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Dykonography 101: Marlene

December 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm (Dykonography 101) (, , , , )

 

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

Probably no one, gay or straight, of any gender, could tear her or his eyes from the sight of Marlene Dietrich, leaning back with lewd abandon, grasping a shapely gartered leg as she growls out her most famous signature song, “Falling in Love Again”. That song, and the role of Lola Lola, the sizzling slut with a heart of ice, brought Dietrich to international stardom in Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 landmark film Der Blaue Engle (The Blue Angel).

Dietrich always retained her continental sophistication, and she scandalized society almost as much by wearing trousers in public as by her numerous love affairs with both men and women. In the 1930 film, Morocco,audiences were shocked and titillated when Dietrich’s character, a nightclub singer in glamorous tails-and-top-hat drag, finishes up a number by kissing a female audience member on the lips.

According to Marjorie Rosen, the actress once said, “In Europe, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. We make love with anyone we find attractive.” Rumors of her numerous affairs with such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, John Kennedy, Edith Piaf, and writer Mercedes de Acosta only added to the Dietrich mystique.

 

-excerpted from Tina Gianouli‘s glbtq entry (read the rest)

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