Personal items belonging to Marlene Dietrich, including a double-breasted suit and a love letter written by Ernest Hemingway, go up for sale in Los Angeles. Rollo Ross reports.
Personal items belonging to one of Hollywood's most iconic actresses Marlene Dietrich are being put up for auction in Los Angeles. The items have been offered by Dietrich's grandson J. David Riva, who just didn't have a place for them. SOUNDBITE Marlene Dietrich's grandson, J. David Riva, saying (English) "You can't put a picture of your grandmother on the wall, you know, and invite people over for coffee. You know, it's really pretentious, you know, I couldn't exhibit these things. These things ended up sitting in storage." Lots at the auction include items such as a bird shaped compact and a double-breasted suit but the most significant item is a love letter she received from novelist Ernest Hemingway. SOUNDBITE Marlene Dietrich's grandson, J. David Riva, saying (English) "Ernest Hemingway and Marlene were the best of pals. They never actually consummated their relationship. It just never worked out. She was with someone then he'd be with someone, and then when he was single, she'd be with someone and this kind of thing. And so this collection shows the side of her that was a little bit more human in that sense. You know, she spoke a lot about politics, she spoke a lot about different things that were going on in her life in a much more personal and less 'Marlene Dietrich' way and I think that's the interesting thing about the letters and a lot of the personal items that reflect a different person from the created and crafted image that she had intended the public to see most of the time." Dietrich was one of the most famous women in the world, but for her last two decades, she hid away in her Parisian apartment. SOUNDBITE Marlene Dietrich's grandson, J. David Riva, saying (English) "Marlene learned from history that if you're somebody who dies young, like a Marilyn Monroe or James Dean or somebody else, you remember them the way they were when they died, you don't remember what they would look like today. And so she put herself away in a locked box to make sure people remembered her the way she was seen because that was her only form of income. If the public had seen what she'd become, she figured her glamour would go out a window, and of course she was right." Bids on the auction can be placed until April 6th.