She was one of the greatest stars of all time.
Her image came to be synonymous with seduction.
She exuded glamour, sultriness, and a simmering sexuality that appealed to both men and women.
Her heavy-lidded eyes, her high cheekbones, her sensuous lips, her shapely figure, her tempting voice and her magnificent legs made her an international sensation.
But beneath the garments that often seemed to be sewn onto her sinuous frame, Marlene Dietrich had a secret -- a secret which has only recently been revealed.
No, it didn't concern anything that was fake. There were no false parts. Everything was real.
And the secret wasn't a secret about something the Great Dietrich did or had or kept.
Rather, it concerned something she didn't do, something she didn't keep, something she never wore.
In Charlotte Chandler's new book Marlene, Chandler reveals that Dietrich never wore panties. Never.
"I don't like to wear panties,' Dietrich told Chandler. "They are so confining. And when they show through and make a line, it looks terrible."
And Dietrich said this was her attitude from an very early age. "I've never understood why the absence of panties was so shocking and was considered a mark of not being a decent woman," Dirtrich explained.
"In school," she said "I couldn't have any of the other girls, even my best friends, know my secret. I had to be especially careful on gym days."
"If she had caught me, my mother mother would have punished me for my guilty secret . . . fortunately, the revelation that I was not a lady, even when I was only a little girl, didn't happen and it was not exposed that I was exposed. Then, finally the day came when I didn't have to answer to anyone."
Dietrich said that when she met the man who was to become her husband, he didn't care about the fact that she didn't wear panties. And that was just fine with Dietrich since by that time she had no intention of changing her ways.
"He never seemed to mind anything that I did," Dietrich said of her ever-tolerant husband.
As always, Dietrich made her own rules.
And this is just one of the many quirks and various aspects of her fascinating life.
BTW: Author Ernest Hemingway (who was widely believed to have conducted a lifelong relationship with Dietrich) always felt underwear to be confining. So, he never wore underwear. Maybe that was part of the mutual attraction between these two icons.