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USA/FILE: A selection of Marlene Dietrich's personal belongings …
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It's an odd assortment of memorabilia, including a bird-shaped compact, a double-breasted suit and a love letter written by Ernest Hemingway. But despite the wide variety, they all have two things in common. The first is that they are up for auction; the second is that they all belonged to one of Hollywood's most iconic actresses, Marlene Dietrich.
Her grandson, J. David Riva is putting the items up for sale at the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles and the bidding will continue until April 6.
Many of the items are small, such as watches, silverware and old-fashioned cigarette lighters. But one item in particular has sparked a good deal of interest - a letter written to Dietrich by celebrated American author, Ernest Hemingway.
In it, he gives Dietrich some humorous, if not slightly racy, advice on what she should do for her latest performance in Las Vegas.
"Ernest Hemingway and Marlene were the best of pals, it's the only way of putting it. It's like two college guys that were out on a bender, that's pretty much their relationship," Riva said, speaking in front of several posters up for auction.
He explained that Hemingway and Dietrich met on a trans-Atlantic ship voyage and had remained in close contact ever since, although both insisted that their relationship never bloomed into romance.
As for the rest of Riva's collection, he said that they showed a more 'human' side to Dietrich that the general public rarely saw.
"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," Riva said.
He also jokingly added that he was putting the items up for auction because he simply couldn't display them around his house.
"In L.A. 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. I mean some of these posters are amazing posters, but it's not polite to shove this in people's faces."
The auction is taking place inside the very same room where fabled make-up artist, Max Factor, prepared Dietrich's make-up before her movie shoots. The room is now part of the Hollywood Museum, which displays thousands of pieces of authentic Hollywood memorabilia.
Some of Dietrich's most famous works include the films "Morocco," "Shanghai Empress" and "Destry Rides Again." (Caption:USA/FILE: A selection of Marlene Dietrich's personal belongings go up for auction)
EDIT CONTAINS MUTE AND COVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 26, 2014) (REUTERS)
PAN OF MARLENE DIETRICH MEMORABILIA
PICTURE OF MARLENE DIETRICH
PAN OF TYPEWRITER AND LETTER WRITTEN TO DIETRICH BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY TO MORE DIETRICH MEMORABILIA ON SHELF
PAN OF DIETRICH MEMORABILIA TO DIETRICH'S GRANDSON J. DAVID RIVA
CLOSE-UP OF RIVA'S FACE
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARLENE DIETRICH'S GRANDSON, J. DAVID RIVA SAYING:
"Ernest Hemingway and Marlene were the best of pals, it's the only way of putting it. It's like two college guys that were out on a bender, that's pretty much their relationship. Hemingway and Marlene both told the press and told everybody that they never actually consummated their relationship, they never actually slept together. Hemingway said it was because they were never free at the same time so 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."
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