ARRIVAL @ JAN SMUTS AIRPORT, JOHANNESBURG (22-04-1965):
Click here to listen to a radio interview on Miss Dietrich's arrival in South Africa



While on on the Cape Town leg of her second South African tour in 1966, Miss Dietrich was spotted by a journalist at the beauty counter of Garlicks department store.



 
How does Marlene Dietrich do it? That is the question with which thousands of woman keep themselves busy. I accidentally stood next to her at a beauty counter in a large Capetonian shop and I pricked my ears to hear if she would give away any of her beauty secrets. She only gave away a few secrets, but whether all women will be able to apply them as successfully as the legendary Dietrich, is doubtful.

I stood close to her and had a good view of her. She has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen. No wrinkles spoil her beautiful profile. She was talking comfortably - too comfortably to put me and the saleslady, Miss Sandra Riebeek, at ease.

She didn't introduce herself and her friend, Mrs B B Ruben, also didn't let it show who the important client was, but when she started talking, we took notice of her and realised who it was.

Civic Theatre 1966The first thing you notice when standing so close to Marlene Dietrich is how she hides her age. You critically look for something of which to say: "of this she couldn't do anything and age had its way."

Her hands were all which betrayed her. They aren't nice young and supple anymore. Here age has left its trace. Otherwise, Marlene Dietrich has won age in every aspect.

She has a pale skin and it is obvious that she doesn't expose it to the weather. It is protected very carefully, "otherwise it dries out." Her skin is massaged regulary and make-up applied very softly. She uses little make-up, only lipstick and black mascara. She has never needed foundation and avoids pastes and other cosmetics which could spoil her skin's natural glow.

She tells that she grooms her eyebrows daily. Not a single hair is out of place. Before she performs and goes to bed at night, she applies cooling drops in her eyes.

Believe it if you will, she tends her hair herself. She still has her own teeth, something of which she is very proud.

She believes in some exercise at the right time. Every day when she wakes up, she goes and stands in front of her window, breathes deeply and, if she has the chance, lies flat on her back, hands at her sides, and rides bicycle in the air - which keeps her calf muscles taut. It's also good to stretch your toes, "but then one shouldn't be tired," she says.

Cape Town 1966The clothes worn by Miss Dietrich is of a simple cut. Her dress comes to just above the knee and she wears no jewellery.

It very quickly become known in the shop that Miss Dietrich was doing shopping there. In a short time, a big crowd gathered around her, all women who envy her and wanted to know how she does it, or just gaped with open mouths.

Her friend had to make way through the crowd and Miss Dietrich quickly ran towards a car waiting in Adderley Street.

She is 66 years old, but actually 66 years young. When I walked past a male admirer, I heard him say: "This woman is just like wine, the older, the better!"