Her name wasn’t actually Dita either
Madonna‘s 1992 album ‘Erotica‘ and ‘Sex‘ book enabled our heroine to take on the character of ‘Dita Parlo‘ to live out her fantasies.
The opening line of the album and lead single was ‘My name is Dita, I’ll be your mistress tonight…‘ Madonna even went to the trouble of getting a gold tooth made up with the ‘D‘ for Dita inscribed which she used in promoting the album and single.
The ‘Dita‘ on the left is the original ‘Dita Parlo‘, although that wasn’t her real name either. Dita was in fact born Grethe Gerda Kornstädt in the town now known as Szczecin in the North West of Germany on September 4th, 1906. She became a popular actress in the German cinema of the late 20s but also managed to move across the border into the French industry where she achieved even greater success in the early 30s. Her most remembered role was in Jean Vigo’s ‘L’Atalante‘.
The original Dita wasn’t known for flashing her privates, or even working in the burlesque area of cinema so quite why Madonna chose her for the ‘honour’ of voicing her most filthiest of stories is unknown. Quite what the original Dita would think of Madonna‘s visual portrayal under her name is anyone’s guess, although the Weimar era of German history is famous for its love of all things saucy and darkly erotic.
Madonna isn’t the only American lady to develop a fascination with Dita – Marilyn Manson‘s ex-wife Dita Von Teese also took her stage name from the original Dita Parlo too! Originally known simply as ‘Dita’, Playboy insisted she have a surname but the ‘von Treese’ she picked out of the phone book got mis-spelt as von Teese, but Dita found that funny, liked it and kept it for future work.
When World War II broke out the original ‘Dita‘ moved back to Germany and effectively retired, making just three more films. She lived on quietly until she passed away in the early 1970s blissfully unaware of her late 90s resurrection thanks to two of America’s most talked about women!
Magazine scan by MadonnaTribe