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The only thing better than an icon is an icon drawing a Google Doodle of another icon.
Google honored Marlene Dietrich with a frontpage doodle on Wednesday, tipping its (top) hat to one of the greatest classic Hollywood actresses. Dietrich—who is known for her work during World War II selling war bonds, performing for troops, and publicly denouncing Hitler and the Nazis—would have been 116 Wednesday.
Sasha Steinberg, who performs as Sasha Velour and won season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, sketched the legendary performer for Google.
I was so honored to create the artwork for today’s Google Doodle to honor Marlene Dietrich’s 116th Birthday. She’s a true icon. https://t.co/KGMb5OXZBv— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) December 27, 2017
P.s. I literally drew this in Australian hotels, a Whole Foods in Atlanta, and on the tour bus when I should have been sleeping!! I have been so excited about it...but so hard to keep secret!!— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) December 27, 2017
“She was a wild original!” Velour told Google. “Despite the pressures of the time, she followed her own course, especially in terms of politics and gender. As a drag queen, that’s particularly inspiring to me.”
Dietrich, who was bisexual in an era when homosexuality was a crime, was famous for donning a tux in the 1930 film Morocco. The movie includes a scene where Dietrich, playing a cabaret performer, plants a kiss on a woman in the audience.
In her run on Drag Race, Velour brought artistic edge and pushed the limits of what it means to be a man performing as a woman. During “Snatch Game”—the Match Game-style segment of Drag Race where the competitors impersonate celebrities—Velour played Dietrich.
In case there’s any doubt that Velour is exactly the right person to memorialize Dietrich with a Google Doodle, the drag queen is happy to defend her artists’ rights.
“I’m a genderqueer drag queen who famously impersonated Marlene on TV,” Velour wrote to a skeptic. “Just enjoy the artwork.”
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.