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25 February 2013

Frédé Baulé (1914 - 1976) club owner

In 1936 Marlene Dietrich was in Paris for the opening of a new Maurice Chevalier musical at the Casino de Paris. Erich Maria Remarque, an ex-beau of Dietrich, also came to the show and the reception afterwards. His date for the evening was a 20-year-old woman, Frédérique Baule (born Suzanne Baulé). But it was Dietrich that Baule left with.

Frédé, as she preferred to be known, spent much of the next few years with Marlene who kept returning to Paris as often as her Hollywood career would allow.

In 1938 Marlene set Frédé up in business with a nightclub that was officially called La Silhouette (after Marlene's favourite bar in Berlin), but was generally known as Chez Frédé. It catered to lesbians and cross-dressing women, but also to celebrities.

Frédé's dress and haircut became quite masculine. Errol Flynn describes her in his autobiography:

"She dressed better than any man I had ever seen. … her over-all effect that of a sophisticated English schoolboy. Her man's haircut looked better on her than on any man."

Apparently La Silhouette was able to stay open during the German occupation. The club did so well that in the late 1940s Frédé moved to a larger place, Carroll's. Marlene, of course, was present for the opening, and also Erich Maria Remarque and Maurice Chevalier.
  • Kenneth G. Mclain. "The Untold Story Of Marlene Dietrich". Confidential, July 1955. Online at:
  • Errol Flynn & Jeffrey Meyers. My Wicked, Wicked Ways. NY: Berkley Publ. Corp, 1979. NY: Cooper Square Press, 2003: 221-3.
  • Axel Madsen. The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's Greatest Secret : Female Stars Who Loved Other Women. New York: A Birch Lane Press Book published by Carol Publishing Group, 1995: 150. 
  • Diana McLellan. The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. New York: LA Weekly Books, 2000: 227, 244-5, 327-8, 355, 358.
  • Denis Cosnard. Frede. Des Équateurs, 2017.


  1. Anonymous25/2/13 18:30

    Very interesting!

  2. i've been reading for a bit of a while now, and wanted to just applaud the work that must go into this catalogue of amazing people. thanks so much for this!

  3. Thanks for sharing these additional resources on Frede Baule! I'd be interested in knowing your views on The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. I can point out a lot of inaccuracies in the book, but it has resonated so profoundly with so many people over the past decade that it has become as good as gospel truth.

  4. Patrick Modiano and his brother Rudy lived en Fred's house during a long period. En the 50' Fred had an affair with mexican actress María Félix and joined her in Italy during the shooting of her italian film Incantesimo tragico.

  5. There were at least two live records made at the Carroll's, they have been digitized by the French National Library and you can find them on their website or on Deezer.
    They don't have the cover, though, but here is one of them with a nice picture of Frede :
    Frede is also mentioned in several books by Nobel prize winner Patrick Modiano, who knew her (he describes her as a woman who always wears men's jackets).

  6. The whole story of Frede is told in the book I just published in France, "Frede" (Les Equateurs editor.
    I also put on line a site specifically dedicated to this amazing Frede :

  7. Will there be an English edition?


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