Elizabeth Wright Hubbard was one of the foremost homeopaths of the United States, and in the world. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard was the first woman president of the American Institute of Homeopathy and also President of the Anthroposophical Society in America, and homeopath to the rich and famous, including Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Wright Hubbard was also the homeopath of Paul Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric and Lily Pons.
Throughout her long career, Dietrich constantly re-invented herself, starting as a cabaret singer, chorus girl and film actress in 1920s Berlin, she became a Hollywood movie star in the 1930s, a World War II frontline entertainer, and finally an international stage show performer from the 1950s to the 1970s, eventually becoming one of the entertainment icons of the 20th century.
Through her step-father Eduard von Losch, she encountered relatives who were staunchly conservative earls and princesses. They left their mark on Marlene Dietrich’s values. She took violin lessons, performed at school events and participated in evenings of music at home. She was infatuated by her elegant Aunt Vally and by her occasional young male acquaintances at the skating rink. And she confided her hopes and doubts, flirtations and yearnings to her diary.
It is probable that Marlene would have viewed homeopathy as an aristocratic fascination as:
the deeply stratified society of late eighteenth century Europe, and which had given rise to homoeopathy, was essentially aristocratic, founded upon patronage by royalty and ‘the rich’ of a medical middle-class of which Samuel Hahnemann was an integral part….
The strong patronage (of homeopathy) by royals and aristocrats also greatly assisted its adoption in what was a typically European feudal hierarchy, and utterly class-ridden society!
British Royals and aristocrats soon followed suit and the therapy became very popular with the nobility, who not only patronised homoeopathic physicians, but they also gave generous financial assistance with the setting up of homoeopathic hospitals, pharmacies and free homoeopathic dispensaries for the poor.
During the 1920s in Berlin and Vienna, Marlene achieved fame as an actress and would have moved in illustrious circles, such that she attracted the attention of Josef von Sternberg (the false aristocratic title ‘von’ was later added by a Hollywood studio head to make the name sound more distinctive) and moved to Hollywood to become one of the most famous actresses of all time.
In Hollywood she would meet homeopathic supporters John Wayne and Lauren Bacall and many others, and she would have known about homeopathic advocate Sarah Bernhardt, “the most famous actress in the history of the world”, who would have been as influential in forming Marlene’s screen presence as Greta Garbo was.
Marlene was a close friend of Ernest Hemingway (who was a great fan of homeopathic supporter Henry David Thoreau, and whose granddaughter Mariel Hemingway still uses homeopathy today). Marlene was also a close friend of Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin (though his attempt to study Aconitum Napellus did not impress the homeopaths!)
“I’ve always been attracted to intelligent men,” she once said. “I can pick ’em in a full room, just like that. I don’t care what age they are.”