Marianne Sägebrecht played a pioneering role in establishing the Rubenesque woman as a leading lady. In physical build so unlike the stereotypical Hollywood starlet, Sägebrecht's luminescent beauty shone through the persona of the full-figured star, in movies such as Sugarbaby (1985) and Bagdad Cafe (1987). These two Percy Adlon films popularized the German-born actress with American audiences, and launched her Hollywood career.
Sägebrecht's stage and film appearances began long before Hollywood. Born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1947, Sägebrecht was well known on Germany's alternative theater circuit as an actress and singer. In German film, she worked on both sides of the camera, as a producer and actress. It was during this time that she began a collaboration with Adlon, who wrote parts specifically tailored to the mystique of Sägebrecht, whose 30-something overweight characters are a mix of funny and seductive.