Luise Rainer, Back-to-Back Oscar Winner, dies at the age of 104

Posted in The Screening Room by - December 30, 2014

Actress Luise Rainer, who became the first winner of consecutive Oscars in the 1930s, has died at the age of 104. The German-born star was named best actress in 1936 and 1937 – a feat achieved by only five actors in Academy Awards history to date. Such an incredible feat, considering that some of today’s best actors and actresses may never win an Academy Award.

In 1936 Rainer won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in The Great Ziegfeld, an American musical drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Hunt Stromberg. It stars William Powell as the theatrical impresario Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld, Jr., Luise Rainer as Anna Held, and Myrna Loy as Billie Burke.

In 1937, The Good Earth, directed by Sidney Franklin, delivered Rainer’s second consecutive Academy Award for “Best Actresses”. The Good Earth is an American drama film about Chinese farmers who struggle to survive. It was adapted by Talbot Jennings, Tess Slesinger, and Claudine West from the play by Donald Davis and Owen Davis, which was based on the 1931 novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck.

It’s always unfortunate to see film icons pass away. However, at 104, Luise Rainer truly has had a long and incredible career worth celebrating.

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