Luise Rainer, the first actress to win back-to-back Oscars, was born Jan. 12, 1910, in Dusseldorf, Germany.
As a young actress, she was discovered by theater director Max Reinhardt and became part of his company in Vienna.
She made her film debut as a teenager and appeared in a few German-language films in the early '30s.
Rainer ended her European career at the uprising of Adolf Hitler and was offered a multiyear contract with MGM.
She made her American debut in the movie "Escapade" (1935).
An article about Rainer from The Times said, "There's so much emotion and dynamic energy stored in the small, compact body of this wistful little lady that one could never hope to press it into mere words. She's a series of contradictions, and as fluid as quicksilver. One moment she's gay and the next she's sunk in depths of despair."
Rainer who turned 100 in 2010, is only one of six actors who have a 2-0 winning record when nominated for an acting Oscar. She won Academy Awards for her performances in "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936) and "The Good Earth" (1937).
She is also the oldest living Academy Award winner and has never been shy about her feelings toward Hollywood. She famously remarked that by winning two consecutive Oscars, "nothing worse could have happened to me."
Rainer died Dec. 30, 2014, of pneumonia at her home in London. She was 104.
|1936||Best Actress||The Great Ziegfeld||Win|
|1937||Best Actress||The Good Earth||Win|