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Happy 100th birthday, Luise Rainer

January 12, 2010 | 10:34 am
Luise rainer

The oldest living Oscar winner turns 100 today — Luise Rainer, who claimed consecutive Academy Awards as best actress for "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936) and "The Good Earth" (1937).

"For my second and third pictures, I won Academy Awards," she once said. "Nothing worse could have happened to me."

After her double victory, the German-born star received disappointing roles from MGM and poor reviews from film critics, so she fled Hollywood for Europe. Today, she's thought of widely as one of the best examples of the notorious Oscar Curse.

What does she think of that? And the Winner Is blogger Scott Feinberg recently chatted with her in London. Check out their podcast chats here.

Read what our forum posters say about Rainer's Oscar legacy, film career and birthday wishes here.

Photos: MGM

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The comments to this entry are closed.


You might want to correct your lead.

Sing Out, Luise (Rainer)
The first person to win two Academy Awards (and the first person to win them consecutively), Luise Rainer, hit a new high Jan. 12: She turned 100, making her one in a rare club of Oscar winners who hit the century mark (the late George Burns, 1896-1996, also comes to mind).

I wish Luise Rainer a very happy and healthy birthday. May God bless her.

I watched "The Good Earth" for the first time on TCM last night. It not only ridiculous (O-Lan leaving her kids alone to join the looters, nearly getting trampled to death, then coming THIS CLOSE to getting shot -- not exactly the sharpist knife in the draw!), but downright racist! And Ms. Rainer's "acting" consisted of looking constipated half of the time! The film needs to be remade with an all-Chinese cast.

Sehr verehrte Frau Rainer! Herzlichen Glueckwunsch zu Ihrem Geburtstag! Bleiben Sie gesund und gluecklich!
Nachdem ich heute Ihren Film "Die gute Erde" gesehen hatte war ich ueberwaeltigt von Ihrem schauspielerischen Koennen. So eine grossartige Darstellung hatte ich schon lange nicht mehr gesehen.
Da es hier in Kalifornien schon spaet ist kopiere ich zur Zeit Ihren Film "The Big City". Ich bin mir sicher, dass ich auch in diesem Film von Ihrer Schauspielkunst begeistert sein werde.
Vielen Dank fuer die Freude, die Sie uns mit Ihren Filmen gegeben haben! God bless you noch viele Jahre!

Wishing you a most Happy 100th Birthday, Ms Rainer!

You will never be forgotten.

I just finished watching The Good Earth. Ms. Rainer is luminous. Happy Birthday beautiful lady.

Thanks for this, Scott. I interviewed Ms. Rainer in 2003 for my film, Hollywood Chinese. I was wondering how she was doing. There's a video excerpt from the interview on


What a wonderful birthday you celebrate today! 100 years and an illustrious career! I just finished watching your performance in "The Great Ziegfeld" and now am watching you in "The Good Earth." THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR TALENT WITH THE WORLD. God bless you in this day and all that follow. I sincerely appreciate your generosity and the splendor of your acting.

Linda at
Lacey, WA

happy birthday luise , may god bless you and thank you.

Happy Birthday, I always wondered where my family was from, we may be related.

Terry Rainer

May I add my centenary tribute? 'Hollywood on Thames, Luise Rainer, 100' @ Looking forward to her chat with Christopher Frayling at the National Theatre in London.



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