Luise Rainer
German actress
Luise Rainer
Luise Rainer is a former German film actress. Known as The "Viennese Teardrop", she was the first woman to win two Academy Awards, and the first person to win them consecutively. She was discovered by MGM talent scouts while acting on stage in Austria and Germany and after appearing in Austrian films. Aged 102, she is currently the oldest living Academy Award winner. Her training began in Germany from the age of 16 by leading stage director Max Reinhardt.
Biography
Luise Rainer's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Luise Rainer
News
News abour Luise Rainer from around the web
Forget gold, TCM strikes platinum, blonde that is, with Carole Lombard Aug. 28 - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
Luise Rainer beat out Lombard for the 1936 Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Great Ziegfeld. My Man Godfrey has the distinction of being the only film in Oscar history to receive nominations for Best Actor & Actress, Best Supporting Actor
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Local reader helps film legend Luise Rainer get spot on 'Boulevard of Stars' - The Local.de
Google News - over 5 years
Luise Rainer, a nearly forgotten yet beloved German actress will be honoured on Berlin's "Boulevard of Stars" next month after one man campaigned for the 101-year-old to receive the acknowledgment she deserves. Last September, Paul DH Baylay was
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Ein Stern für Luise Rainer - haGalil onLine
Google News - over 5 years
Stern des Jahrgangs 2011 trägt Namen und Lebensdaten der Schauspielerin Luise Rainer… Mit ihren 101 Lebensjahren ist Luise Rainer damit die Doyenne der lebenden Stars auf dem BOULEVARD am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Aus London lässt Luise Rainer
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Luise Rainer auf dem «Boulevard der Stars» - Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
Google News - over 5 years
Die deutsche Oscar-Gewinnerin Luise Rainer in ihrem Arbeitszimmer in London (Archivbild von 2001). (FOTO: DPA) Berlin/dpa. Sie hat zweimal den Oscar bekommen und obwohl sie aus Deutschland stammt, blieb sie in ihrer Heimat lange vergessen: Die jüdische
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The Arts on TV: Renée Fleming; 'The Great Waltz'; 'Theater Talk' - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Movie: "The Great Waltz” *** (1938) 3 pm Friday, TCM: Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravet. Composer Johann Strauss marries a baker's daughter, woos a soprano and becomes famous in 19th-century Austria. “American Masters” 9 pm Friday, KOCE: Lennon NYC -- John
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La Chine et Hollywood...une histoire de films - Quotidien du Peuple
Google News - over 5 years
Ce film a reçu de nombreuses nominations aux Oscars, et l'Allemande Luise Rainer a remporté le prix de la Meilleure Actrice. M. Ni ajoute : « Par chance, La Terre chinoise et d'autres productions similaires ont permis de faire naître un nouveau
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Mal's Classic Movie Festival returns - The Virginian-Pilot
Google News - over 5 years
In a party atmosphere, local stand-ins will accept for the winners. (So far, none of the winners has been alive, but this is not a requirement.) Last year's winner as best actress was Luise Rainer in “The Good Earth.”
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Tom Hanks visitará Despierta América - Univisión
Google News - over 5 years
Junto a Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy y Katharine Hepburn, es uno de los intérpretes que han conseguido dos Premios Óscar como mejor actuación principal de manera consecutiva. Con la película Ángeles y Demonios, se ha convertido en el segundo actor mejor
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Second-hand books are bound to please around US northeast - Vancouver Sun
Google News - over 5 years
Framed vintage movie posters (Luise Rainer in "The Toy Wife") hang on the walls. Two fawn and white cats laze about and, on certain days, a pair of Pembroke Welsh corgis make an appearance. McWilliams is a former editor of the defunct Country Journal
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Electronic Oscar Voting: Problems and Pitfalls - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
Luise Rainer? The switch to electronic voting is clearly the chief means for the Academy to shorten awards season. The Oscars are awards-season latecomers — in fact, they're the very last ones to be announced — which is one of the reasons for the
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Aktorka bez precedensu - Onet.pl
Google News - almost 6 years
Chodzi m.in. o Luise Rainer, która wystąpiła w ekranizacji (1937) „Dobrej ziemi” wg książki noblistki Pearl Buck czy o Jennifer Jones, która kreowała postać w filmie “Miłość jest wspaniała” (1955). Jednak do roku 1956 rygory kodeksu zelżały
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Classic Hollywood: Nancy Kwan opened doors for Asian actors - Los Angeles Times
Google News - almost 6 years
With the production code in place, Hollywood cast Caucasian actors, such as Luise Rainer in 1937's "The Good Earth" and Jennifer Jones in 1955's "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," in Asian or Eurasian roles. But by 1956, the code had loosened up
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Jackie Cooper Pt.2: SUPERMAN's Perry White, Two-Time Emmy Winner - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
... he was nine when the nominations were announced. Cooper was also the earliest Oscar nominee in the acting categories still alive. That "honor" now belongs to Luise Rainer, Best Actress winner in 1936 (The Great Ziegfeld) and 1937 (The Good Earth)
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Red Carpet Royals Interviewed at TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night - Examiner.com
Google News - almost 6 years
My escort and Baltimore actor friend, Vincent De Paul (Sex and the City 2, Iron Man and many others) and I had a wonderful time talking to Luise Rainer's daughter, Francesca Knittel, about her mother's interview last year at the TCM Classic Film
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What's On Today
NYTimes - about 6 years
8 P.M. (TCM) HAPPY 101ST BIRTHDAY, LUISE RAINER Reared in Düsseldorf, Germany, and Vienna -- during a childhood she described as ''one of starvation, poverty and revolution'' -- Ms. Rainer distinguished herself on the Berlin stage in Max Reinhardt's company before heading in 1935 to Hollywood, where some imagined she might become the next Greta
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NYTimes article
SUMMER MOVIES; Seers, Spies and Superheroes
NYTimes - almost 9 years
All dates are subject to change. MAY Open THE FAVOR An unassuming photographer (Frank Wood) adopts the troubled son of his high school sweetheart following her death in an accident. With Paige Turco and Ryan Donowho; Eva Aridjis wrote and directed. FUGITIVE PIECES Last year's opening night feature at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jeremy
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NYTimes article
Corrections
NYTimes - almost 10 years
A picture caption on April 22 with a review of ''The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman,'' misspelled the given name of the actress shown with Lerman in 1952. She is Luise Rainer, not Louise.
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NYTimes article
Life of the Party
NYTimes - almost 10 years
THE GRAND SURPRISE The Journals of Leo Lerman. Edited by Stephen Pascal. Illustrated. 654 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $37.50. Leo Lerman once turned down an invitation from the king and queen of Spain so he could dine with the Condé Nast publishing magnate Donald Newhouse. Another time, he flatly rejected a ''Narcissus naked'' Yul Brynner, who was
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BOOKS OF STYLE; The Story Behind 'Who Are You Wearing?'
NYTimes - about 10 years
MADE FOR EACH OTHER Fashion and the Academy Awards. By Bronwyn Cosgrave. 320 pp. Bloomsbury USA. $32.50. MEN'S STYLE The Thinking Man's Guide to Dress. By Russell Smith.256 pp. Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press. $22.95. IT seems incredible in these days of ghoulish dissection of who wears what to the Oscars, to think that in 1929, the year of
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NYTimes article
Tripped Up at the Oscars
NYTimes - about 12 years
From the beginning, being the host of the Academy Awards ceremony has been a challenge. In 1931, Lawrence Grant, a British-born actor, forgot the name of a guest of honor. In 1959, the show ran short and Jerry Lewis had to ad-lib for 20 minutes. But some incidents are more memorable than others. 1937 -- George Jessel Makes Bette Davis Mad Davis was
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Luise Rainer
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 104
    Rainer died on December 30, 2014, in London at the age of 104 from pneumonia.
    More Details Hide Details She was two weeks shy of her 105th birthday.
  • 2011
    Age 101
    In 2011, she was initially rejected by the jury (Senta Berger, Gero Gandert, Uwe Kammann, Dieter Kosslick and Hans Helmut Prinzler) despite being nominated.
    More Details Hide Details A prolonged campaign started in October 2010, led by music executive Paul Baylay, who had noticed Rainer's omission on the Boulevard. Baylay campaigned in Germany, lobbying press and politicians to support the campaign to have the actress and her work recognised. The campaign was supported by the Central Council of Jews. In August 2011, the Boulevard der Stars finally relented, acknowledging the Facebook, email and letter campaign led by Baylay had been key in their decision to awarding an extra star to Rainer.
    Her star was among the twenty-first issued in 2011 and followed twenty that were issued in 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The star was issued as an exception and was not without controversy. Rainer had been forgotten when the Boulevard der Stars opened in 2010, despite being Germany's only Academy Award winning actress.
    On September 5, 2011, Rainer travelled to Berlin to receive a star on the Boulevard der Stars.
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  • 2010
    Age 100
    In April 2010, she returned to Hollywood to present a TCM festival screening of The Good Earth, accompanied by an interview with host Robert Osborne.
    More Details Hide Details Rainer has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.
    On January 12, 2010, Rainer celebrated her centenary in London.
    More Details Hide Details Actor Sir Ian McKellen was one of her guests. During that month, she was present at the British Film Institute tribute to her at the National Film Theatre, where she was interviewed by Richard Stirling before screenings of The Good Earth and The Great Waltz. She also appeared onstage at the National Theatre, where she was interviewed by Sir Christopher Frayling.
  • 1998
    Age 88
    She made appearances at the 1998 and 2003 Academy Awards ceremonies as part of special retrospective tributes to past Oscar winners.
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  • 1984
    Age 74
    She took a dual role in a 1984 episode of The Love Boat.
    More Details Hide Details For the latter, she received a standing ovation from the crew. She appeared in The Gambler (1997) in a small role, marking her film comeback at the age of 86.
  • 1983
    Age 73
    In a 1983 interview, the actress told how she went to Louis B. Mayer's office and said to him: "Mr Mayer, I must stop making films.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1965
    Age 55
    She made sporadic television and stage appearances following her and her husband's move to Britain, appearing in an episode of the World War II television series Combat! in 1965.
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  • 1960
    Age 50
    Federico Fellini enticed her to play the cameo role of Dolores in his 1960 Oscar-winning classic La Dolce Vita, to the point of her travelling to the Rome location, but she quit the production prior to shooting, a fact that has been attributed either to her resistance to an unwanted sex scene or to her insistence on overseeing her own dialogue.
    More Details Hide Details The role was later cut from the eventual screenplay.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1943
    Age 33
    She initially did not plan on returning to the screen, but explained her comeback in 1943 by saying:
    More Details Hide Details All the professor and the other students cared about was whether I could answer the questions, not whether I could come to class looking glamorous. But after that brief return to the stage, I began to realize that all the doors which had been opened to me in Europe, and all the work I had been able to accomplish for refugee children, was due to the fact that people knew me from my screen work. I began to feel a sense of responsibility to a job which I had started and never finished. When I also felt, after that experience at Dennis, that perhaps I did have talent after all, and that my too-sudden stardom was not just a matter of happy accident, I decided to go back. When Rainer returned to Hollywood, her contract at MGM had long expired and she had no agent. David Rose, head of Paramount Pictures, offered her to star in an English film shot on location, but war conditions prevented her from accepting the role. Instead, Rose suggested in 1942 that she make a screen test for the lead role in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), but Ingrid Bergman was cast. Rainer eventually settled on a role in Hostages (1943) and told the press about the role: "It's certainly not an Academy Award part, and thank goodness, my bosses don't expect me to win an award with it.
    She made an appearance in Hostages in 1943 and abandoned film making in 1944 after marrying publisher Robert Knittel.
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  • 1942
    Age 32
    She made her first appearance on the New York stage at the Music Box Theatre in May 1942 as Miss Thing in J. M. Barrie's A Kiss for Cinderella.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1940
    Age 30
    Returning to America, she played the leading part in George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan on March 10, 1940, at the Belasco Theatre in Washington, D.C. under the direction of German emigrant director Erwin Piscator.
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  • 1939
    Age 29
    While in Europe, Rainer studied medicine and explained she loved being accepted as "just another student", rather than as a screen actress. She returned to the stage and made her first appearance at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, on May 1, 1939, as Françoise in Jacques Deval's play Behold the Bride; she played the same part in her London debut at the Shaftesbury Theatre on May 23, 1939.
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  • 1938
    Age 28
    She filed for divorce in mid-1938, but proceedings were delayed "to next October" when Odets went to England. The divorce was finalized on May 14, 1940.
    More Details Hide Details Rainer and Odets summered at Pine Brook Country Club in Nichols, Connecticut, where numerous other members of the Group Theatre (New York) also spent their summers, both acting and writing. Despite the negativity, Rainer was one of the actresses considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939), but the idea was not well-received, and she was not given a screen test. She also was unable to persuade MGM bosses to cast her in “Johnny Belinda,” based on a 1940 play about a deaf-mute rape victim. In a later interview, Rainer commented about her disappearance from the movie industry: I was very young. There were a lot of things I was unprepared for. I was too honest, I talked serious instead of with my eyelashes and Hollywood thought I was cuckoo. I worked in seven big pictures in three years. I have to be inspired to give a good performance. I complained to a studio executive that the source was dried up. The executive told me, 'Why worry about the source. Let the director worry about that.' I didn't run away from anybody in Hollywood. I ran away from myself.
    Rainer had never made it a secret that she felt terrible as Odets' wife, and exclaimed in a 1938 interview: "All the acting I've done on the stage or screen has been nothing compared to the acting I did in New York, when I tried to make everyone think I was happy – and my heart was breaking."
    More Details Hide Details
    Rainer made her final film appearance for MGM in 1938 and abandoned the film industry.
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    In 1938, she played Johann Strauss's long-suffering wife Poldi in the successful Oscar-winning MGM musical biopic The Great Waltz, her last big hit.
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  • 1937
    Age 27
    For the film, she wore a red wig and wore costumes designed by Adrian, who claimed that Rainer, by the end of 1937, would become one of Hollywood's most influential people in fashion.
    More Details Hide Details On set, she received star treatment, having her own dressing room, diction teacher, secretary, wardrobe woman, hairdresser, and makeup artist. The Emperor's Candlesticks was Rainer's first film for which she received criticism, it being claimed that she did not improve in her acting technique. Even though reviews were favourable of Rainer's performance in Big City, reviewers agreed that she was miscast in a 'modern role' and looked "too exotic" as Tracy's wife. Despite the criticism and announcements of leaving Hollywood, Rainer renewed her contract for seven years shortly after the film's release. Most critics agreed Rainer was "at her most appealing" in The Toy Wife. The final MGM film Rainer made was Dramatic School. At the time she was cast in the film, her box office popularity had declined considerably, and she was one of the many well-known stars—along with MGM colleagues Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer, and Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Fred Astaire, Kay Francis and others—dubbed "Box Office Poison" by the Independent Theatre Owners of America.
  • 1936
    Age 26
    The Emperor's Candlesticks, in which Rainer was cast in November 1936, reunited Rainer with Powell for the final time.
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    Another 1936 unrealized film project that involved Rainer was Adventure for Three, which would have co-starred William Powell.
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    In late 1936, MGM conceived a script called Maiden Voyage especially for Rainer.
    More Details Hide Details The project was shelved and eventually released as Bridal Suite in 1939, starring Annabella as 'Luise'.
  • 1935
    Age 25
    Rainer's next film was The Good Earth (1937), in which she co-starred with Paul Muni; she had been picked as the most likely choice for the female lead in September 1935.
    More Details Hide Details The role, however, was completely the opposite of her Anna Held character, as she was required to portray a humble Chinese peasant subservient to her husband and speaking little during the entire film. Her comparative muteness, stated historian Andrew Sarris, was "an astounding tour de force after her hysterically chattering telephone scene in The Great Ziegfeld", and contributed to her winning her second Best Actress Oscar. The award made her the first actress to win two consecutive Oscars, a feat not matched until Katharine Hepburn's two wins thirty years later. In later years, however, Rainer felt that winning the two Oscars so early may have been the "worst possible thing" to befall her career. She said that it made her "work all the harder now to prove the Academy was right." In any case, some critics were indignant that Greta Garbo's performance in Camille had been overlooked in favor of Rainer.
    Shortly after shooting began in late 1935, doubts of Rainer's ability to pull off the role emerged in the press.
    More Details Hide Details She was criticized for not resembling the Polish-born stage performer. The director admitted that the main reason Rainer was cast was her eyes, claiming that they "are just as large, just as lustrous, and contain the same tantalizing quality of pseudo naughtiness" the part required. As Thalberg expected, she successfully expressed the "coquettishness, wide-eyed charm, and vulnerability" required. Rainer "so impressed audiences with one highly emotional scene," wrote biographer Charles Affron, that she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. In one scene, for example, her character is speaking to her ex-husband Florenz Ziegfeld over the telephone, attempting to congratulate him on his new marriage: "The camera records her agitation; Ziegfeld hears a voice that hovers between false gaiety and despair; when she hangs up she dissolves into tears." Powell, having worked with her in two films, gave his impressions of her acting style and quality:
    Rainer moved to Hollywood in 1935 as a hopeful new star.
    More Details Hide Details Biographer Charles Higham notes that MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer and story editor Samuel Marx had seen footage of Rainer before she came to Hollywood, and both felt she had the looks, charm, and especially a "certain tender vulnerability" that Mayer admired in female stars. Because of her poor command of English, Mayer assigned actress Constance Collier to train her in correct speech and dramatic modulation, and Rainer's English improved rapidly. Her first film role in Hollywood was in Escapade (1935), a remake of one of her Austrian films, co-starring William Powell. She received the part after Myrna Loy gave up her role halfway through filming. After seeing the preview, Rainer ran out of the cinema displeased with how she appeared: "On the screen, I looked so big and full of face, it was awful." The film generated immense publicity for Rainer, who was hailed as "Hollywood's next sensation." However, she did not like giving interviews, explaining:
    Initially, Rainer had no interest in films, saying in a 1935 interview: "I never wanted to film.
    More Details Hide Details I was only for the theater. Then I saw A Farewell to Arms and right away I wanted to film. It was so beautiful."
  • 1934
    Age 24
    In 1934, after appearing in several German language films, she was seen performing in the play Six Characters in Search of an Author by MGM talent scout Phil Berg, who offered her a three-year contract in Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details He thought she would appeal to the same audience as Swedish MGM star Greta Garbo.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1928
    Age 18
    Her first stage appearance was at the Dumont Theater in 1928, followed by other appearances, including Jacques Deval's play Mademoiselle, Kingsley's Men in White, George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, Measure for Measure, and Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1910
    Age 0
    The daughter of Heinrich and Emilie (née Königsberger) Rainer, known familiarly as "Heinz" (died 1956) and "Emmy" (died 1961), Rainer was born on 12 January 1910, in Düsseldorf, Germany and raised in Hamburg and later in Vienna, Austria.
    More Details Hide Details Some references list her birthplace as Vienna. Describing her childhood, she stated, "I was born into a world of destruction. The Vienna of my childhood was one of starvation, poverty and revolution." Her father was a businessman who settled in Europe after spending most of his childhood in Texas, where he was sent at the age of six as an orphan. (Rainer had stated that because of her father, she is an American citizen "by birth".) Rainer's family was upper-class and Jewish. Rainer had two brothers and was a premature baby, born two months early. She describes her father as being "possessive" and "tempestuous", but whose affections and concern were centered on her. Luise seemed to him as "eternally absent-minded" and "very different". She remembers his "tyrannical possessiveness", and was saddened to see her mother, "a beautiful pianist, and a woman of warmth and intelligence and deeply in love with her husband, suffering similarly". Although generally shy at home, she was immensely athletic in school, becoming a champion runner and a fearless mountain climber. Rainer said she became an actress to help expend her physical and overly emotional energy. It was her father's wish, however, that she attend a good finishing school and "marry the right man." Rainer's rebellious nature made her appear to be more of a "tomboy" and happy to be alone. She also feared she might develop what she saw as her mother's "inferiority complex".
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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