Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Luise Rainer, 100 Today

Luise Rainer was born on January 12, 1910. She turns 100 today. Living in London and still active she will celebrate her birthday, according to The Telegraph, "at the Arts Club in Mayfair with pals such as Sir Ian McKellen, Jarvis Astaire and Lord Taverne."

Luise Rainer's film career* is not one known to many non-cinephiles these days but to everyone who loves Hollywood movies of the thirties, she is a familiar face if only for the two films for which she won Oscars, The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth. She did only a handful more and nothing more impressive. She is perhaps most famous for being the first actor to win two Oscars as well as the first to win two in a row, just beating Spencer Tracy by one year before he would duplicate the feat.

Join Cinema Styles in wishing the lovely Miss Rainer a happy and healthy 100th birthday. Happy Birthday Luise!

Luise with her first Oscar, for The Great Ziegfeld, at the 1936 Oscars (held in 1937) with Paul Muni (winner for The Story of Louis Pasteur) and Frank Capra (winner for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town).

portrait, 1938

Original caption for above photo from the Los Angeles Examiner: "'This is the happiest moment of my life.' So said actress Luise Rainer, formerly of Vienna, when she became an American citizen. She is shown studying her new citizenship papers. After taking the oath of allegiance she jumped up and down and clapped her hands like a schoolgirl."

The Toy Wife, with Robert Young.

*For a full biography and commentary on each of her films as well as her shaky marriage to Clifford Odets please get the full details from The Siren.