Luise Rainer

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Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer (Düsseldorf, Germany, January 12, 1910 – London, United Kingdom, December 30, 2014) was a German nationalized American actress, twice winner of the Oscar prize. < / p>

She had the double record of having been the youngest actress to win two consecutive Oscars, with 28 years, and the longest of the winners [appointment required].

Abandoned Hollywood in full success for his refusal to continue a conventional career. In 1936 she was considered to star in the film Camille (Margarita Gautier) but the role went to Greta Garbo, whom Rainer later “snatched” the Oscar. It was also proposed for the main character of Gone with the Wind (played by Vivien Leigh) and Federico Fellini wrote a scene for her in La dolce vita that was never filmed.


For my second and third films I won the Academy Award. Nothing worse could happen to me. The Oscar is not a curse. The real curse is that once you win the Oscar, you think you can do everything.

Luise_Rainer’s Biography

Of Jewish descent, she was the daughter of Heinrich (Heinz) Rainer and Emilie (Emmy) Königsberger, born in Germany but educated in Vienna. He had two brothers. He made his first appearance on a stage at the Dumont Theater in Düsseldorf in 1928. He then performed in several theaters and was a member of Max Reinhardt’s famous Berlin company in the middle of the Weimar Republic.

She acted in several German-language films before being discovered by an MGM talent scout in 1935. Her style resembled the great Austrian actress Elisabeth Bergner, although the writer Anaïs Nin said of her that she had her own light and did not look like to nobody.

Goodbye to Hollywood after four years and two Oscars

In 1935 he moved to Hollywood and studied English, making his first appearance in American cinema with William Powell in Escapade. Thanks to his two subsequent films he won consecutive Oscars, something that Katharine Hepburn also got years later. The first of them by The Great Ziegfeld (1936) where he played Anna Held and the second for The Good Earth (1937), where he played a completely opposite role, the resigned peasant O-Lan.

Then his career in Hollywood practically disappeared. He made some films in 1938, but none of them was very successful. Given his non-conformist nature, he considered that he did not receive serious proposals and refused to be stereotyped in frivolous papers. Disillusioned with Hollywood, where she said it was impossible to have an intellectual conversation, she moved to New York with her husband, Clifford Odets, with whom she had married in 1937. They divorced three years later and returned to Europe.

Luise made her first appearance in the English theaters at the Palace Theater, Manchester, on May 1, 1939, with the play Behold the Bridge; He then appeared for the first time in London at the Shaftesbury Theater on May 23, 1939 with the same role in the same play. He returned to America and performed in the play A Kiss for Cinderella by James M. Barrie at the Music Box Theater in New York in May 1942.

In 1944 she married editor Robert Knittel, with whom she lived most of the time in England, despite the fact that she had American citizenship. They had a daughter, Francesca Knittel-Bowyer, and he died in 1989.

He made some appearances on television during his stay in England. For example, in the episode Finest Hour of the series Combat! (Warlike feats) in 1965 and he played a double role in an episode of Vacations at Sea in 1983. He also appeared in the movie The Player (1997) in a small role at the age of 87 years. He made two appearances at the 1998 and 2003 Oscars.

Support for the Spanish Republic

Rainer was a dynamic defender of the Second Spanish Republic, for which he raised funds among the people of Hollywood and rehabilitated a castle in France to accommodate Republican children fleeing the Civil War. These funds were used to finance the documentary on the contest Spanish Earth (Land of Spain), made by Joris Ivens. The mere mention of his name was banned by the Franco government.

In 1983 she was in charge of delivering José Luis Garci the first Oscar Award for the best foreign film granted to a Spanish film, Volver a empezar. In 1986 he received a tribute at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

He has his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard.

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