The most talented and beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen turns 103 today. Happy Birthday, Luise Rainer. Miss Rainer was awarded the Academy Awards for Best Actress in 1936 for “The Great Ziegfeld” and in 1937 for “The Good Earth”. Aside from her work in film, I also thank Miss Rainer for introducing me formally to the works of Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was the basis for Miss Rainer’s second Oscar. If it wasn’t for Miss Rainer, I wouldn’t have read three further novels by Buck, and I have five more that I want to read on my bookshelves.
Watch this clip as Miss Rainer is presented her first Academy Award for “The Great Ziegfeld” 76 years ago:
Luise Rainer is a legend of the silver screen. She only appeared in about a dozen films yet her work is so memorable on account of her sweet and delicate beauty, her expression, timing and graceful presence before the camera. She is the only living Academy Award winner from the earliest days of the institution–from the ninth and tenth annual Awards–and currently lives in London.