The most talented and beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen turns 104 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.
I always check YouTube for new clips that feature Luise Rainer, and I was delighted to come across this one several years ago. Watch the different takes as Miss Rainer is presented her first Academy Award 77 years ago:
Frank Capra even makes an appearance in this clip, at the 0:55 mark.
After I wrote to Miss Rainer in celebration of her centenary, I received four autographed photos. One of the photos I sent for her to sign shows her two Academy Awards in her home:
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.
Here is a different Luise Rainer tribute clip from YouTube. The clip I had posted over the past several years has been pulled from the website; I am so glad that I downloaded it because the music is so beautiful. Like the former clip, this one shows the loveliest photos of Miss Rainer. The movies have never seen a more beautiful woman:
Happy Birthday, Miss Rainer!