We usually take time each January 12th to count down the oldest living Oscar honorees on Luise Rainer's birthday (January 12th, 1910) but since we recently did a significantly long post on oldest living actors of note and we've had so many sad goodbyes in the past month (Joan, Peter, Martha & Juanita), we're just going to focus on Luise Rainer & her other records.
This gorgeous photo was taken four years ago when Luise had the big "100". I think you have to admit that "The Viennese Teardrop" aged really well! Quitting Hollywood so early seemed to be good for her. Four years later she's still alive and kicking and currently living in the UK.
I had hoped to do something more focused on The Good Earth (1937) -- which we've never discussed here at TFE -- but I ran out of time. Maybe next year for Luise's 105th since she's clearly not going anywhere. Luise currently holds not just one Oscar record but four of them, the last two she'll be able to keep forever since "first to ____" cannot be unbroken with time but the second record will be swiped if Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle prevails on March 2nd, 2014 (but more on that this Thursday)
- She's the oldest living Oscar winner
- She's the youngest performer to ever win two Oscars. She was 28 when she won the second, so Jodie Foster just failed to top her record with that Silence of the Lambs win at the age of 29)
- She the first actor to win two Oscars (Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis both won their second Oscars in 1938, the year after Rainer's double)
- She's the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars (36/37 both in Best Actress). Only four other performers have ever won back-to-back Oscars though surely Russell Crowe came close at the turn of the millenium:
• Spencer Tracy (37/38 both in Best Actor)
• Katharine Hepburn (67/68 both in Best Actress)
• Jason Robards (76/77 both in Best Supporting Actor)
• Tom Hanks (93/94 both in Best Actor)
Which of Luise's winning roles is your favorite? And which back-to-back Oscar wins are you most satisfied with/horrified by?