In memory of Hollywood actress and Walk of Famer Luise Rainer, flowers were placed on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 2 p.m. PST. The star in category of Motion Pictures is located at 6302 Hollywood Boulevard. “Rest in Peace among the stars.” The card was signed on behalf of the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Luise Rainer is a German film actress. Known as The "Viennese Teardrop", she is the first woman to win two Academy Awards, and the first person to win them back to back. She was discovered by MGM talent scouts while acting on stage in Austria and Germany and after appearing in Austrian films.
Her training began in Germany from the age of 16 by leading stage director Max Reinhardt. After a few years, she became recognized as a "distinguished Berlin stage actress", acting with Reinhardt's Vienna theater ensemble. Critics "raved" at her stage and film acting quality, leading MGM to sign her to a three-year contract and bring her to Hollywood in 1935. A number of filmmakers anticipated she might become another Greta Garbo, MGM's leading female star.
Her first American role was in the film Escapade, which was soon followed with a relatively small part in the musical biopic The Great Ziegfeld. Despite her limited appearances in the film, she "so impressed audiences" that she won the Oscar for Best Actress. For her dramatic telephone scene in the film, she was later dubbed "the Viennese teardrop". In her next role, producer Irving Thalberg was convinced, despite the studio's disagreement, that she could play the part of a poor uncomely Chinese peasant in The Good Earth, based on Pearl Buck's novel about hardship in China. The subdued character she played was such a dramatic contrast to her previous, vivacious character, that she won another Academy Award, even with Greta Garbo as one of the nominees.
However, she would later remark that by winning two consecutive Oscars, "nothing worse could have happened to me," as audience expectations from then on would be too high to fulfill. She was then given parts in a string of unimportant movies, leading MGM and Rainer to become disappointed, and she ended her brief 3-year career in films, soon returning to Europe. Adding to her rapid decline, some feel, was the "poor career advice" given her by then husband, playwright Clifford Odets, along with the unexpected death, at age 37, of her producer, Irving Thalberg, whom she greatly admired. Some film historians consider her the "most extreme case of an Oscar victim in Hollywood mythology".