Actress Luise Rainer
, who won the Best Actress Oscar twice in a row for The Great Ziegfeld
(1936) and The Good Earth
(1937), died in London on Dec. 30 at the age of 104.
Rainer's career in Hollywood was spectacular but relatively short. She bristled at the parts offered to her as a contract player for MGM and left town rather than take roles that she disliked. Her Oscar for The Great Ziegfeld
is somewhat controversial. Her performance was very good, but she spent only a small amount of time on screen, and she really should have been nominated for best supporting actress, which was a new category in 1936. Carole Lombard, nominated for My Man Godfrey
, would have been a much better choice. Her award for The Good Earth
was well-deserved, but the film suffers in contemporary estimation from having white actors playing Chinese characters in "yellow face." She had a limited career after her break with MGM, appearing in some television, including an episode of "The Love Boat" in 1984.