TIME wrote about the “totally unknown cinemactress named Luise Rainer” in 1935. She won her first Best Actress Oscar for her role in the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld and won again for her part as a Chinese peasant in 1937’s The Good Earth. But then MGM cast her in several unrewarding roles, and Rainer, who had been a successful stage actress in Europe, left Hollywood. “The Oscar is not a curse,” she has said. “The curse is that once you have an Oscar, they think you can do anything. They give you bad scripts that are hard to act.” Curse or not, Rainer is lucky in one regard: she recently celebrated her 102nd birthday.
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