Luise RainerThe first back-to-back Oscar winner, Luise Rainer, died yesterday in her London home at the age of 104. Rainer's daughter, Francesca Knittel-Bowyer, confirmed the news to multiple outlets.

The German-born actress won consecutive Academy Awards for "The Great Ziegfeld" in 1936 and "The Good Earth" in 1937. But while Rainer achieved great success shortly after arriving in Hollywood, she never felt comfortable in the spotlight.

She had to be ordered by MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to attend the Academy Awards ceremony to accept her "Good Earth" trophy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And she once said of winning back-to-back Oscars: "Nothing worse could have happened to me."

Rainer was unhappy with the films that Mayer and MGM wanted her to do after her record wins. "I was a machine, practically - a tool in a big, big factory, and I could not do anything," she told The AP in 1999. "And so I left. I just went away. I fled. Yes, I fled."

The actress broke her contract with the studio and made her last major film, "Hostages," in 1943. After that, she made occasional appearances in television and film after moving to London with second husband Robert Knittel. They had one daughter together, Knittel-Bowyer.

"Though fragile as a hummingbird she was strong as an ocean storm," Bowyer wrote of her mother in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "She left with grace and peace after battling pneumonia. She leaves her indelible print on her profession and all those who touched her."

Aside from Rainer, the only consecutive Oscar winners have been Katharine Hepburn, Jason Robards, and Tom Hanks.
categories Movies