Double Oscar-winning actress Luise Rainer dead at 104

Dec 30, 2014 at 12:22 p.m. ET
Image: WENN.com

Famed 1930s actress Luise Rainer died on Tuesday at her home in London, England. She was 104 years old.

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Rainer's daughter Francesca Knittel Bowyer — whom she shared with her late husband Robert Knittel — confirmed the news of her mother's passing via a statement to Entertainment Weekly.

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

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Rainer was the first actress to win back-to-back Oscars for Best Actress in 1936 and 1937 for the films The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth — a feat achieved by only five stars to date. However, the German-born actress believed her awards came at a price, and it was because of them that she had begun to work more sporadically and chose to leave her film career behind.

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"When I got two Oscars, they thought, 'Oh, they can throw me into anything,'" she said in a 1999 interview with the Associated Press, per The Hollywood Reporter. "I was a machine, practically — a tool in a big, big factory, and I could not do anything. And so I left. I just went away. I fled. Yes, I fled."

However, Rainer did return to our screens in 1984 to appear on an episode of the TV series The Love Boat.

Our thoughts go out to Rainer's family and friends during this sad time.

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